Performing during the Super Bowl halftime show represent the height of stardom. Only performers with the star power of Prince, Beyonce, Michael Jackson, U2, Lady Gaga, and now Rihanna have graced that stage. The Super Bowl is one of the largest television events in the world. Ads during the Super Bowl can exceed $5M for a 30 second commercial. Performers are not even paid for their act during the halftime show because the return on visibility is the reward. Needless to say, the Super Bowl is big business.
There has never been a gospel artist to headline the Super Bowl halftime show. Very few gospel artists are mainstream enough with the name recognition who can appeal to both Christians and non-Christians. To some, Gospel/Christian music is a niche genre.
To be fair, there's quite a gospel artist who have the talent and charisma to perform during the halftime show, but not headline. Performers like CeCe Winans, Yolanda Adams, and Tye Tribbet could do it. However, they would need to perform with a more mainstream artist to balance out their Christian-centric catalogue and/or elevate their name and brand recognition.
However, when it comes to which gospel artists are big enough to actually HEADLINE the Super Bowl halftime show, there's only two artists who have that level of cross-over appeal: Kirk Franklin and Mary Mary.
Many of their songs are already played on both Gospel and urban radio stations, and their catalogue is mainstream enough to be entertaining but not offensive to some.
Kirk Franklin has already received 19 Grammy Awards. Many of his songs like "Stomp" are also dance tracks. But he also has songs like "I Smile" and "Imagine Me" are played on mainstream radio stations.
Also, Kirk Franklin's performances with rap and hip hop artists like Lil Baby and Salt and Peppa over the years have elevated his profile. His appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show and during the Grammys have elevated Kirk Franklin to a household name.
In addition, Mary Mary also has a number of songs with cross-over appeal that's upbeat enough to entertain a diverse crowd like the Super Bowl. Songs like "Shackles" and "Bigger" are Christ-centric, but with a urban/hip hop sound.
Erica and Tina Campbell have already had a TV Show on WE TV. Erica has her own talk show and has hosting duties on BET's "Sunday Best." Also, while it was not during the halftime show, the sister duo has already performed at the Super Bowl with their rendition of "Lift Every Voice and Sing" in 2022.
With four Grammy awards, Mary Mary is often credited with bringing urban contemporary gospel to the masses with their music. They too could perform as the main act during the Super Bowl halftime show.
Nevertheless, in addition to Kirk Franklin and Mary Mary, if given a chance, either Tye Tribbet, CeCe Winans, Maverick City Music, Ricky Dillard, Tasha Cobbs Leonard, Jekalyn Carr, or Hezekiah Walker could turn the Super Bowl party.
So what do you think? Is there any other gospel artist who can handle the mantle of the Super Bowl halftime show? Would you like to see Kirk Franklin and Mary Mary perform during the Super Bowl.