It’s official: Big Boi will join Maroon 5 and Travis Scott for the halftime show at Super Bowl LIII, the NFL revealed Sunday.
Also known as Antwan Andre Patton, Big Boi is one-half of the famed Atlanta-based hip-hop duo Outkast.
The NFL had not formally announced the Atlanta halftime act – Lady Gaga’s participation was revealed in September 2016 and Justin Timberlake’s in October 2017 – signaling that the league apparently preferred a lineup locked in before unveiling “Maroon 5 and Friends.”
While it’s been known for a while that Maroon 5 would perform at Mercedes-Benz Stadium during the Feb. 3 game, the accompanying acts were more up in the air.
Houston rapper Travis Scott was reported last month to be in talks to take part in the halftime show. The news for all three acts was announced by the NFL on Sunday afternoon.
Variety, the entertainment trade magazine, ran a story calling this year’s halftime show “music’s least-wanted gig.”
The entertainment spectacle became embroiled in calls for boycotts and protests as performers turned down the NFL as a sign of their support for former NFL star Colin Kaepernick and other players who have taken a knee during the national anthem at games to decry police brutality and racial injustice. The protests have grown into one of the most polarizing issues in sports, with President Donald Trump having urged the league to suspend or fire players who demonstrated during the anthem.
In addition to the dearth of performers, some football and music fans expressed concern that in Atlanta, an epicenter of rap and hip-hop, no locals would be represented.
The worry that African-American musicians would stay away from the event also has apparently evaporated. Among the performers lined up to appear at the Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest in the week leading up to the game are Ludacris, Migos, Lil Yachty, Lil Baby, Metro Boomin and Lil Jon.
Asked about the rationale behind showing up for the big event, Lil Jon told the AJC, “It’s our hometown, we gotta. It’s rare when we’re able to showcase what we love about this city and showcase our city.”
AJC music reporter Melissa Ruggieri contributed to this article.
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