Rihanna poses for photos after the Super Bowl LVII Apple Music Halftime Show press conference held at the Phoenix Convention Center.
Photo by Anthony Behar/PA Images via Getty Images

How Much Do Super Bowl Halftime Performers Get Paid?


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Football. Food. Commercials. Elaborate performances from some of the world's biggest musical artists. What's not to like about the Super Bowl? Super Bowl LVII features the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles going head to head in Arizona, but let's be real, once the national anthem is sung we're all waiting for the big game's signature moment: the halftime show. But, how much to Super Bowl halftime performers get paid?

The NFL's biggest night is more of a spectacle than anything. Particularly the halftime show, where there have been some iconic performances as well as underrated shows we may have forgot about over the years. The performers are generally legends or a current global stars. Last year, the NFL enlisted hip-hop icons Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar and Mary J. Blige to entertain at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles. This year's show features Roc Nation recording artist Rihanna, performing during the Apple Music halftime show. The Billboard-topping, Grammy winning artist and Fenty CEO once turned down the opportunity to perform at the Super Bowl, due in part to her support of Colin Kaepernick.

How Much Do Super Bowl Halftime Performers Get Paid?

Prince after playing the halftime show at Super Bowl XLI.

Jonathan Daniel via Getty Images

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It doesn't matter who you are. Artists such as Michael Jackson, Tom Petty, Madonna, Beyonce, Prince, Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Shakira, Bruno Mars, Jennifer Lopez and The Weeknd all know the NFL pays artists essentially nothing.

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Normally, these kind of artists would pull in a good chunk of change for a traditional performance. For instance, Maroon 5, the headliner of the Super Bowl LIII halftime show, was making an estimated $1.5 million per tour stop in 2019. According to Forbes, Maroon 5, along with every Super Bowl performer throughout the game's history, receives union scale -- a fraction of the six- and seven-figure sums they bank on a nightly basis.

It's not as outlandish as it seems. A Super Bowl halftime show performance generally runs about 15 minutes compared to an hour-and-a-half set they would normally perform on tour. Last year's performance ran long at 24 minutes. Additionally, the NFL covers all production costs. Still, even with a heavily reduced rate there's a lot of upside for artists if they're lucky enough to land the gig.

The exposure alone is enough to make it worth it. J. Lo and Shakira's music sales increased by nearly 900 percent after 100 million people watched their performance. Shakira's song "Whenever, Wherever" jumped to the top of the song charts in the week after Super Bowl Sunday. Even if performers have to put up their own money, it might just be worth all those travel expenses.

Given that the NFL covers the cost of the production -- which can be as much as $10 million -- it's more than worth it for artists to perform in the Super Bowl.

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Adam Levine of Maroon 5 performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl LIII Halftime Show.

Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

"The halftime show at the Super Bowl remains a highly coveted spot for many artists," entertainment attorney Lori Landew of Fox Rothschild told Forbes. "Some of those artists do not see their appearance as a political statement, nor do they see the show as a cultural battleground, but rather view their live performance as an opportunity to entertain an enthusiastic crowd and to share their music and their talent with millions of viewers."

There you have it. There's a lot to gain and not much to lose from playing a Super Bowl Sunday show.

As an empath (Hello, ladies), I take pride in being able to feel your tears welling up. Don't feel bad these artists are only receiving a small percentage of their normal intake. The prestige and exposure are more than worth it.

MORE: 8 Iconic Super Bowl Halftime Shows We All Forgot About

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