Contrary to rumors that Lady Gaga was told she must avoid discussing politics during her upcoming Super Bowl halftime performance, a source familiar with the situation tells Billboard this is not the case.
On Tuesday (Jan. 17), Entertainment Tonight reported that Gaga would not be permitted to say anything about the presidential election or mention Donald Trump, but an insider says, “It’s bullshit.”
A rep for the NFL told ET this was “nonsense from people trying to stir up controversy where there is none. … The Super Bowl is a time when people really come together. Lady Gaga is focused on putting together an amazing show for fans and we love working with her on it; we aren’t going to be distracted by this.”
Billboard has also learned that Gaga will be taking the Super Bowl halftime stage on Feb. 5 without any guest appearances, breaking from what’s become an unofficial tradition.
The pop superstar will be only the eighth performer in the halftime show’s history to perform without guests — and it’s not for lack of solid connections. Her latest album, Joanne, was chock-full of notable guest performers and producers, including Mark Ronson, Beck, Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine, Tame Impala‘s Kevin Parker, Father John Misty and Queens of the Stone Age‘s Josh Homme, though none of them have the same mainstream recognition as, say, Beyoncé and Bruno Mars, who joined headliners Coldplay last year.
Leading up to the big game, Gaga has been documenting her preparation on Instagram. She even said she built a tent in her backyard with a dance floor to practice her routine.