Adam Levine is opening up to ET about what viewers can expect from Maroon 5’s Super Bowl halftime performance.
ET’s Kevin Frazier exclusively sat down with the 39-year-old singer on Thursday in Atlanta for the singer’s only interview before the big game, and he shared how the show will be different from the others that came before — starting with the presence of both Travis Scott and Outkast’s Big Boi. Levine talked about the significance of 26-year-old Scott joining the band onstage, who’s currently one of hip-hop’s biggest acts.
“So Travis … he is it right now. He is the one,” Levine says. “Like, this is a moment for him and we love what he does, obviously. We love what he represents because we love having a presence that this is the show that will have the biggest hip-hop presence that there has ever been on the show. I mean, I can’t look back and find that to be the case before. He’s it, he’s the man right now and he comes in hot.”
As for if Big Boi — who hails from Atlanta — will reunite with Andre 3000 for a surprise Outkast reunion, Levine remains tight-lipped.
“I cannot divulge the details on that level ’cause that will be spoiling it — we don’t want to do that — but Big Boi is my dude,” he shares. “Like, he’s been incredible. He is Atlanta. I mean, when I think about music and when I think about the Atlanta scene and I think of all these guys, like, he is just incredible. Even yesterday, walking out starting dress rehearsals, you know, the reaction … he embodies so much of where we are. Especially this year — it would be a nice thing every year to pay homage musically to your geographical location — it is a beautiful thing. He epitomizes music in this part of the country, so man, there is no more perfect well-suited human being.”
Previously, few hip-hop acts have graced the Super Bowl stage, from Nelly and Diddy in 2004 alongside Janet Jackson, Kid Rock and Justin Timberlake, to Nicki Minaj and M.I.A. with Madonna in 2012, and of course Missy Elliott’s surprise performance in 2015 with Katy Perry and Lenny Kravitz.
Levine also shared with ET how he’s been preparing for the high profile performance, both mentally and physically.
“I have watched every single halftime show there has been just to get inspiration and to see what people did, and I remember a lot of them, but to go back and revisit some of my favorite ones — especially the rock bands and the Prince one, which is legendary, and Tom Petty and the Stones and Springsteen, all the bands we feel we are most connected with musically — and it has been amazing,” he says. “And there is the other side of it, which is preparing yourself physically for the whole thing, too, so I have been treating it like I am about to play in the Super Bowl myself, working out a lot taking care of myself for the past 30 days.”
Levine says focus of the halftime show is the music, and not “spectacle.”
“The spectacle is the music, the way that we speak is through the music, and the way we emote and perform is through the music, so I think this has been the curation of the show and this whole process figuring out what we are going to do, how we are going to do it, that is all being centered around the music, ” he notes. “So, to me, you know, where there usually is a little more … dancers and bells and whistles, we just kind of wanted to bring it back to a time when it was a little more simple, where the show’s the highlight and the focus was the connection to the songs. To me, that is why we are still here … in 2019.”
The singer says it’s definitely been difficult and intense narrowing down which Maroon 5 songs to play considering the band’s 20 years in the business, but that he’s been at the forefront of decision-making.
“Man, I’ll tell you, we’ve had a lot of hits and we’ve been very lucky, but too many,” he jokes. “I was a humongous part of the process. I put the show together and the band, obviously, we’re always talking about it, and I’m always asking and they’re always giving me things and we’re always being a band — that process never stops. But I think bands quickly realize in order to survive you have to have a ring leader, gotta have a mayor sometimes — a dictator they say…. — but yeah, they trust me and I trust them, and so I’ve been at the helm of this thing and putting it together with the guests as well. It’s been a process.
And will their current smash hit, “Girls Like You,” make the cut?
“That video was really one of the most amazing projects I think I have ever been a part of in my life,” he notes about the star-studded music video featuring Ellen DeGeneres, Jennifer Lopez and more. “It was exciting, scary — it was all these different emotions when I think about the process. The song meant a lot to a lot of people, and I thought it was important to Maroon 5 to do something that you would think would be done more often, which is celebrate women. … I can’t promise that every single person will be there for the Super Bowl.”
“I think that having that song as a part of our repertoire is one of those great things,” he adds. “You always get to play that song that reminds women how powerful they are and makes everybody feel good at the same time. It’s really special and so that’s what the song means now, and it’s great to be playing — potentially be playing the song at the Super Bowl — because that’s what it does, that’s the feeling that it produces and so we’re very happy to have a song that means that to so many people, especially to women.”
The Super Bowl airs Feb. 3 starting at 6:30 p.m. ET on CBS.