Imagine sitting in front of your flat screen 60 inch with your favorite foods, family and friends cheering for your favorite team. Or visualize yourself sitting elbow to elbow next to extreme dressed and noisy fans. The smell of popcorn and hotdogs flies around your nose every 20 seconds as a cool crisp breeze fans your hair. It's a beautiful Sunday. Either Jim Nantz or Joe Buck trumpets the beginning of the next phase of the game as you declare with them, Lets get ready for the Super Bowl Halftime Show.
The roar of a once hyped crowd reduces to a faint whisper. All the lights in the stadium shuts off. A multi-colored laser show commands your attention and guide your eyes to a row of marching people dressed in solid gold robes holding white flags. A stage lights up. Music sneaks into your ears from the distance. The jumbotrons reveal the entertainer for the evening. A renowned gospel artist grabs the Mic and belts out, "Yawl ready to have church?" Praise and Worship fills the air and all the tuned in networks.
Gospel music plus the Super Bowl, will that ever happen? With 111.3 million viewers and growing, the stage for entertainment during this massively paraded and advertised event is only extended to pretty much anyone and to all genres of music - all except gospel. Dating back from January 15, 1967, which is known as the SUPER BOWL HALFTIME FIRST EVENT DATE, to the most recent halftime show, there has never been a gospel recording artist, minister, pastor, prophet, evangelist, apostle or the like there of to grace the stages of one of the biggest annual events in our country. Why not?
We're talking fifty-two years of unforgettable musical performances, engaging concerts and quintessential collaborations on a platform for the world. From college bands, the military, actors and actresses, to Tributes, Festivals, Salutes to Motown 60th, and the 40th anniversary of the Peanuts are among the historical list of Halftime performers, but no mention of any gospel acts. I'm not bashing halftime show organizers or the fact that there are no gospel artists on the list of past performers. I'm bringing focus and attention to the point of inclusivity.
Why has gospel music been treated like its not a worthy or appropriate contender for the entertainment portion of the Super Bowl Halftime Show? Who made this decision to segregate gospel as a whole from other musical genres during the Halftime Show? If gospel music is not considered to be an issue for this annual event, why haven't the world seen one performance by names like: The Winans, The Williams Brothers, Take 6, The Clark Sisters, Tye Tribbett, Commissioned, The Imperials, Mississippi Mass Choir, Kirk Franklin, Yolanda Adams, Deitrick Haddon, Hezekiah Walker, Clint Brown, Tasha Cobbs, and Mary Mary to name a few?
If those names are fleeting to the organizers of the Halftime show, maybe they are in search of something that pops like other gospel acts such as: Lacrae, Andy Mineo, Tedashaii, Trip Lee, KB, Da T.R.U.T.H., DC Talk, or Gospel Gangstaz. Either way, wether gospel contemporary or gospel rap, none of the afore mentioned have had the opportunity as their fellow sisters and brothers in the musical industry in reference to the Super Bowl Halftime Show.
Exactly what are the rules, stipulations and requirements for gospel artists and their music to become an eligible consideration and a reality for the entertainment portion of the Super Bowl Halftime Show? Is that information something that has ever been extended to gospel artist?
The story of the Halftime show should be the story of the organizers quest to engage audiences in all aspects of their lives; spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. I have met the stage at the Halftime Show with having two of these three items aroused or stimulated but my spirit would be left ignored, unfed, and at times agitated.
I want to go on record and state that, yes - yes I have enjoyed the entertainment portion of each Super Bowl Halftime Show I've watched thus far. With performances such as: 1993 "Heal the World" featuring Michael Jackson and 3,500 local children, Prince and The Florida A&M Marching Band, The Timberlake/Jackson controversy, 2005 Paul McCartney delivering several of The Beatles hits at the Altel Stadium of my home town in Jacksonville, Florida, I have nothing short of wonderful memories from these past musical and accomplished acts.
I've sang along with, I've cried, I've danced, I've lit candles, I've waved my hands to the tunes of familiar songs performed during the Halftime Show many of times. My emotions were invoked on multiple levels. But I cannot escape the part of me that has always desired to see the moment when an anointed gospel talent use the Halftime Show stage for the first time in history to minister. What a day of rejoicing and a movement that will be.
I'd like to end this article with a song recommendation for readers of all types.
The Winans - Its Time
I prophesy that we will all live in the day when we will witness performances and behold the ministry's of gifted, qualified, and fervent gospel artists during the Super Bowl Halftime Show.
Article Written By: Lavaughn T. Simmons
Published: February 4, 2019 - Sunday
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