In one year, Super Bowl LII will kick off at U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis. It may be too early to predict which two teams will be playing in the big game, but it’s not too early to speculate on who will be the featured halftime entertainer. Here are some big names who haven’t done the Super Bowl gig — and the odds that they’ll land the coveted assignment.
Adele — Probably No. 1 on the NFL’s wish list, she’s an international superstar who would no doubt help TV ratings around the world. However, last summer she said that she’s not the singer to do the Super Bowl. “That show is not about music,” Adele said. “I can’t dance or anything like that.” Odds: 100-1.
Bob Dylan — One of popular music’s all-time greats may be worthy of the Nobel Prize for literature, but his croaky voice, statue-like stage moves and aversion to literally being in a spotlight don’t work in his favor. Even though it would be a nice nod to his home state, he’s more likely to appear in a Super Bowl commercial than the halftime show. Odds: 1 million-1.
Garth Brooks — Country music has been featured only once at the Super Bowl, back in 1994. The Big G has the international appeal, and if the NFL teamed him with Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan and Brad Paisley, this could be the ticket. If not, maybe Underwood, who sings the NFL’s Sunday night football theme song, might get the call for the national anthem. Odds: 25-1.
Kanye West — He has a Super Bowl-size ego — and the creativity to match. But his songs are far from household, and he’s too unpredictable on live TV, especially when someone is giving out trophies. Odds: 1,000-1.
Elton John and Billy Joel — These Rock and Roll Hall of Fame piano men and frequent touring partners certainly have the hits, panache and gravitas to please baby boomers, but would millennial viewers simply skip this halftime oldies fest? Odds: 20-1.
Neil Diamond — He may be a kingpin of catchy songs that have become karaoke classics, but doesn’t “Sweet Caroline” belong to baseball? Odds: 150-1.
Maroon 5/Blake Shelton — NBC is broadcasting next year’s Super Bowl, and the network sure loves Shelton and Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine from its hit talent show “The Voice.” But the rest of the world doesn’t know Shelton unless they follow his girlfriend Gwen Stefani’s life in the tabloids. Maroon 5, though, has done well in Europe and Australia. Odds: 75-1.
Rihanna — She’s got the contemporary hits as well as the flash and the sex appeal to attract older generations who don’t know her songs. But is she too inconsistent to be reliable? Odds: 100-1.
Fleetwood Mac — With Christine McVie back on board, the blockbuster band has allure, especially with Lindsey Buckingham’s guitar fireworks and Stevie Nicks’ witchy woman bit finding a new audience with “Twilight” lovers. But long-in-the-tooth bands don’t always work at the Super Bowl. Remember The Who in 2010? Odds: 100-1.
Justin Timberlake — Yes, he was part of Janet Jackson’s Nipplegate in 2004. But NFL commish Roger Goodell often gives scofflaws a second chance. J.T. is a true song-and-dance man, a dynamic, world-class performer. Odds: 35-1.
Drake — He may be a god in Canada and popular with young audiences in the States, but the old guard of the NFL isn’t going to warm to hip-hop, not even one as easy-listening as Mr. “Hotline Bling.” Odds: 1,000-1.
Justin Bieber — Nope. Odds: 10,000-1.
Pearl Jam — They’re a top-notch live band, and Eddie Vedder is a compelling performer, but do their 1990s hits such as “Even Flow” and “Daughter” have mass appeal? Odds: 100-1.
Guns N’ Roses — After years of feuding, Axl Rose and Slash have reunited to bring “Welcome to the Jungle” to stadiums near you. But Axl is never on time, and the Super Bowl halftime is all about precision without a minute to spare. Odds: 300-1.
Bon Jovi — The band has such enduring classics as “Livin’ on a Prayer” and “You Give Love a Bad Name” that still enable these Jersey boys to fill stadiums and arenas around the world. And leader Jon Bon Jovi is well connected with many NFL owners; in fact, rumors persist that he wants to buy a team. Is the Super Bowl halftime his next big step in the No Fun League? Odds: 15-1.
Journey — “The Sopranos” may have killed off a lot of people, but the beloved HBO series resuscitated this 1980s rock band and its hit “Don’t Stop Believin’.” Moreover, with newish singer Arnel Pineda, the veteran San Francisco group has a newfound stage dynamism. To up the odds, Journey should welcome guitar god Carlos Santana with open arms, especially since two of the band’s co-founders were in an early version of Santana. Odds: 20-1.
Taylor Swift — She may not always sound great singing live on TV. But she has the right combination of star power, ambition, charisma, production instincts, catchy and familiar songs, multigenerational appeal and the “It” factor to be just what the commissioner ordered. Odds: 10-1.