Poor Maroon 5. They may be the first choice for customer service on-hold music, but we all know they were never the first choice for the 2019 Super Bowl Halftime Show. The NFL and CBS really wanted Rihanna, but she turned them down, because she’s firmly on Team Kaep and couldn’t “be a sellout.” We also heard rumors that Cardi B backed out of talks for a halftime show appearance, which was allegedly due to how she felt about the NFL’s stance on anthem-kneeling. Two weeks ago it was revealed that Pink was also given a shot at the halftime show, and now we have her explanation for why she turned it down.
In 2018, Pink belted out the National Anthem at Super Bowl LII. Organizers were clearly very impressed with Pink, and her name was right up there with Rihanna’s when it came to talks for a 2019 halftime show performer. If Pink had agreed, it would have been similar to what happened with Lady Gaga (she sang the National Anthem in 2016, then headlined the halftime show in 2017). Entertainment Tonight reported that both Rihanna and Pink moved on from the offer, because negotiations were taking too long. But Pink says that’s not so.
Pink revealed to Billboard why she bailed on the gig. She’s got two reasons. The first is exactly the same as Rihanna’s reason. Pink just couldn’t stand on stage when she’s kneeling with Colin Kaepernick in her heart.
“I’d probably take a knee and get carried out.”
The second reason is because Pink really didn’t want to get roasted in the press for her performance, which – according to Pink – is pretty much guaranteed when you take on the job.
“Everybody that does it gets so persecuted.”
She also thinks that the halftime show doesn’t really need any more white people at the moment.
“They should give it to Janet Jackson,” she suggests. “That’s who should be doing the Super Bowl. There’s rumblings around J. Lo, Rihanna – they all deserve it. They should only give it, because of the controversy, to African-American or Latina women for a while.”
This interview was conducted before Jennifer Lopez and Shakira were confirmed as co-headliners of the 2020 Super Bowl halftime show. So the point here is: Pink obviously needs to launch her own 1-900 psychic hotline. But Pink also isn’t exactly wrong. The previous 10 halftime show headliners, counting backwards, have been: Maroon 5, Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, Coldplay, Katy Perry, Beyoncé, Madonna, The Black Eyed Peas, The Who. Also, it was revealed about a year ago that disgraced former CBS head Les Moonves tried with all his might to kill Janet Jackson’s career after her 2004 halftime show performance. So I think we can all agree with Pink on this one, which is that Janet definitely deserved that do-over more than Justin Timberlake.
Pink also said that the halftime show is no longer on her bucket list.
I think all of Pink’s reasons are valid, but the one that makes the most sense for Pink personally is probably her belief that she wouldn’t have a good time in the press afterwards. Pink has enough haters coming for her parenting choices on Instagram, so I can only imagine how much worse her comments section would be after performing for one of the biggest TV audiences of the year. “I know the show is sponsored by Pepsi, but I hope you didn’t take home any freebies. Most pediatricians will tell you that children shouldn’t be drinking bottled brown sugar poison!!!”