On Sunday, Justin Timberlake will bring his new, woodsy, “remember-when-men-were-men?” rebrand to America’s largest stage, the Super Bowl. His dose of fragile machismo is right on schedule for the halftime show, which has alternated between powerful female performances (Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Missy Elliot) and bouts of dull masculinity (hi, Coldplay and sorry Bruno Mars, ILY but who even remembered you played in 2014?) since Beyoncé’s electrifying 2013 halftime show performance overshadowed the football itself.
Perhaps there’s a chance Timberlake will attempt to correct an old wrong by tapping Janet Jackson as his surprise guest in lieu of the apology he still owes her. But don’t count on it. If you’re looking for a Super Bowl moment to *actually* root for, turn your attention to the pre-show: Pink singing the national anthem.
In 2016, Lady Gaga sang that anthem, a gig that served as the warm-up for her unforgettable 2017 halftime bow. Now it looks like Pink may finally be next in line (fingers crossed). Since forcefully carving out her own lane with 2000’s Can’t Take Me Home, she has ridden the line between success and superstardom. Pink herself has admitted she’s never really been“the one” in pop music, but it’s time to re-think her status. And what better career-cementing stage for her than the Super Bowl?
Without further ado, the campaign for Pink to play the 2019 Super Bowl halftime show kicks off now. Here’s why she’s the perfect pick.
1. She’s got the hits
Pink can get the party started with “Get the Party Started” but there’s plenty more in her canon. She has remained on the top of the charts for far, far longer than her early aughts peers. Here’s the proof: She has 14 top ten hits on the Billboard Hot 100; more than Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Katy Perry, or Lady Gaga (!). Yep, you read that right.
And her catalog has an arsenal of songs an audience as large as the Super Bowl’s will recognize. From “There You Go” through “So What” and “Raise Your Glass,” she’d def have your football-loving brother-in-law head-bopping his along to songs he forgot he knew.
2. Her live performances are peak pop-star athleticism
Pink gets flack for repeating her (spectacular) aerial stunts, but if the criticism is that she keeps putting on a Cirque-quality show while singing live, is that really a criticism? BTW, it took these stunts for many to notice Pink’s enduring talent in the first place. After the massive reaction to her show-stopping performance of “Glitter In the Air” at the 2010 GRAMMYs, Pink told Oprah: “It feels like after ten years, people still don’t know what I do.”
The American Music Awards last fall showed her ability to up the aerials ante as she SCALED THE SIDE OF A BUILDING on live TV while delivering stellar vocals. This is a performer who has opened shows with a bungee jump and swung around literal rings of fire. Just imagine what she’d bring to a stage as major as the halftime show.
3. She’s got the lady balls to make a political statement
Pink comes from an activist family and first marched on Washington when she was three. As an adult, she’s never shied away from sharing her opinions, whether it’s telling fans to unfollow her if they had an issue with Black Lives Matter or daring George W. Bush to consider what he’d do if one of his daughters was a lesbian in her 2006 single “Dear Mr. President.” Perhaps it’s time to update that tune with new lyrics for he-who-shall-not-be-named—a figure Pink’s been hypercritical of while also expressing hope he can still change.
4. We could finally get a long overdue “Lady Marmalade” reunion
Just imagine the lights going dark after a mid-set banger, then 2015’s halftime show-stealer Missy Elliot appearing in her role as ringmaster to welcome Christina Aguilera, Mya and Lil’ Kim to the stage. Like, Giuchie, Giuchie, ya ya dada, SLAY, amiright?
Also, not to pit these women against each other, but since we *are* tallying for GOAT status, Pink’s def got the best career of the Lady Marmalade ladies, mkay?
5. It’s an opportunity for another Super Mom moment
Pink has set a new template for how to mom in 2018. After embracing androgyny herself, she’s now raising her kids gender-neutral in a “label-less household” and passing down her activism to them. When she picked up her MTV Video Vanguard award in 2017, she made a tear-jerking speech directly to her daughter, using it as a teachable moment about conformity, gender and self-confidence. In a hopeful tone, she told Willow, “We help other people to change so they can see more kinds of beauty.”
Now THOSE are the kind of feels we’re after. Even if Pink just spoke to her daughter for all twelve and a half minutes of the halftime show in 2019, it would be infinitely more compelling than Timberlake and his bland
Mayo Man of the Woods tour.
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