Super Bowl LVI is just two days away, but the big game will not only be about football.
Music icons Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J Blige, and Kendrick Lamar are all set to perform at this year’s halftime show — the third production from the NFL’s partnership with Jay-Z and Roc Nation.
“The opportunity to perform at the Super Bowl Halftime show, and to do it in my own backyard, will be one of the biggest thrills of my career,” Dr. Dre said in a statement at the time of the reveal, adding that the performance will be an “unforgettable cultural moment.”
Snoop Dogg, a native of California, called the gig a “dream come true” during a recent interview with the Associated Press. He added that the group plans to “put something together that’s spectacular, and do what we’re known for doing and add on to the legacy.”
Late Thursday, it was revealed that Snoop Dogg was sued for alleged sexual assault and battery. It is unclear at this time whether or not he will still perform at Sunday’s event. Representatives for the rapper did not immediately respond to Yahoo Finance’s request for comment.
The post-Super Bowl boost
The NFL famously doesn’t pay its Super Bowl halftime performers, but the post-performance digital music surge many of these artists experience is well worth the lack of a paycheck.
Last year, The Weeknd saw nearly every song he performed land on the Rolling Stone Top 100 Songs chart, in addition to his 2020 album “After Hours” delivering a sizable bump in sales — climbing from 34,200 to 57,8000 units, according to Variety.
Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, who performed a bilingual medley of their 14 greatest hits two years ago, saw a sales increase of over 1,000% with 16,000 digital downloads sold.
Additionally, Lopez’s and Shakira’s Spotify (SPOT) streams soared in the hours following the performance, rising 335% and 230%, respectively, compared to the week prior. Music analytics platform Chartmetric added that Lopez’s and Shakira’s Spotify Monthly Listener count jumped 9.9% and 11.8%, respectively, in the seven days following the event — a sign of the massive success that Latin music has had on the Spotify platform at large.
Other artists have also experienced significant post-Super Bowl sales and streaming spikes. Maroon 5 saw a sales surge of nearly 500% following the group’s Super Bowl LIII performance, according to Nielsen.
Similarly, Justin Timberlake’s same-day music sales jumped 534% after his 2018 show with Spotify streams surging a whopping 214%. Lady Gaga’s digital catalogue surged above 1,000% the year prior after the singer sold roughly 150,000 more albums and songs.
Considering some advertisers shelled out a record $7 million for a 30-second ad spot this year, a 12-minute halftime performance would generate tens of millions of dollars worth of exposure for artists, assuming the same rate of value between a halftime performance and an in-game commercial.
Backup dancer backlash
Despite not paying its talent, the NFL still covers all of the upfront costs for the production, including stagehands, set designs, and travel expenses.
The costs of the productions, which typically run between 12 to 15 minutes, can be staggering. The Weeknd’s performance costing the NFL an estimated $10 million — on top of the $7 million the singer shelled out of his own money. The year prior, Jennifer Lopez and Shakira’s halftime show reportedly cost a whopping $13 million.
However, the league has come under heavy criticism in recent weeks over the treatment of backup dancers. According to a recent investigation launched by The Los Angeles Times, paid dancers for the 2021 Super Bowl halftime show “received $712 for show day and $45 per hour for their rehearsal time, as well as a $30 per diem and a $250 COVID stipend if a dancer was asked to report to a clinic for a test on a nonwork day.”
Unpaid dancers, however, “sat in stadium bleachers for up to two hours in the cold while waiting to rehearse as their paid counterparts spent that time in green rooms.”
After intense backlash from the dance community, the NFL revealed that it will stop asking professional dancers to work for free, but would allow non-professional dancers to work on a “volunteer basis.” Only about 115 dancers were contracted and paid for the gig.
On Tuesday, The Times revealed that the 400 volunteers will be paid $15 per hour, according to a deal memorandum.
Artist union SAG-AFTRA “has worked with the producers of the Super Bowl Halftime Show to ensure that all professional performers are covered under a collective bargaining agreement. SAG-AFTRA representatives will be on-site during the performance and the union has taken every effort to ensure that everyone appearing in the Halftime Show, regardless of their professional status, are made aware of their employment rights,” a union spokesperson told Yahoo Finance in a statement.
Roc Nation has yet to respond to Yahoo Finance’s request for comment.
Alexandra is a Producer & Entertainment Correspondent at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alliecanal8193
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