But let’s not forget that the last two Super Bowl performers — Lady Gaga in 2016 and Justin Timberlake in 2017 — proved you don’t need a surprise guest to make a halftime show memorable, you just need hits. And with or without collaborators, Maroon 5’s career is chock full of them: The group has topped the Billboard Hot 100 three times (2007’s “Makes Me Wonder,” 2011’s “Moves Like Jagger” and 2012’s “One More Night”), and they've had 11 more songs land in the top 10. Even six years after their most recent Hot 100 No. 1, the pop band is still making moves, currently sitting at No. 2 with their Cardi B-assisted smash “Girls Like You."
So, just how many hits will Maroon 5 play and how many surprise guests will they bring to the Super Bowl halftime stage? We’ll have to wait until Feb. 3, 2019, but in the meantime we’ve dreamed up the ultimate Maroon 5 halftime show set list.
"Makes Me Wonder"
Might as well start things off with their first No. 1 hit, right? The funky opening chords would make for a perfect dramatic entrance, ideally with a mesmerizing light show to match. And though the song is 11 years old, once that first chorus hits, you won’t just remember that you know all the words — you’ll also remember that Maroon 5 is about to hit you with 14 minutes of serious bangers.
"Harder To Breathe"/"This Love"
While Maroon 5 have proven to be pop mainstays since their 2002 debut, fans who have been around for the band’s entire 15-year career always long for another pop-rock masterpiece like their first LP. Songs About Jane. Since we can’t dedicate the entire halftime show to one album, a nice little medley of the album’s two rockiest singles should please their group's day-one fans.
"One More Night"
If there is one thing Maroon 5 has become known for, it is their irresistible, weapons-grade hooks. And the chorus of “One More Night” may be among the unforgettable in the M5 catalog, as proven by its peak position on the Hot 100 six years ago. With a track this potent, a little goes a long way: We probably only need to hear about a minute of it in the halftime show to be singing “oooh-oo-oo-oo-ooh-ooh-ooh-oooh” the rest of the night.
"Moves Like Jagger”
At this point we’re probably about 7 or 8 minutes in -- keep in mind that Maroon 5 probably isn’t going to play every song in its entirety, a la JT this year -- so it’s about time to bring out a special guest, especially if there are going to be multiple cameos. Aguilera — who was a special guest during the Super Bowl XXXIV halftime show in 2000 — would help keep the energy up on this fast-paced hit with her dynamic vocals.
After two of Maroon 5’s most infectious tunes, the slower verses of “Maps” would be a nice contrast -- and they'd make sure Adam Levine (and frankly, everyone else watching and dancing along) doesn’t lose too much steam before the show is over. If the verses are too much of a downer, however, inserting just a minute of “Maps" into the Super Bowl setlist stills allows for a walloping crescendo into the song's hard-hitting chorus.
"Girls Like You"
As the biggest hit in Maroon 5’s catalog in more than three years, “Girls Like You” deserves a nice spotlight in the middle of their halftime show, particularly because Cardi B could be making an appearance. Sources have already teased that rap’s it-girl is in talks to join Maroon 5 on stage, which would be one of the biggest moments of the performance — not to mention her career.
"Don’t Wanna Know/Cold"
While Travis Scott is in consideration for a halftime show appearance, Maroon 5 practically set themselves up for superstar appearances by featuring two other rap powerhouses on tracks: Kendrick Lamar ("Don't Wanna Know") and Future ("Cold"). And while "Cold" isn't exactly the group's most reliable party-starter, performing with Atlanta native Future would be a welcome nod to the game's host city.
Following four guest appearances and a run of absolute jams, the only way to close things out with a bang is with Maroon 5’s biggest hit to date. Though “Sugar” couldn’t quite make it to No. 1 on the Hot 100 (the song peaked at No. 2 in 2015), their wedding-crashing video has garnered 2.7 billion YouTube views and has more than 730 million Spotify streams alone.
If the Maroon 5 guys want to make their finale truly grand, they could even take inspiration from the video and marry some couples on stage. Okay, that might be going too far, but whether or not there are romantic fireworks, there will likely be real fireworks, as the addicting hit has already proven itself to be an electrifying show-closer — it's the last song the band has been playing on their current tour.