Maroon 5's performance at the Super Bowl is under fire by critics and fans after an upset by Adam Levine.
On February 3, 2019, the pop-rock band Maroon 5 stepped onto the stage for the Super Bowl halftime show - and blew it.
The band took the spot almost any performer would give their eye teeth for, and failed to ignite their audience, but Adam Levine has since responded to critics on Instagram.
"We thank the universe for this historic opportunity to play on the world’s biggest stage. We thank our fans for making our dreams possible. And we thank our critics for always pushing us to do better. One Love."
To be fair, the band was caught between a rock and a hard place. Maroon 5 had been selected as a "crowd pleaser" after Rihanna and Pink had turned down the headlining spot.
Maroon 5 said "Yes" but then struggled to find guest artists to star on their show. Reportedly, artists Mary J. Blige, Usher, Lauryn Hill, and Nicki Minaj all turned down the band's invitation.
In a bizarre moment, cartoon characters from SpongeBob SquarePants appeared on giant video monitors during a light show
But why did the Super Bowl halftime show suddenly become undesirable? Artists are reacting to the NFL's ostracism of player Colin Kaepernick who refused to stand for the National Anthem as a protest against discrimination.
The powers-that-be believed that Maroon 5 was unlikely to do or say anything during the show to denote sympathy or solidarity with Kaepernick - and they were right. But the crowd was not pleased.
In response, Lavine thanked social media for the criticism, expressing the belief that criticism helps artists to perfect their work.
Levine started the show's lineup with "Harder to Breathe," followed by "Sicko Mode." In a bizarre moment, cartoon characters from SpongeBob SquarePants appeared on giant video monitors during a light show, and a gospel choir chimed in on "Girls Like You."
Guest star Big Boi belted out his hit "Kryptonite," before joining Levine on OutKast's "The Way You Move."
The big finale had Levine baring his chest, and dancing on stage to "Sugar," and Twitter immediately slashed at him by remembering the famous Janet Jackson bared nipple scandal at the 2004 Super Bowl alongside Justin Timberlake.
Maroon 5's performance at the 2019 Super Bowl may not have pleased music or football fans but Adam Levine wowed the crowds with one unexpected act.
The pop-rock leadman and TV show host first stripped off his jacket, then his tank top to bare all on stage. The 39-year-old singer showed off his ripped physique and his killer tattoos to the delight of his many adoring fans.
“Adam Levine shirtless has been the best part of this #SuperBowlLIII so far, hands down.”
Others were far from charmed and claimed to have preferred Sponge Bob's fleeting presence to seeing Levine's naked nipples.
“Wait. Adam Levine can go shirtless but y’all were trippin over ONE Janet Jackson titty? So Adam Levine can perform shirtless but Janet Jackson can’t? This is so very wrong haha. #PepsiHalftime.”
Several referred to Janet Jackson's iconic performance in 2004 when Justin Timberlake ripped her costume and bared one nipple - covered by a star-shaped cap.
It looks like Adam Levine's performance will be as memorable - and as historic - as Janet Jackson's.
In a related story, Adam Levine's wife, Behati Prinsloo, shares an intimate photo of her shirtless husband holding their baby.