UPDATED: Travis Scott today announced that in partnership with the National Football League, he will make a $500,000 donation to the non-profit organization Dream Corps, among “other initiatives that he will work with the League on.” The move is clearly designed to counter criticism over his appearance at the Super Bowl halftime show with Maroon 5 — which was finally confirmed, after weeks of speculation, precisely 30 minutes after Scott announced the donation on Sunday. Sources tell Variety that Black Lives Matter and other nonprofits may be receiving donations as well, although reps for those organizations either said they had not heard from Scott's team or did not respond to requests for comment.
"I know being an artist that it’s in my power to inspire. “I back anyone who takes a stand for what they believe in," he said. Scott nodded to this situation in a statement announcing the donation. I am proud to support Dream Corps and the work they do that will hopefully inspire and promote change." So before confirming the Super Bowl Halftime performance, I made sure to partner with the NFL on this important donation.
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Sources tell Variety that Maroon 5 spent weeks trying to confirm an act of color to perform with them. Both acts, particularly Scott, have come under fierce criticism in recent weeks because performing during the game — which is the biggest global stage for a musician, with an estimated 100 million viewers —is effectively an endorsement of the NFL’s treatment of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The league’s stance toward the athlete, who has not played professionally since his controversial stance to “take a knee” during the National Anthem before games, has polarized audiences and significantly complicated this year’s halftime performance, among many other issues.
Our shared platform helps leaders create synergies, leapfrog obstacles and maximize impact. Every day, we are reshaping "what’s possible" in the field of social justice.” Dream Corps, founded by founded by CNN commentator Van Jones in 2014, has a broadly defined mission “to help cutting-edge initiatives grow big enough to impact millions of lives. Our slogan is ‘21st-century jobs, not jails.’ We support economic, environmental and criminal justice innovators – all under one roof.

Today's announcement follows months of controversy concerning the performance. Critics ranging from celebrities like Amy Schumer to organizations like the NAACP have taken issue with the halftime booking — partially because the big game is taking place in Atlanta, the capital of black music in the U.S., but largely because of the NFL’s treatment of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has been essentially drummed out of the league for kneeling during the National Anthem (a move many feel is based in racism) — and advocated for musicians to turn down the gig.
Other acts performing in town during the days leading up to the game include Cardi, Post Malone and Bruno Mars. In addition, local artists like Ludacris and Lil Jon will feature prominently at the Bud Light shows held on the weekend of the game.” />
It stands to reason that the announcement comes late in the football season schedule — Justin Timberlake, who performed at the 2018 Super Bowl, was announced on the preceding Oct. Performing at the Super Bowl now amounts to an endorsement of the NFL’s policies, and sources tell Variety that multiple artists of color — including Cardi B (who is featured on Maroon 5’s recent hit “Girls Like You”), Outkast, Mary J. 29 — because of negotiations dragging out. (Worth noting: the Pepsi-sponsored halftime performance is an unpaid gig.) 23; Lady Gaga, the 2017 performer, was announced on the preceding Sept. Blige, Usher and Nicki Minaj — were considered or approached to perform with Maroon 5.
UPDATED: It’s official: As Variety reported back in September, Maroon 5 will headline the Super Bowl halftime show in Atlanta on Feb. 3, and the group will be joined by rapper Travis Scott and former Outkast member Big Boi.
Sources recently told Variety that Big Boi's partner in Outkast, Andre 3000, was also in talks to perform — and an Outkast reunion, which last happened when the duo toured together in 2014, would have been a coup — but apparently declined. Maroon 5 now has two artists of color performing with them at the Super Bowl — one of them, Big Boi, an Atlanta native, although a large number of initial commenters on social media seemed unaware of who he is.
Scott recently performed on a song with Migos rapper Quavo called “Huncho Jack” that references Kaepernick: “Take a knee like the ‘Niners (Kaepernick) /Join the team, don’t divide us (join them),” the line goes.
Jay-Z, Meek Mill and the Reverend Al Sharpton were among the people who sources or reports said criticized or tried to convince Scott to decline the performance. But he, Maroon 5 and Big Boi are all affiliated with the Irving Azoff-helmed Full Stop Management, which apparently carried the day. While the group and the NFL were said to be seeking an Atlanta-based act and had spoken with the booming label and management company Quality Control, which is based in the city and also consults Cardi B, about assisting with the effort, the Texas-born Scott, whose “Astroworld” is one of the top albums of the year, is probably considered a sufficient coup.
Precisely 30 minutes before the official Super Bowl announcement was made, Scott issued a statement saying that in partnership with the NFL, he will donate $500,000 to Dream Corps, a nonprofit founded by CNN commentator Van Jones that, according to its mission statement, supports "economic, environmental and criminal justice innovators." Scott nodded to the criticism he has received in a statement announcing the donation. I am proud to support Dream Corps and the work they do that will hopefully inspire and promote change.” “I know being an artist that it’s in my power to inspire. So before confirming the Super Bowl Halftime performance, I made sure to partner with the NFL on this important donation. “I back anyone who takes a stand for what they believe in,” he said.