Maroon 5’s Super Bowl LIII halftime show performance with hip hop stars Travis Scott and Big Boi was one of the most talked about moments in this year’s game.
The band opened with their chart-topping hits “Harder To Breathe” and “This Love” before flashing an image of Spongebob character Squidward onscreen. Immediately following that, rapper Travis Scott took the stage to perform his mega-hit “Sicko Mode.”
Scott’s presence was one that Maroon 5’s frontman Adam Levine said he and the band were proud of for the barriers it broke when it comes to hip-hop and the Super Bowl.
“This is the show that will have the biggest hip-hop presence that there has ever been on the show,” Levine said. “I mean, I can’t look back and find that to be the case before. He’s it, he’s the man right now and he comes in hot.”
From there, Maroon 5 went into a performance of “Girls Like You,” for which rapper Cardi B declined to join them. But while Cardi may have been missing, a gospel choir and drumline added a little extra flair.
Next, the band went into “She Will Be Loved,” simultaneously releasing lanterns into the air to spell out the word “love.”
In the most exciting part of the show, Outkast’s Big Boi then joined Maroon 5 and Sleepy Brown to perform Outkast’s classic “The Way You Move.” Big Boi’s arrival was a definite major moment of classic Atlanta hip-hop style, with the rapper pulling up in a Cadillac while donning a fur coat and a fitted cap.
The band closed with Levine singing “Sugar” and “Moves Like Jagger.” And while some fans had been speculating that Christina Aguilera might join the band, the show’s finale was a solo act, albeit enhanced by fireworks and Levine stripping off his shirt.
Earlier this week, Levine defended his band’s decision to perform in spite of an ongoing boycott of the NFL in support of Colin Kaepernick. No NFL team has signed Kaepernick since 2017 after he began taking a knee in during the national anthem to raise awareness for civil rights.
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight Levine said:
“No one put more thought and love into this than I did…I spoke to many people. Most importantly, though, I silenced all the noise and listened to myself, and made my decision about how I felt … We’d like to move on from it and…speak through the music.”
Ahead of Sunday’s show, the band donated $500K to Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. Travis Scott similarly donated $500K to Dream Corps, a social justice organization aimed at prison reform.
If you missed any of the Pepsi halftime show, check it out here: