As Lady Gaga prepares to take America’s biggest stage at the National Football League (NFL) Super Bowl halftime show on Sunday, much of country is speculating whether the outspoken singer will grab the opportunity to speak out on women’s rights, immigration or U.S. President Donald Trump.
In the past, Gaga’s attention-getting performances have ranged from dressing in raw meat to taking sexual assault victims to the Academy Awards. Many viewers are well aware of that history and will watch keenly on Sunday, when Gaga headlines a 15-minute set during the NFL championship game between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons in Houston.
“People will take note of the lyrics and the political climate and come to their own conclusions,” said Nolan Feeney, staff writer at Entertainment Weekly.
When it comes to the Super Bowl’s 100 million-plus television audience, the 30-year-old singer may find that the safest way to make a political statement could be following in the footsteps of Beyonce, who let her music do the talking at last year’s Super Bowl.
Beyonce sang “Formation,” an anthem supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, accompanied by dancers dressed in homage to the Black Panthers Party of the 1960s and 70s.
Her powerful performance drew widespread praise, along with some criticism from people who perceived the song as anti-police. But their call to boycott Beyonce’s music fizzled out within weeks and her album became one of the year’s best sellers.
Both Gaga and the NFL have kept a tight lid on any details about her performance, which follows her drama-free singing of the U.S. national anthem at the 2016 Super Bowl.