The playoffs have yet to be determine which two teams will travel to Atlanta to square off against each other for Superbowl XXXIV, but the musical entertainment lineup for the Jan. 30 showdown is just about set. On tap for ABC’s live broadcast of the pre-game and halftime festivities is a broad cross section of pop, rock and country heavy hitters, with a heavy wallop of divas topping the bill.
For starters, while armchair quarterbacks are busy making last-minute runs to the corner store for beer and Fritos or warming up the queso, Madonna will be serving up a generous helping of “American Pie,” her freshly baked remake of the Don McLean standard for the soundtrack to her upcoming movie, The Next Big Thing. Joining her for the “Great American Music of the 20th Century” pre-game festivities will be leggy rock icon Tina Turner and nouveau country outlaw Travis Tritt, along with the Georgia Mass Choir and the Georgia Tech Marching Band. Hosting duties will go to the veteran comic duo the Smothers Brothers.
Fast forward to just before kick-off, and multi-platinum-selling country pop star Faith Hill will step up to belt out the national anthem, an honor in the past bestowed on everyone from Whitney Houston to Garth Brooks to Jewel and, last year, Cher.
And that’s all just the warm-up. Come halftime, when all the stops are traditionally pulled out and millions of puzzled football fans are routinely treated to the likes of New Kids on the Block and Michael Jackson singing with children, the gridiron will be cleared of combatants to make room for teen queen Christina Aguilera, R&B songstress Toni Braxton, Latin progeny Enrique Iglesias and Genesis frontman-turned soundtrack go-to-guy Phil Collins. All four artists will unite for the E-Trade Super Bowl XXXIV Halftime Show and what’s being touted in press material as “one stadium-full of Disney magic.”
The theme for the ten-minute Walt Disney Attractions-produced show will be “Tapestry of Nations,” inspired by Disney World’s Millennium Celebration. In addition to performances from Aguilera, Braxton, Iglesias and Collins, the production will feature giant puppets, a full symphony orchestra, a choir, more than 125 drummers and percussionists, aerial dancers, and, of course, fireworks. And if all that sounds a little busy or confusing, fear not: actor/director Edward James Olmos will be on-hand to narrate and explain it all.