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Aerosmith, 'N Sync to Play Super Bowl

Super Bowl XXXV adds 'N Sync, Aerosmith to lineup

December 19, 2000 12:00 AM ET

Super Bowl XXXV is shaping up to be one of the most exciting spectacles in its thirty-five year history, and that's before the match up on the field has even been established. Organizers have snared enough high-wattage talent to power a small city, as Aerosmith and 'N Sync will co-headline the MTV-produced half-time show, in a ploy to attract a younger demographic to what is always the highest rated TV event of the year, as well as the most-watched single-day sporting event.

"The Halftime show is an important part of the Super Bowl and one of the most highly anticipated entertainment events of the year," said NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue. "We are pleased that musical performers of the magnitude of Aerosmith and 'N Sync will join the list of the of E-Trade Super Bowl halftime superstars.

'N Sync's appearance at the event has created an unofficial battle of the boy bands, as their labelmates and chart rivals the Backstreet Boys will croon the National Anthem during the pre-game show. Also involved in the musical program for the game is the legendary Ray Charles, who will sing "America the Beautiful," marking the first time the two songs have ever been performed together prior to the start of the game.

Charles will open up the festivities, followed by the Backstreet Boys' "Star-Spangled Banner," which will be produced by the same man that produced Whitney Houston's popular version of the song ten years ago. The Boys will add their name to an exclusive list who have already sung the national anthem, including Garth Brooks, Whitney Houston, Jewel and last year's anthem singer, Faith Hill. Aerosmith, who have been tapped to receive dual honors of induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the American Music Awards' Award of Achievement in the past two weeks, will have their biggest audience ever, as they perform in front of an estimated 130 million American football fans, and 750 million viewers worldwide.

If that's not enough to get you to watch, the U.S. Air Force will also lend one of their B-2's to buzz the stadium during the first song, then the elite "Thunderbirds" will then fly over the stadium at the conclusion of the national anthem. The Superbowl will be broadcast live from Orlando at 6 p.m. (EST) on Jan. 28.

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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