Top 10 Great Guests for Beyonce's Super Bowl Halftime Show
Photo by Daniel Kramer
Beyonce, the queen of all showbiz, is expected to officially be named the halftime headliner at Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans sometime today after MTV broke the news Tuesday afternoon. The choice seems fairly sensible. There are precious few pop stars of her magnitude out there right now, although oddly enough, Lady Gaga's Born This Way Ball will have just missed this part of the country and be between St. Louis and Kansas City on Super Bowl Sunday (February 3).
Futhermore, every decent rock band that can even halfway fill a stadium has already played the halftime show, and we have a hunch that the NFL isn't quite ready to turn over the keys to a DJ like Tiesto or Avicii just yet (although 2014 might be a different story). So hell, why not Beyonce?
Of course no one, not even Queen B, can carry off a Super Bowl Halftime Show (all caps mandatory) on their own. But you have to pick good people, as Madonna found out at this past Super Bowl: If it wasn't M.I.A. flipping the bird to billions of viewers worldwide, it was that guy doing splits on a tightrope who stole the whole show out from under Madge's gladiatorial circus maximus.
Rocks Off spent a couple of hours staring at the ceiling Tuesday afternoon and came up with a list of potential halftime guests we'd definitely tune in to see even if the game was already a rout. It may not completely surprise you to learn that many of them hail from around these parts.
10. Jay-Z We'll just start the list with the people you know will be on board as soon as they make this official, starting with Mr. Beyonce. Come to think of it, why hasn't pop's premiere power couple already produced a full album together to go along with Blue Ivy?
9. Solange Knowles Beyonce's weirder, social-media-loving younger sister -- recently seen tweeting about her love of Hanson and Red Lobster's cheese biscuits (hey, us too) -- hasn't released an original album since 2008's Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams, but seems to be gearing up for something. She appears on the November cover of Elle, and earlier this month released a video for "Losing You," which hints at both Prince's "Little Red Corvette" and Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock's immortal "It Takes Two." A Super Bowl guest spot with big sis would make a perfect promotional push.
8. The Rest of Destiny's Child Already mentioned by MTV as a possibility, this could well happen. Of DC's final and most successful lineup, the one that ended after 2004 LP Destiny Fulfilled, both Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams have managed to eclipse Beyonce's shadow: Rowland as a reliable presence on the R&B charts with the occasional crossover pop hit (2011's "Motivation"); Williams with successes in both the theater (Chicago) and gospel music (2004's Do You Know). Both women have also been welcomed on the dance charts, so their Super Bowl appearance would be more than a simple case of "Hey! Remember me?"
7. Bun B
Despite last Sunday night's Cheesehead-stoking embarrassment at the hands of Green Bay, the Texans still look like (more or less) the team to beat in the AFC, and there is no bigger Texans fan than gentleman/scholar/rapper Bun B. So considering he'll surely be at the game anyway, how hard could be for Beyonce to give him a few bars of "Single Ladies"? Not very, we're guessing. UGK for life!
6. "Weird Al" Yankovic Here's something we did not expect: Scanning back through Weird Al's albums, pop music's No. 1 parody artist has never taken on any Beyonce-related material: No "No, No, No," no "Survivor," no "Dangerously In Love," not even "Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)." Surely the thought has occurred to Yankovic, which must mean the problem must lie with Beyonce or her lawyers not granting him the rights to her music. (We figured she'd have a bigger sense of humor about herself. Huh.) No matter, though - since a Weird Al halftime Facebook petition is in fact already circulating, this would be an excellent way to make things right.
5. Barack Obama Come February 3, Obama will either be a few days off his second inauguration or looking for a new job. A verse or two of "Let's Stay Together" with his good friends Beyonce and Jay-Z would make an ideal victory lap or at the very least help soothe his bruised ego. Plus if he loses, he could well be the couple's new tour manager by then; we hear the hours are a little better than being the leader of the free world, but not by much.
4. Slim Thug & Paul Wall
Like Bun, Slim and Paul are both huge Texans fans and will no doubt find their way to New Orleans regardless. Especially if there's a DC reunion, Beyonce could put them to work on the T.I./Lil Wayne parts of "Soldier" and "T-Shirt" from Destiny Fulfilled, if not more.
3. Robert Glasper & Jason Moran Beyonce could turn her halftime show into an HSPVA reunion with two of the premeire pianists in contemporary jazz. That sounds a little light on spectacle, true, but maybe they could turn it into some kind of Fabulous Baker Boys routine -- just sit back and watch the sparks fly.
2. Grady Gaines, Milton Hopkins, Texas Johnny Brown & Little Joe Washington All right, we admit it: This one is mostly just to plug Discovery Green's "Blues & Burgers" lunchtime concerts again. All this month it's featuring the great Houston labels Duke and Peacock, which gave the world songs like "Pledging My Love," "Hound Dog," "Farther On Up the Road" and oh so many more (Hopkins' band plays today at 11:30 a.m.). Beyonce already proved she has a way with vintage R&B in Cadillac Records, and these four local survivors -- all still actively gigging around town -- would make an ideal backup band. And if there's anyone on the planet who might be able to upstage Beyonce, it's Little Joe.
1. ZZ Top
True, ZZ Top has already been part of one halftime production, at Super Bowl XXXI (also in the Superdome). However, it was as part of the "Blues Brothers Bash" co-starring John Goodman, Dan Aykroyd, Jim Belushi and, no shit, James Brown, which VH1 once ranked No 10 on "The 10 Most Awesomely Terrible Super Bowl Halftime Shows of All Time." Ouch.
We're guessing they'd like a do-over, especially since new album LA FUTURA as been pretty well-received. Picture instead Billy, Frank and Dusty as Beyonce's backing band, pumping out some high-octane R&B that would allow her to indulge her inner Tina Turner. Maybe they could even play "Nutbush City Limits" or "Honky Tonk Women" together -- who wouldn't go for that?
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