It’s Madonna Louise Ciccone’s world, we’re just living in it. The pop icon took to the world’s biggest stage to rock three-and-a-half older tracks and a playful new song during the Super Bowl halftime show.
Entering on a golden throne pushed by an army of dancing Roman gladiators, the 53-year-old singer started things off with her 1990 classic “Vogue.” Around ten backup dancers kept the pace as she sauntered the scene in a head piece and black thigh-high boots.
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Across the field at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis flashed an impressive digital collage of Vogue magazines, in a nice touch of corporate scenery.
By the time “Music” revved up, she was down to four very acrobatic backup dancers on a bandstand. To the side of the stage — playing the parts of “Hey Mr. DJ” — were those party rocking dudes of LMFAO at which point “Music” began getting an infusion of the SoCal duo’s biggest hits, “Party Rock Anthem” and “Sexy And I Know It.”
Those with sharp eyes may have noticed Madonna slipping a bit while she was atop the bandstand, but she quickly recovered with a smile.
Then came the new song “Give Me All Your Luvin.'” The track’s two guest stars — Nicki Minaj and M.I.A. — made the trip to Indy and got wrapped up in the Rome/Cleopatra-esque concept. The cheerleader-themed track was a perfect pick for halftime show, no doubt.
M.I.A. caused a bit of controversy when at the end of her rapping bit, she flipped the bird at the camera while saying the lyrics, “I’mma say this once, yeah, I don’t give a s–t.”
NBC quickly apologized after the game, telling The Hollywood Reporter, “Our system was late to obscure the inappropriate gesture and we apologize to our viewers.”
The NFL also chimed in. “The obscene gesture in the performance was completely inappropriate, very disappointing and we apologize to our fans,” said Brian McCarthy, spokesman for the league.
As her new single wound down, a marching band made its way to center stage for a quick interlude of “Open Your Heart” with the big-voiced Cee-Lo adding soul. Backing tracks seemed to be dispatched of at this point and the two sang live until the end of the show, it appeared.
For the finale, Madonna pulled out all the stops with the perfectly picked “Like a Prayer.” Her voice, strong and clear, was aided by Cee-Lo and a massive choir of backup singers in robes for the 1989 gem.
When the spectacle was over, the singer was released down an escape hatch of sorts and the words “World Peace” were blazoned across the field.
According to the AP, around 110 million people were expected to watch the Super Bowl this year.
It was Madonna’s first time in the halftime spotlight for the Super Bowl and comes right as she debuts her single, “Give Me All Your Luvin.'” The track is off “M.D.N.A.,” Madonna’s 12th studio album and first for Interscope, which will be released March 26.
Before kickoff, country couple Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert sang a rousing version of “America the Beautiful” and Kelly Clarkson took on national anthem duties. It was a performance clear of mistakes, unlike last year when Christina Aguilera flubbed her lines.