Lady Gaga radically reinvented herself when she released her rock- and country-inspired fifth album, Joanne, in the fall. Now, as she prepares to headline the Super Bowl LI halftime show on Feb. 5, she has a choice: Does she lean on the newer songs, or stick mostly to beloved dance-pop classics like “Poker Face”?
When EW sat down with the singer not long after the Super Bowl announcement, she wasn’t sure. On one hand, her new sound might better suit the tastes of traditional football audiences. “Maybe the dads will really love the music … I think that these songs could reach a lot of people,” she said. “The NFL heard the record before it came out. They gave me that slot, really, off my album.”
But on the other hand, fans do love the hits. (And from official behind-the-scenes footage, we know her dancers are studying up on the “Bad Romance” choreography.) “I would be happy to play new music during the Super Bowl, of course,” she said, “but for me I just always want the show to be great.” Translation? Her roughly five-song set will have a little bit of everything. Well, almost everything: Despite a report that the NFL asked the outspoken Hillary Clinton supporter to avoid addressing Donald Trump during her show — a report the NFL has denied — Gaga is “not even interested [in that],” an insider says. “It was never even a conversation.” As for another rumor — that Gaga wants to sing from the roof of Houston’s NRG Stadium, à la her rooftop set from the fall’s dive-bar tour — the insider would only confirm plans for “some sort of stunt.” You’ll have to tune in to see if Gaga will take her act to the literal edge of glory.