Super Bowl LVII is coming on up Sunday, Feb. 12, and as always, the game will include a highly produced halftime show. This year Rihanna is taking the stage, marking one of her only performances since she stepped away from performing in 2016.
Some of the biggest Super Bowl halftime shows in recent memory include performances from Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Beyoncè, Prince and the 2022 show from Dr. Dre, Snoop Dog, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar and 50 Cent. There are other iconic Super Bowl memories as we go further back in history -- such as shows from Michael Jackson, The Rolling Stones, Shania Twain and many others. The Super Bowl halftime show is one of the biggest gigs an artist can book, and with the world's greatest artists taking the stage each year, it's reasonable to think those artists would receive pretty hefty paycheck.
How Much Do Super Bowl Performers Get Paid?
In reality, artists who perform at the Super Bowl don't receive any money at all. The show is mainly seen as a promotional opportunity, and in recent years, that has proven to work out in the artist's favor. According to Esquire, when Justin Timberlake performed at the game in 2018, his streaming numbers went up by 534 percent the day of the show. When Lady Gaga performed in 2017, her music rose in sales by a whopping 1000 percent after the performance. It's also a big deal for an artist to say they've played the Super Bowl and stepped on the same stage as the legendary musicians before them.
Although artists don't get paid for their actual performance, the NFL pays for the artist travel expenses and the expense of the entire production. The Super Bowl halftime shows are often very elaborate, so the NFL pays a hefty bill for the production. According to Reuters, the 2020 Super Bowl performance featuring Jennifer Lopez and Shakira cost around $13 million to put on. That number includes the payment of the 3,000 employees who worked to set up the stage and run the production.
There are so many facets of a putting on a Super Bowl halftime show. You have the performer, who doesn't get paid, and the workers who do, but what about the background dancers and other people involved in the creative portion of the show? Do they get paid? The answer to that is: it depends.
The Los Angeles Times launched an investigation after The Weeknd performed at the halftime show in 2021, and it revealed a disparity between dancers' pay. According to the report, there were some paid dancers who received $712 on the day of the show, $45/hour during rehearsals, $30 per diem and a $250 COVID stipend if a dancer had to test for COVID. These paid dancers also had a greenroom. On the other hand, there were unpaid dancers who were simply labeled "volunteers" and did not get paid nor had an indoor room to spend time. For the 2022 show, the NFL paid 115 dancers who took part in the halftime performance.
Fans will have to wait until Sunday to see what Rihanna has up her sleeve for the halftime performance. The Super Bowl begins at 6:30 p.m. ET, and it will air on FOX.
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