JAY-Z's Company to Co-Produce Super Bowl Halftime Show and Oversee NFL's Social Justice Endeavors
By Jackie Willis
Earl Gibson III/Getty Images for NAACP
JAY-Z will have a say in who performs at Super Bowl halftime shows -- but it probably won't be himself!
According to the Washington Post's Mark Mask, the 49-year-old music mogul is partnering with the NFL to help manage the league's entertainment options as well as their social justice endeavors. The deal will also see JAY-Z's Roc Nation serving as a co-producer of the Super Bowl halftime show.
The Post is quick to note, however, that both the rapper and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell were adamant that this doesn't mean JAY-Z will be heading up the highly anticipated event.
"He was very quick to say that he does not want this to be about him performing, that it was broader than that,” Goodell said in an interview with the newspaper. “It quickly went beyond that. Do I hope he’ll perform in the Super Bowl sometime in the next several years? Yes. But I think we’ll all know if that time comes. He’ll know in particular."
In addition to the halftime show, Roc Nation will choose entertainers who will perform throughout the NFL season.
"I think we have autonomy," JAY-Z, whose given name is Shawn Carter, told the Post of working with the league. "I anticipate that there will be a lot of -- with any big organization, in this building right here we have internal problems. Anything that’s new is going to go through its growing pains. We put what we want to do on the table. The NFL agreed to it. So we’re gonna proceed with that as if we have a partnership."
News of JAY-Z's involvement with the halftime show and social activism within the NFL comes nearly a year after it was revealed that both Rihanna and Pink turned down the opportunity to perform at the 2019 Super Bowl.
A source told ET back in October 2018 that Rihanna was a frontrunner for the gig but turned it down in support of Colin Kaepernick, who -- while he was a player in the NFL -- would take a knee during the national anthem as a peaceful political protest.
Maroon 5 ended up headlining the halftime show this year, alongside Travis Scott and Outkast's Big Boi. At the time, the artists received flak for their involvement and Variety reported that JAY-Z had been trying to talk Scott out of performing at the game.