Known mainly for mellow hits, British alt-rockers Coldplay amped up
the energy, staging "Viva La Vida" on a colorfully illuminated floor
surrounded by dancing violinists.
After Coldplay crowd-pleasers "Paradise" and "Adventure of a
Lifetime," a black-leather-clad Mars, who headlined the halftime
show in 2014, bounced through "Uptown Funk!," with producer Mark
Ronson on DJ decks on stage.
But all eyes were on Beyonce, who gyrated her way through her latest
single "Formation" - a power anthem to race and feminism that made a
surprise debut on Saturday.
The music video features powerful images of a flooded New Orleans in
the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It also depicts graffiti that
reads "stop shooting us," suggestive of the Black Lives Matter
movement, which emerged in the wake of killings of unarmed black
men, several at the hands of police.
Prior to the game, some fans speculated on social media that Beyonce
would deliver a politically charged performance.
But, partnered with Mars on the football field, the tone of the
performance was lighter than the video. They subtly conveyed the
themes of "Formation" with female dancers dressed in black shorts,
crop tops and berets, in what was perceived as an homage to the
black nationalist Black Panther Party movement of the 1960s and 70s.
Cedric Betts of Millbrae, California, who saw the performance live
at the game, said Beyonce's message was clear. "As black people we
have to embrace these moments because it's not often we get them,"
An ad immediately following the show announced Beyonce's "Formation"
world tour beginning in April, her first major tour in three years.
[to top of second column]
Before wrapping up one of the signature moments of America's biggest
sporting event, Beyonce and Mars joined Coldplay frontman Chris
Martin for a quick re-visit to "Uptown Funk!," ending on Coldplay's
uplifting ballad "Fix You." Images honored past halftime performers
including Stevie Wonder, Black Eyed Peas and the late Michael
Jackson, whose military-style wardrobe inspired Beyonce's costume
Even for music's biggest stars, the Super Bowl halftime show is the
largest stage of their careers, drawing more than 100 million
viewers to the live event and lighting up social media.
This year's halftime show garnered a total of 3.9 million tweets.
Beyonce dominated the conversation on social media during the
halftime performance, with 1.3 million tweets about the singer
according to figures from Twitter. Coldplay followed with 774,000
tweets, while Mars garnered 341,000 tweets. The most-tweeted song
Last year, Katy Perry garnered 3 million tweets during her halftime
All three acts of this year's performers quickly became top trends
on Twitter, with sentiments towards Coldplay's halftime show
measuring overall positive, according to social media analytics firm
Zoomph, with twice as many positive tweets than negative tweets.
(Additional reporting by Melissa Fares and Anjali Athavaley; Writing
by Piya Sinha-Roy,; Editing by Sara Catania and Mary Milliken)
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