There was a lot riding on Madonna’s Super Bowl halftime show. Having agreed to perform at Super Bowl XLVI on 5 February 2012, the “Queen Of Pop” knew the biggest promotional platform in the world would boost sales of her MDNA album in an era where chart positions still mattered.
Everyone knew this was a big deal. “The Super Bowl is kind of like the holiest of holy in America,” Madonna said ahead of the event. “I’m going to come in halfway between the church experience and I’m going to have to deliver a sermon that’s going to have to be very impactful… I have to put on the greatest show on Earth in the middle of the greatest show on Earth.”
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More than 114 million viewers who watched Madonna’s Super Bowl halftime show knew at once she had nailed it with a sweep through some of the best Madonna songs and a plug for new single Give Me All Your Luvin’. There was even a small controversy when guest artist M.I.A. spontaneously gave the camera the finger – not quite up there with Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction, but a nice touch, nonetheless. After all, it wouldn’t be classic Madonna without a whiff of controversy…
A knowing, camp spectacle blending the old and the new
The performance started as it meant to go on – a huge cast of supporting artists, razor-sharp choreography and a sizeable dose of opening theatrics. Carried onto the set by a battalion of dancers in dramatic neo-classical styling, Madonna predictably rose from a throne (what else?) to perform Vogue with some state-of-the-art video effects lending 1990’s worldwide best-selling single an extra wow-factor. As the latest in a run of US Madonna No.1 singles, Music begun the next chapter, where Madonna was joined by LMFAO, who managed to mash the Mirwais production with their recent dance cuts Party Rock Anthem and Sexy And I Know It (both hits the previous year). From the off, Madonna’s performance was a knowing, camp spectacle blending the best of the old and the new.