Coldplay announced as Super Bowl 50 halftime show headliner

In this March 11, 2014 file photo, Coldplay performs at the iTunes Festival during the SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas. Coldplay will perform at the Pepsi Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show on CBS Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016, the NFL announced on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015. (Jack Plunkett/Invision/AP, File)

The NFL announced on Thursday that English band Coldplay will headline the Super Bowl 50 halftime show on Feb. 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California.

Months of rumors swirled about who the NFL would ultimately decide upon for the halftime show, which has attracted more than 100 million viewers for the past several years, with the Super Bowl XLIX halftime show with Katy Perry, Lenny Kravitz and Missy Elliot drawing 118 million viewers.

Over the summer, rumors swirled that the NFL would get Taylor Swift to perform the show, rumors that were quickly followed by speculation that Bruno Mars, who performed the Super Bowl XLVIII halftime show with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, would return. In September, Adele was rumored to be the favored candidate for the halftime show, with some observers speculating that the sheer popularity of the singer would overcome any issues that would arise from having a distinctly non-energetic halftime show. 

“Insiders add that 2013 performer Bruno Mars will also be involved in the show in some capacity, as will other ‘friends of the group.’ Despite previous reports, Maroon 5 and Taylor Swift are not scheduled to take the stage at this time,” Us Weekly reported.

The Super Bowl halftime show has a long tradition of a surprise guest appearance, such as Missy Elliot in the Super Bowl XLIX halftime show. For the headliners, there is a strong financial incentive, as past performers at the halftime show have seen album sales skyrocket. Following Bruno Mars’ performance in the Super Bowl XLVIII halftime show, his album “Unorthodox Jukebox” sold 40,000 copies the week after the halftime show, compared to 15,000 copies the week before the Super Bowl.

Controversy arose in 2014 when reports leaked that the NFL was seeking financial compensation from the artists that performed in the halftime show. The Wall Street Journal reported that the NFL was testing potential audience members to see if they would be willing to pay to play, in the form of either a fee up front or a cut of concert revenue in the months following the Super Bowl.

Though these reports were officially denied by the NFL, the Wall Street Journal reported that the requests for financial compensation were met with a “chilly” response by all of the potential performers.

Coldplay was first formed in 1996 by then-college students Chris Martin and Johnny Buckland, who would go on to be the lead vocalist and lead guitarist respectively. The group is generally known for being a rock band that achieved fame in the early 2000s, particularly with their 2002 album “A Rush of Blood to the Head,” which won New Music Express’ Album of the Year award. 

The announcement comes ahead of the release of the group’s seventh album, “A Head Full of Dreams,” which was released the morning of Dec. 4. More information about the set list and other performers who may join Coldplay on stage will become available as we get closer to the performance on Feb. 7.


Edward Pankowski is life editor for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at edward.pankowski@uconn.edu.