Lady Gaga Shows Her Personal Side Ahead of Super Bowl Performance
By Sydney Fedora
HOUSTON — Stefani Germanotta, better known as Lady Gaga, is a six-time Grammy award-winning musician, an artist and most notably a wild card.
On Thursday, about 1,000 journalists waited in a ballroom in the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston for Gaga to talk about her upcoming halftime performance at Super Bowl LI.
She said little about that. But she revealed much about herself in other ways.
Gaga stepped onto the stage in a navy blue vintage-style athletic jacket and a floor-length skirt that was half red, half blue. A high slit revealed knee-high, high-heeled boots in the same pattern.
She posed for photos with a football, then threw it off stage to her father. She dodged most questions about specifics of the show.
“I don’t want to ruin the surprise,” she said.
Gaga spoke often about her family. She said they are her support system, noting her parents, sitting in the front row of the 30-year-old singer’s press conference.
She told the story behind a recent Instagram post that showed her and her mother doing cartwheels in the end zone at NRG Stadium. It was the first time the singer had stepped on the field. She described it as a “special mother-daughter moment.”
In an exchange with former NFL quarterback Terry Bradshaw, Gaga mentioned her grandmother, a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the team Bradshaw led for 14 seasons. She persuaded Bradshaw to wish her grandmother a happy birthday, to which he joked, “That’s 50 bucks you owe me.”
She also shared childhood memories of watching Super Bowl halftime shows with her family in their New York home. Michael Jackson’s performance in 1993 especially stood out as one of her favorites. Wild cards love their wild cards.
Olympic gymnast Simone Biles led Gaga into talking about the athleticism in the upcoming halftime show on Sunday. ,Gaga revealed that she found most of her inspiration for the planned performance from the game of football.
“I thought it was important for us to consider high adrenaline,” she said. “When you’re watching football, you’re watching guys crash into each other. You’re watching some real strategizing happening. It’s a pretty intense situation, and I didn’t want the halftime show to take a dip.”
She took a moment to tell Biles that she admires the work the gymnast does with foster children.
Gaga spoke about the power of music, about the love she has for her fans and about her friend Tony Bennett, the legendary musician with whom she has made albums and who will introduce her Sunday via video. She did so with a soft voice and genuine engagement.
Gaga will be the first artist to appear in back-to-back Super Bowl performances. Last year, she wore a red sequined pantsuit as she sang the national anthem to the crowd at Super Bowl 50 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.
Her halftime gig was announced last Sept. 29, and after months of preparation, the singer said she is ready to take the stage and hopes the show will bring everyone together, even the wild cards of the world.