At the Super Bowl Halftime Show, Lady Gaga Stays Above the Fray
There was plenty of expectation surrounding Lady Gaga’s halftime show at the 2017 Super Bowl in Houston, Texas. Amid nationwide protests against President Trump’s immigration ban and a number of surprisingly political Super Bowl ads, many were wondering whether the famously outspoken artist would sneak in a statement during her performance. But instead the singer decided to open her show—perched atop the NRG Stadium, no less—with a message of unity, beginning her performance by singing Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land.” As blue and red stars covered the sky, Gaga looked straight into the camera and reminded the millions of people watching that we’re all “one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all,” after which she leapt down into an audience that included Vice President Mike Pence and onto the stage.
Joined by her tribe of dancers and little monsters alike, Gaga belted out a medley of her hit songs, including “Poker Face,” “Million Reasons,” “Bad Romance,” and “Born This Way—” the latter perhaps most importantly, considering its importance as a proud LGBTQ anthem and the presence of the notoriously socially conservative Pence. (The chorus: “No matter gay, straight, or bi/ Lesbian, transgendered life/ I’m on the right track baby I was born to survive/ No matter black, white or beige/ Chola or orient made/ I’m on the right track baby/ I was born to be brave.”) And while Gaga might not have made an overt political statement on Sunday night—among her cheerleaders on social media were none other than Marco Rubio and Ivanka Trump (who tweeted “Incredible performance by @ladygaga”)— her lyrics (and her reputation) speak for themselves.