Country superstar Tim McGraw has signed on as a musical guest during Super Bowl LIII’s official pre-game festivities, headlining the NFL Tailgate Party in Atlanta Georgia on Sunday, February 3rd. Super Bowl LIII will be played at Atlanta’s Mercedes Benz Stadium between the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams.
McGraw’s set at the Tailgate Party will include a rendition of his reflective new single “Thought About You” — released in October 2018 alongside “Neon Church” — that will be televised live during CBS’ The Super Bowl Today. Performing earlier in the day at the Tailgate Party is soul singer Aloe Blacc, who will be joined by Christian group David Walker & High Praise for a special televised collaboration.
Soul legend Gladys Knight will sing the National Anthem before kickoff, while Maroon 5, Travis Scott and Big Boi will perform during the 2019 Super Bowl halftime show, confirming their performance slots after organizers had trouble booking the normally coveted, high-profile gig. Rihanna turned down an initial offer to headline the event, and rapper Cardi B preemptively refused to perform in solidarity with former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, whose National Anthem protests inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement spurred national discussion beginning in 2016. Other entertainers have also decided not to take part in the event, such as comedian Amy Schumer, who publicly told her agent to refuse any potential roles in Super Bowl commercials.
McGraw’s spring and summer tour schedule is currently filled with North American fair and festival dates, plus a four-day tour of Cuba in May billed as One of Those Havana Nights as well as a trip to Australia in late September.