Bono Rebuffed by NFL

Halftime performance offer turned down

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The National Football League has turned down an offer by Bono to perform during its Super Bowl halftime show, which he had hoped to use as a pitch to generate support to fight the AIDS epidemic in Africa.

The U2 frontman had hoped to sing a new song, "An American Prayer," with Jennifer Lopez to draw attention to the disease which killed more than 2 million people in sub-Saharan Africa just last year; southern Africa is believed to host nearly a third of the world's HIV and AIDS infections.

MTV, which is producing the program, had signed off on the appearance, but the NFL (which enlisted U2 to perform at a tribute to the victims of September 11th during the 2002 Super Bowl) didn't think the charitable cause fit with in with the entertainment-based direction of its halftime program. "We simply decided that we were going to deliver, as we do annually, an extremely entertaining halftime show," an NFL spokesman told the New York Daily News. "We don't believe it's appropriate to focus on a single issue."

The NFL does still plan to participate in Bono's spring visit to Africa.

Janet Jackson is the only performer confirmed for halftime at this year's game so far. Beyonce Knowles will sing the national anthem prior to the game, which will be held February 1st in her hometown of Houston.