The Super Bowl is not just a football game, but also a concert, a carnival and even a poetry reading.
The youth poet laureate Amanda Gorman — fresh off a star turn at the inauguration of President Joe Biden — will read an original poem honoring “everyday heroes” during festivities before the game. Also performing will be Miley Cyrus, who has an energetic performance planned if her training regimen of singing while running on a treadmill is any indication.
Gabriella Wilson, better known as the R&B singer H.E.R., will sing “America the Beautiful.” Country star Eric Church and singer Jazmine Sullivan will team up for the national anthem. It is not known whether any players or performers will kneel during the national anthem or otherwise use the biggest stage in sports to protest against racism or police brutality.
The headliner, of course, is the halftime show, which will feature The Weeknd, surely performing his megahit “Blinding Lights” and a medley of other songs. The Weeknd said he spent $7 million of his own money to enhance the performance in some unknown way. Breaking with tradition during a Super Bowl played under unusual circumstances, he will not be singing from a stage on the field swarmed with fans, but instead one in the stands.