Entertainment | March 5th, 2024

The Evolution Of Super Bowl performances And The Impact Of African American Artists

By: Jewel Wells | Staff Writer
The Evolution Of Super Bowl performances And The Impact Of African American Artists

The Super Bowl: A National Treasure

Every year, the NFL Super Bowl attracts over one hundred thousand viewers worldwide. Almost all of us have seen or participated in the hype surrounding the Super Bowl game, with many holding hopes to see their favorite team on the field or their favorite artist taking the stage. While many spectators are football fans, many view the game to see what’s in store next for the performances that take place during halftime.Each performance showcases a musical experience that stunned viewers as nationally recognized musicians perform some of their most famous hits. Iconic artists such as Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Toni Braxton and so many more have performed at the game, leaving an impressionable experience for viewers far beyond its time.

Origins: The Beginning of Super Bowl Performances

The first Super Bowl performance took place in 1967, featuring the University of Arizona and Grambling State University’s band. The showcase not only fueled the globally celebrated tradition in the world of Sports and Music, but it also began the development of African American Talent displayed within the Super Bowl, considering Grambling University is a Historically Black college. Since the start, the viewers’ attention was captured by creative displays of talent, as both bands were sure to captivate the crowd. Florida A&M university was also among the talented bands who performed at the Super Bowl, taking place in the halftime show of 1969. Within the beginning of halftime shows, many bands were displaying talent, HBCU’s being among much of the talent. As performances have evolved, the Super bowl has increasingly grown its audience as many at home hope to see their favorite artist showcase the show of a lifetime.

Revolutionary Performances: Micheal Jackson at Super Bowl XXVII

One of the most groundbreaking performances that took place at the Super Bowl halftime show was Micheal Jackson’s performance at the Super Bowl XXVII Halftime Show. This performance proved to be incredibly impactful as the viewers watched the known “King of Pop” perform his classics, including “Billie Jean” and “We Are The World”. Michael Jackson’s 1993 halftime showcase holds great value within the hype surrounding Super Bowl performances as it set the tone for the incredible talents to come. As the tradition of Super Bowl performances continues, the need to consistently advance has risen the bar. Creating shows that many of us consider our favorite. African American artistry is heavily displayed within the Super Bowl talent. Some of our favorites including Beyoncé, Rihanna, and Diana Ross are among many of incredible musicians who have made musical history on the field. The representation of African American musicians among such a large platform allows for the advancement of inclusivity in widely recognized spaces. While household name artist such as Beyoncé, and Boys To men have already reached the status of being universally appreciated, the display of such performances furthers the viewership of Cultural talent while also allowing fans to universally connect on music we have all grown to love and enjoy.

Cultural Connection: Where Music Meets Football

While the evolution of artists and performances is consistently advancing, so is the controversy surrounding such shows. Considering football is a widely appreciated sport, millions of viewers tune in to the largest game of the year, making sure the performance are truly something to look forward to. In John Oliva’s 2023 article that highlights memorable Super Bowl performances by African American artist, Oliva states, “More than 40 Black artists have entertained crowds at the Super Bowl”. Rihanna is one of those 40 talented artists who performed at the Super Bowl half time show. In Heran Mamo’s 2023 article, he states Rihanna has “attracted 121.017 views “after her 2023 half time performance. The performance featured a collection of her songs, including work, wild thoughts along with her classic’s rude boy and umbrella. Football and Super Bowl performance fan Chante Jones says “I really like the energy they give to the crowd “, when asked her favorite part about the performances. Jones also stated, “When they showcase their talent at the Super Bowl, it’s exciting and enjoyable to see everyone happy.”If the songs weren’t keeping the viewers’ attention, the visuals likely were, as the choreography is vibrant, displaying several dancers alongside the artist. Within the show’s conclusion, Rihanna revealed her pregnancy adding an even more intense reaction from viewers. Such performances speak volumes about how the realm of creativity can be explored during half-time, creating an annual excitement for many.

Half-Time Significance: Black Artistry in Universal Entertainment

As Football and entertainment evolve, the World of Super Bowl performances will also consistently advance. Throughout the years of half-time shows, viewers have been sure to be thrilled by the new and exciting performances. The ability for black artists to hold a space within the Super Bowl and display talent holds cultural significance within the universal realm of entertainment, also allowing the experience of the Super Bowl to maintain its relevance among a wide range of audiences.