After last year’s lackluster performance from Justin Timberlake, it was announced on Wednesday that it looks like Maroon 5 will be the halftime performer for the 2019 Super Bowl. Of course, the band would be remiss to perform some classics from their debut album, Songs About Jane, and they’ve had plenty of No. 1 radio hits since that album’s 2002 release to play onstage in the middle of the big football game, but Maroon 5 has also consistently nabbed some hot collaborators to feature on their records. So let’s play the speculation game and guess which guest features might help liven up the stage at Super Bowl LIII.
Could it be…Cardi B?
Her guest verse on Maroon 5’s 2018 single “Girls Like You” does significantly improve Cardi B’s chances of attending the 2019 Super Bowl, even if the video was one long circular motion-control shot that never actually placed the rapper and Adam Levine (or any of the other famous actresses who had cameos) in the same room. She might be busy tending to her baby Kulture or working on her own music, but if the rapper gets the chance to hop onstage with Adam Levine to finally be in the same room at the same time, she might take it. Plus, the Super Bowl takes place in Atlanta next year, so Cardi and Offset probably already have plans to attend, anyway.
Could it be…Rihanna? (Probably not.)
Rihanna and Maroon 5 collaborated on the 2008 single “If I Never See Your Face Again,” from the band’s second studio album, It Won’t Be Soon Before Long. This song was an absolute radio jam a whole decade ago (when Rihanna was still in a brunette pixie phase), but the chances of Rihanna leaving a business-strategy meeting for the next Fenty drop or an album-recording session in Barbados for a two-minute guest spot at the Super Bowl? Highly unlikely.
Could it be…Christina Aguilera?
It’s a crime that Christina Aguilera never got to perform solo at the Super Bowl Halftime show (though she did perform alongside Phil Collins, Enrique Iglesias, and Toni Braxton in 2000), but what better chance could there be to erase the nation’s collective memory of her 2016 “National Anthem” gaffe at the 2011 Super Bowl than by hitting that whistle register and performing “Moves Like Jagger” on that stage alongside her Voice castmate and totally killing it?
Could it be…Gwen Stefani?
Maroon 5 included Gwen Stefani on the Sia-penned ballad “My Heart Is Open” back in 2014, but we never actually got a music video to go along with the song. Technically, one could say that every episode of The Voice gives us what we need in terms of hitting the Levine-Stefani performance quota, but it would be such a treat to finally see Gwen Stefani onstage at the Super Bowl. If a whiny duet with Adam Levine is the reason, then so be it.
Could it be…Wiz Khalifa?
Remember the summer of 2012, when you couldn’t go an hour without hearing “Payphone” blasting from some audio source (car radios, supermarkets, shopping malls) in the distance? What a time. Wiz Khalifa did technically make a Super Bowl anthem back in 2011 (“Black & Yellow,” if you need a refresher) when the Pittsburgh Steelers made it to the big game, so he might jump at the chance to spit a verse onstage next year with Maroon 5, depending on which team makes it to the final round.
Could it be…SZA? (Nah.)
In August 2017, Maroon 5 partnered up with SZA on the funky upbeat pop single “What Lovers Do” on the band’s sixth studio album, Red Pill Blues. The song was a Top 40–friendly hit but a clear departure from the R&B sad-girl siren songs of SZA’s debut album, Ctrl, which came out earlier that same year. Even though her potentially damaged vocal cord situation is now under control, SZA doesn’t exactly seem like the Super Bowl–loving type, so don’t hold your breath for an appearance.
Could it be…Kendrick Lamar?
Kendrick Lamar may be one of the most revered contemporary rappers, but he occasionally takes on features that seemingly make no sense with regard to the ethos of his persona, and Maroon 5’s “Don’t Wanna Know” is one of them (see Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” remix for another example). But his halftime performance at the College Football Playoff National Championship in 2018 was so electrifying that he has proven his presence is long overdue at the Super Bowl Halftime Show, and a performance from the rapper could be the perfect political statement to be made during the big NFL spectacle in 2019.