On the one hand, Taylor Swift‘s fans won’t have to sit through half a football game to see her perform. On the other hand, Taylor’s fans might be disappointed that she won’t be playing Super Bowl LVII’s Halftime Show on Feb. 12. Though Variety reports that three sources said Taylor, 32, was going to play the NFL championship game, PEOPLE reports that Taylor isn’t scheduled to perform. HollywoodLife reached out to Taylor’s rep for clarification, and a second source confirmed that PEOPLE’s report is true. Taylor, unfortunately, is not headed to Glendale, the home of Super Bowl 57.
Speculation of Taylor’s involvement in The Big Game began Friday after the NFL announced that Apple Music had taken over as the primary sponsor of the Halftime Show. In 2013, Taylor signed a partnership with Coca-Cola. That same year, Pepsi became the primary sponsor of the Halftime Show, and there was speculation that Taylor’s deal with Coke prevented her from playing any Pepsi-sponsored events.
The announcement of the new sponsor came at midnight on Sept. 23, an odd time to send out any press release. The timing prompted some fans to make a connection from 12:00 am ET to Taylor’s upcoming Midnights album.
“Music and sports hold a special place in our hearts, so we’re very excited Apple Music will be part of music and football’s biggest stage,” said Oliver Schusser, Apple’s vice president of Apple Music and Beats, in a statement. “We’re looking forward to even more epic performances next year and beyond with the Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show.”
Midnights arrives on Oct. 21, which will likely lead to a major tour. Taylor has released six albums in three years – Midnights, Evermore, Folklore, Lover, and the Taylor’s Version of Red and Fearless – meaning she has plenty of music to perform live to her fans. As Variety notes, the Halftime Show is often used as a teaser for a major tour, or at least, a way to get fans hyped for a possible show in their town. But Taylor clearly doesn’t need the biggest football game in the U.S. to announce a new your.
Another thing to consider: In 2019, the NFL signed a partnership with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, effectively handing the reigns of the halftime show over to them. The collaboration came as the league was criticized for blackballing Colin Kaepernick due to his protest of police brutality, and for three years, the Halftime Show has been headlined by performers of color: Jennifer Lopez and Shakira in 2020; The Weeknd in 2021; and the Dr Dre-led showcase that featured Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, 50 Cent, Anderson .Paak and Eminem. While Taylor could easily partner with a variety of POC performers to rework her music (imagine “We Never Ever Getting Back Together” with The Roots or “Shake It Off” with The Linda Lindas), it seems those collabs will have to wait for another day.