INGLEWOOD – It’s said that many people watch the Super Bowl solely for the halftime show, and a trio of Southland musical icons — Dr. Dre, Kendrick Lamar and Snoop Dogg — will be rocking SoFi Stadium Sunday, along with Eminem and Mary J. Blige.
“The opportunity to perform at the Super Bowl Halftime show, and to do it in my own backyard, will be one of the biggest thrills of my career,” Dr. Dre said in a statement last year when the lineup was announced. “I’m grateful to Jay-Z, Roc Nation, the NFL and Pepsi as well as Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar for joining me in what will be an unforgettable cultural moment.”
Dr. Dre — real name Andre Young — and Lamar are both Compton natives, while Snoop Dogg hails from Long Beach.
The five artists performing during the halftime show have combined for 43 Grammy awards and have created 22 No. 1 Billboard albums.
Jay-Z, founder of the Roc Nation production company putting on the show, described the anticipated performance as “history in the making.”
During a pre-Super Bowl news conference last week, Dre said the superstar lineup will make a statement that hip-hop belongs on the NFL’s biggest stage.
“This should have happened a long time ago as far as hip-hop,” Dre said. “Hip-hop is the biggest genre of music on the planet right now. So it’s crazy that it took all of this and all of this time for us to be recognized. So I think we’re going to go on and do a fantastic show and we’re going to do it so big that they can’t deny us anymore in the future.”
Snoop Dogg said performing at the Super Bowl is an experience in itself, but to do it in Inglewood makes it more memorable.
“I had people that I know that worked on the stadium that the city of Inglewood gave opportunities to people to actually be part of creating the stadium,” he said. “So knowing that the stadium was built and the Super Bowl is going to be here, and that we have an opportunity to perform on stage, this is a blessing.
“Because the Super Bowl is the biggest sporting event in the world and hip-hop is the biggest form of music in the world. So for us to have the opportunity to bring the two worlds together — we’ve got the queen of R&B, we’ve got the king of hip-hop, we’ve got just all of his proteges in the place. This is what it’s about.”
The show will cap an eventful week for Snoop Dogg, who announced Wednesday that he has acquired Death Row Records, the label on which he rose to fame and which was co-founded by Dr. Dre.
But before the Super Bowl even begins, another pair of music stars will be performing at SoFi.
Country music artist Mickey Guyton will sing the national anthem, while eclectic R&B songstress Jhené Aiko will sing “America the Beautiful.”
Guyton recently earned a Grammy nomination for best country album for her debut release, “Remember Her Name,” the first for a Black artist, plus nominations for best country song and best country solo performance.
“Look at God. I am shook, I am grateful, I am praise dancing… So excited to be singing the national anthem at #SBLVI on February 13th!” she tweeted after her performance was announced.
Aiko’s 2020 album “Chilombo” earned a Grammy nomination for album of the year. The singer/songwriter is known for experimenting with a range of styles — from psychedelic to classic R&B to incorporating sound healing and the use of sound bowls in her music — and has collaborated with Drake, Childish Gambino, John Legend, Summer Walker, Big Sean, Saweetie and others.
Actress Sandra Mae Frank will perform the national anthem and “America the Beautiful” in sign language on behalf of the National Association of the Deaf.
Pregame festivities will also include the contemporary gospel duo Mary Mary, accompanied by the LA Philharmonic’s YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles), performing “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” conducted by Thomas Wilkins, principal conductor of the LA Phil’s Hollywood Bowl Orchestra.
In honor of the Air Force’s 75th anniversary year, the service will conduct a first-of-its-kind flyover over SoFi Stadium during the national anthem. The Air Force Heritage Flight will be a formation of a P-51 Mustang, A- 10C Thunderbolt II, F-16 Fighting Falcon, F-22 Raptor, and a F-35A Lightning II.
DJ and producer Zedd will act as the official pregame DJ during player warmups.