Super Bowl 2017: Lady Gaga celebrates American diversity

Gaga was backed up by an upbeat, ethnically diverse cast of dancers, who at one point joined in a group hug. Photograph:( AFP )

AFP Houston, TX, United States Feb 06, 2017, 02.32 AM (IST)

Lady Gaga dazzled the Super Bowl with a high-tech, tightly choreographed celebration of American diversity and unity as she chose the power of show business over direct provocation. 

Performing at the halftime show of American football's title match -- generally, the most watched US television event of the year -- Lady Gaga turned the stadium in Houston into a sea of lights as she let hundreds of drones into the sky.

 

She kicked off her Super Bowl halftime set on Sunday by singing "God Bless America". (AFP)

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Before the performance, all eyes were on Lady Gaga to see whether she would use the platform to rip into President Donald Trump at a tense time in US politics. Even with Vice President Mike Pence in attendance, Gaga -- a sworn foe of Trump -- kept with the game's guidelines to steer clear of overt politics. 

 

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Instead, the singer, known for her audacious outfits, delivered what by her account could be a subtle message. 

She opened with "This Land is Your Land," the anthem by leftist folk legend Woody Guthrie that has come to be seen as an alternative national anthem for the United States. 

 

Lady Gaga performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl LI Halftime Show at Houston NRG Stadium. (AFP)

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Gaga was backed up by an upbeat, ethnically diverse cast of dancers, who at one point joined in a group hug. Dancers performed reverse somersaults and hoisted her onto a disco-like walkway. 

 

Gaga joined her diverse cadre of dancers for "Bad Romance". (AFP)

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"How are you doing tonight, Texas? How are you doing tonight, America?" Gaga asked. 

"We're here to make you feel good," she said. Gaga played a medley of her hits including "Born This Way," an anthem of inclusion in which she speaks of acceptance of people regardless of ethnicity or sexual orientation. 

 

Gaga swung down from the roof to a stage suspended on cables and embarked on a meticulously choreographed 13-minute set of her greatest hits. (AFP)

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Super Bowl performances are rarely directly provocative, although last year Beyonce startled many by playing her single "Formation". The video had a message against police brutality.

(AFP)