Somewhere in the vast sprawl of New York City, Beyonce is preparing for the Super Bowl with the steely focus and unwavering dedication of a professional athlete. You see, the queen of pop, soul and several other genres has a lot riding on the high profile performance. A flawless display could set up GQ’s sexiest woman of the millennium for another record-breaking era and cement her status as a pop immortal. On the other hand, if something goes wrong — we’re looking at you, Janet Jackson! — it could derail the Bey juggernaut, at least momentarily.
With so much on the line, composing the perfect halftime setlist is critical. We know the Beyonce is going to reunite with Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams to belt out a medley of Destiny’s Child hits on February 3. But the rest of her set is a complete mystery. We’ve dusted off our crystal ball to create a theoretical list that showcases King B’s incredible talent and diversity. Be sure to let us know what you think about our selections below!
“Run The World (Girls)”
Beyonce’s Switch-produced, Major Lazer-sampling club banger divided fans on release. That said, we think a marching band could take the pounding drum beats to the next level, and it would definitely be a statement to begin the Super Bowl with a female empowerment anthem. Plus, we already know it’s the perfect soundtrack to any sporting event, as Glee proved in 2011.
Few commercial pop songs sound as majestic and ominous as King B’s 2008 bass-heavy excursion into electronica. “Sweet Dreams” was a gigantic worldwide hit a year later and would be perfect upbeat party fodder for raucous revellers. The track also lends itself to a theatrical presentation, which Mrs. Carter will, no doubt, capitalize on.
“Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)”
While not the most intuitive choice for a sporting event, there would be worldwide outrage if Bey overlooked her highest-selling single of the digital age. “Single Ladies” has made such an indelible mark on pop culture that we can already envision beer-swilling sports fans doing the “Single Ladies” dance with a giant rubber finger on one hand and a hot dog in the other.
“Crazy In Love”
This is where the legacy began, and you can bet your bottle of Midnight Heat that the proud mama will perform it — preferably with a giant brass section to make those iconic horns pop. Surely husband Jay-Z will make a cameo appearance to perform rap duties. This could be Super Bowl’s must-see moment.
If the Bey Hive could add any hit to the Pepsi spokeswoman’s Super Bowl setlist, it would be B’Day’s Darkchild-produced lead single. “Déjà Vu” is a massive fan favorite and just uptempo enough for the event. On the downside, if Beyonce dusts off this classic, Twitter is likely to melt.
“Work It Out”
Not the most obvious choice. Still, it seems fitting to take things back to the very beginning on such a historic occasion. “Work It Out” didn’t receive a lot of love when it was released in 2002, but the Austin Powers In Goldmember soundtrack contribution has aged incredibly well and allows Instagram addict Bey to bust her sexiest moves.
Over the years, “Diva” has become Beyonce’s unofficial theme song. The lyrics say it all: “You act like I just got up in it, been the number one diva in the game for a minute.” The Bangladesh-produced hip hop anthem is a live staple, as evidenced by Bey’s rendition at Jay-Z’s Barclays gig last year. “Diva” has got just the right amount of swag for such an iconic event.
Super Bowl performances are mostly upbeat and fun to suit the celebratory atmosphere. But it would be a crime if Beyonce didn’t get at least one opportunity to show off her glorious pipes with a ballad. It’s impossible to decide between “Halo” and “Irreplaceable,” so a mash-up might be just what the diva needs before reuniting with her old friends.
Destiny’s Child medley
There won’t be a dry eye in the stadium when the “Dance For You” songstress reunites with her favorite backing vocalists. This is a great opportunity for Kelly to gather some momentum for her own solo album, while longtime fans will just be praying that Michelle stays on her feet. The song choices are endless, but it’s hard to go past enduring classics like “Say My Name.” “Bills Bills Bills” and “Independent Women.” It will be interesting to see if they perform their smooth new song “Nuclear,” which would sound even more gorgeous bookended by equally laid back jams like “Free” and “Through With Love.”
According to rumors, Beyonce will unveil her new single at the end of the show. We don’t know the title — let alone details about the producer or even the genre — but we have no doubt it will a showstopper. King B isn’t playing around in this era.