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Why J.Lo And Shakira Aren’t Getting Paid For The Super Bowl Halftime Show




Jennifer Lopez used to have a little, now she’s got a lot—thanks in part to her ability to clock seven-figure grosses at every tour stop. But don’t be fooled: Jenny from the Block won’t be adding any more cash to her coffers for her Super Bowl halftime gig, at least in terms of performance fees. Along with Sunday’s co-headliner Shakira, her only monetary reward will be union scale and coverage of production costs.

It’s the same setup that acts from Bruno Mars to Beyoncé have agreed to in recent years—and though each is capable of commanding seven-figure nightly grosses for their solo live shows, they forgo payment on Super Bowl Sunday in exchange for the publicity that comes with playing to a televised audience of some 100 million people. Representatives for the two singers and the NFL didn’t respond to requests for comment, but the halftime acts’ reasoning is clear.

“They are willing to perform for free and even subsidize the production costs through their record label or concert promoters because of this incredible exposure,” says Marc Ganis, president of consulting firm Sportscorp. “Even the biggest names need to continually promote themselves. The Super Bowl halftime show is the single biggest promotional vehicle for a music star on the planet.”

Lopez typically grosses an average of $2.2 million per tour stop, according to Pollstar Pro, and Shakira pulls in $1.6 million, so they are certainly sacrificing hefty paydays. But artists who’ve done so have been handsomely rewarded.

Maroon 5 boosted its per-city average on the road by $200,000 to $1.7 million since performing at Super Bowl LIII. Travis Scott, who shared the bill with the pop group, more than doubled his typical haul and is now flirting with a $1 million payday for every tour stop. Scott parlayed at least some of his halftime juice into a total tour gross of $65 million, his biggest yet. All in all, he clocked a career-best $58 million annual payday last year, nearly triple his 2018 haul of $21 million.

For some, the boost is less tangible but perhaps even more weighty. Steve Jensen, one of Katy Perry’s managers, told Forbes that in the months following her 2015 performance, the singer doubled the number of opportunities her fame generated, from endorsement deals to movie roles. “It took her from being a big star to the stratosphere,” Jensen said.

The bump is big enough that before Perry’s performance, rumors swirled that the NFL was considering charging acts for the privilege of playing on the big day. So far, the rumors have not borne out, which is probably a shrewd decision on the part of the league.

“I don’t want an asterisk by my name for playing the Super Bowl for the rest of my life,” Perry explained. “I want to be able to say I played the Super Bowl based on my talents and my merit, thank you very much.”