Billboard executives Katie Atkinson and Keith Caulfield take their best guesses at the next Super Bowl Halftime performers, but one thing is for sure: it won’t be Ed Sheeran.
The podcast episode “If Taylor Swift & Ed Sheeran Won’t Play 2024 Super Bowl Halftime Show, Who Will?” explores exactly what the title asks, along with the hosts theorizing who would be a good pick. After Rihanna’s stand out performance last February, only the biggest names are expected for 2024, though some artists have already been crossed out. In a recent interview, Ed Sheeran revealed that he has no plans to headline the Super Bowl, calling himself a better guest than main event. “I’m not going to have dancers on stage, I’m not going to have fireworks on stage like The Weeknd. That’s not me,” he told Andy Cohen.
And though his friend and fellow superstar musician Taylor Swift would certainly bring him on as a guest, podcast hosts Katie Atkinson and Keith Caulfield find that performance just as unlikely. “I feel like it’s pretty safe to say that Taylor will one day perform at the Halftime show, it just feels like it’s probably not gonna be 2024,” Atkinson said. “And, to be fair, she’s doing a lot of performing right now.” Referencing Swift’s stand out success with the Eras Tour, she added, “That tour doesn't really need more promotion, she doesn’t really need the Super Bowl at this moment.”
The podcast then turns to finding out who could be a likely name, since artists as big as Rihanna are hard to come by. A Billboard fan poll suggested names like Ariana Grande, Drake, BTS and Harry Styles, while others like Usher and even Dolly Parton were suggested. “The two people I was already thinking about that are on that list are Drake, who seems like a very plausible, viable candidate, and Dolly Parton,” said Caulfield, with his co-host agreeing and adding that it “feels crazy” that Parton hasn’t performed at the Super Bowl before. The timing would line up extremely well for Parton too, as she is releasing her new collaboration-filled album, Rockstar.
As for the hosts, they proposed artists like Carrie Underwood, Guns N' Roses, Queen and even an *NSYNC reunion. Reports of the 90’s boy band reunion have been fueled by the latest animated movie, Trolls Band Together, which focuses primarily on a boy band dynamic. Referencing Justin Timberlake’s singing in the trailer, Katie Atkinson enthusiastically shared, “he recorded *NSYNC songs for a movie in 2023! I lost it!” Though Timberlake has performed multiple times in the Super Bowl as a solo act, he hasn’t been seen (or heard) with *NSYNC since 2013. “Imagine if *NYSNC reunited not only for the soundtrack, but also decided to reunite for the Super Bowl and a stadium tour?,” Caulfield proposed.
Though we don’t know anything for certain, you can form your own guesses by listening to the Pop Shop Podcast episode now, available on the free Audacy app!