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After Adele, 7 Artists Who Should Be Considered For Super Bowl 51 Halftime Show

By Ryan Middleton ryan.middleton@musictimes.com | Aug 15, 2016 05:34 PM EDT

The NFL season has not even gotten underway and there is already talk of who will perform during the sport's biggest game - the Super Bowl. Adele was apparently approached to the show and turned down the opportunity because it isn't about music, but more of a big theatrical show. In her stead, we picked seven artists who could be good candidates to perform this year.

1. Rihanna - On the heels of Anti, Rihanna is still quite relevant. She may not have brand new music ready for the Super Bowl, but she is a showman and would be able to call out guests like Drake, Kanye West, Paul McCartney and some friends from her past albums. She has star power to do this, but it may not fit the conservative family friendly message that the NFL likes.

2. Kanye West - One of the riskier plays, but Kanye deserves recognition. He is about as controversial as they come and the NFL hates controversy, even as they seem to court it daily, but his stage charisma is among the best in the business. If they can get Kanye to not go on any rants, he could bring out guests like Paul McCartney, Rihanna, Chance The Rapper, Future and anybody else he wants. There is already a hashtag to get Kanye on the bill, so the fan support is already there. Someone of his caliber and ego would shine on this stage.

3. Radiohead - Would they do it? Probably not, but the band released their first album in five years, A Moon Shaped Pool, in May and have been packing out festivals and arenas globally since then. One issue would be who would join them on stage since they don't often collaborate with other artists and they may not be open to that type of a show. It would be a safe, yet trendy pick that would work with the younger crowd and then older folks who are tired of rap, pop and R&B.

4. Pearl Jam - If the NFL wants to revert back to old form and pick out veteran rock bands, Pearl Jam should be considered. They are on their first tour in a while right now, so in prime form. There is talk of an album, but nothing has been recorded yet. That could change if they were booked for this, though their extensive discography should work for a short halftime show performance. Their sound can fill an arena and translate to the home audience.

5. Taylor Swift - She is arguably the biggest pop star in the world and has never performed at the Super Bowl. She has sold out tours and though she doesn't have an album on the apparent horizon, Swift could use the opportunity to plug something new. She is safe enough to keep older folks happy and is popular with youth that the halftime should still have plenty of viewers. She is the type of person who could call out just about the entire music business as well.

6. Jay Z - There have been rumors over the past few months that Jay Z has been working on an album and the project may even be close to completion. Hip-hop hasn't been all that popular with the NFL, but Jay Z has the career to draw older and newer fans. It also helps he is married to Beyoncé, who has become a staple at these shows and is from Houston.

7. Justin Timberlake - CBS lost $50 million when Justin Timberlake last did the Super Bowl with Janet Jackson. A decade later, he has more hits to his name and is working on an album with the likes of Pharrell and The Weeknd. There is no shortage of stars he could call upon and despite the last nudity gaff, he is still a relatively safe bet in the pop world with a massive following.

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