Jay Z appoints first Black executive producer of Super Bowl halftime show

The hip-hop icon will collaborate on the musical event as part of the NFL deal he inked in August 2019. 

Gety (Getty Images)

Jay-Z has tapped veteran live-event producer Jesse Collins to EP The Pepsi Super Bowl LV Halftime Show next year.

The Emmy-nominated producer will make history as the show’s first-ever Black executive producer.

Collins will join forces with award-winning director Hamish Hamilton for the halftime show of the biggest sporting game of the year, set to take place Feb. 7 in Tampa, Florida, per The Hollywood Reporter. 

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“Jesse Collins is innovative, creative and one of the only executive producers that speak fluent ‘artist vision.’ He‘s a true artist,” said Jay-Z in a statement. “Jesse’s insight and understanding create both extraordinary shows and true cultural moments. After working with Jesse for so many years, I look forward to all there is to come.”

2016 Soul Train Music Awards - Red Carpet
(L-R) BET President of Programming Stephen Hill; BET SVP of Music, News, and Specials Connie Orlando; producer Jesse Collins; and BET Networks President of Media Sales Louis Carr attend the 2016 Soul Train Music Awards at the Orleans Arena on November 6, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Bryan Steffy/Getty Images for BET)

As theGRIO previously reported, through his Roc Nation entertainment company, the hip-hop icon will co-produce the Super Bowl Halftime show as part of the NFL deal he inked in August 2019. 

“As part of the agreement, Roc Nation will advise on the selection of artists for major NFL performances like the Super Bowl. A major component of the partnership will be to nurture and strengthen community through football and music, including through the NFL’s Inspire Change initiative,” according to the press release

Said Jay Z of his NFL partnership, “With its global reach, the National Football League has the platform and opportunity to inspire change across the country,” he explained. “Roc Nation has shown that entertainment and enacting change are not mutually exclusive ideas — instead, we unify them. This partnership is an opportunity to strengthen the fabric of communities across America.”

Collins, founder and CEO of Jesse Collins Entertainment, called it “an honor to be a part of such an iconic show at such an important time in our history.”

Brian Rolapp, chief media and business officer at the NFL, added:  “We look forward to our fans experiencing a memorable performance as part of the culmination of our 101st season.”

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Jay Z previously caught heat for booking Jennifer Lopez and Shakira to headline the 2020 Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.

Rap Legend Luther Campbell, also known as Uncle Luke, shared his thoughts in a Miami New Times op-ed post. He accused Jay Z and the NFL of “disrespecting” Miami’s music industry by failing to hire Miami-based acts on their home turf.

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