Shania To Front Super Bowl Halftime Show
Thu Jan 23, 7:32 PM ET
By Steve Keating
SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - The halftime entertainment for Super Bowl I was handled by the University of Michigan and Arizona marching bands and cost the NFL almost nothing.
Thirty-six Super Bowls later, this year's halftime show will require a budget in the millions, it's own title sponsor, an Emmy Award-winning producer, a production crew that numbers in the hundreds and some of the record industry's hottest acts.
Sultry Grammy-winning singer and country diva, Shania Twain, will front Sunday's extravaganza between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders.
The Canadian will add her name to a long list of Super Bowl halftime alumni that includes Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey, Backstreet Boys (news - web sites), Cher, the Beach Boys, Billy Joel, Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney and U2.
Over the years, former-presidents, astronauts, Olympic figure skaters and even OJ Simpson have played varying roles in Super Bowl halftime and pregame shows.
"We are connecting the music world with the world of sport," declared producer Joel Gallen.
As the Super Bowl has grown in stature, so have the halftime shows -- in many cases rivaling the game itself for the spotlight.
A media conference Thursday with this year's headliners attracted over 40 television crews, or about four times as many as those who attended the NFL's rookie of year announcement one day earlier.
In an adjoining room, a press briefing jointly held by Milt Ahlerich, NFL vice-president for security, and the San Diego police chief could attract only 15 reporters.
Twain will perform two songs and producers have assured that the singer would not lip synch her hits as she did last November during her performance at the Grey Cup -- Canada's version of the Super Bowl.
The Canadian diva will certainly have a tough act to follow when she steps on stage in front of a worldwide television audience that is expected to exceed 800 million.
International superstars Paul McCartney and U2 appeared at last year's halftime show to offer their support to the American public at the first Super Bowl to be staged after the September 11 attacks in 2001.
Yahoo News January 23, 2003