Madonna and Cirque du Soleil to perform at Super Bowl
Queen of pop will be first female solo artist to play since Janet Jackson 'malfunction'
POP icon Madonna is to give the half-time concert at next year's Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis, making her the first female solo artist to get the honour since Janet Jackson suffered a famous "wardrobe malfunction" in 2004. The announcement was made on Sunday night by the NFL and NBC.
The half-time show at the annual American football season finale is the most watched musical event of the year. More than 162 million people in the US alone watched The Black Eyed Peas at this year's event, even though their performance was considered something of a let-down.
Super Bowl shows have become ever grander in recent years and the queen of pop is unlikely to buck that trend. She is reported to be collaborating with the Cirque du Soleil, the choreographer Jamie King and artists from Moment Factory, who design media installations. "Expect a spectacle, people," says E! Online.
The choice of Madonna continues a trend for industry veterans to perform at the show. The Who, Bruce Springsteen, Prince and The Rolling Stones have all played at the Super Bowl in recent years. One of the most memorable performance of the last decade came in 2004 when Janet Jackson was among the artists on stage, and the show ended with her breast exposed after a dance move with Justin Timberlake went awry.
Since then the only high profile female artist to have braved the stage has been Fergie of The Black Eyed Peas. The other six performances have all been fronted by men.
The timing could be convenient for Madonna. Her film W.E., about Wallis Simpson and Edward VIII, is released in America on February 3, two days before the Super Bowl. Panned by critics at the Venice Film Festival, the movie could do with all the help it can get. She is also working on a new album, due out early in the New Year.