On Sunday night, viewers around the world were bowled over by Super Bowl LVI's halftime show.
The nostalgia-fueled performance featured a star-studded lineup of hip hop icons. Dr. Dre, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige, and Snoop Dogg all took to the stage to perform their biggest hits.
There was even a surprise appearance from 50 Cent, who (literally) dropped in to rap his 2003 classic 'In Da Club'.
The only thing more eye-popping than the electric performance - which took place midway through the Los Angeles Rams showdown with the Cincinnati Bengals in California's SoFi stadium - is the performer's paychecks.
Fans have been shocked to discover that convincing so many huge artists to appear on stage together costs the NFL - nothing.[[imagecaption|| Credit: Sipa US / Alamy]]
It may seem hard to believe, but according to Esquire, the NFL doesn't send their halftime performers home with a paycheck.
They still foot the bill for all production costs and pay all the staff that put the show together - no mean feat, when you consider the cost of an average halftime performance. In 2020, J-Lo and Shakira's show reportedly cost the NFL $13 million.
However, the headlining artists aren't paid a dollar, which means that Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, and the rest of the legendary acts who appeared in Sunday night's show did it all for free.
In the wake of the explosive performance - which many are hailing as the best halftime show ever - fans have taken to Twitter to express their amazement that the artists don't get a paycheck.
"Hold up wait a minute I didn’t know the Super Bowl halftime performers don’t get paid," tweeted one shocked viewer.
"The loser in me just found out Super Bowl performers don’t get paid…………" a second wrote.
Others were more skeptical, pointing out that while the artists don't get paid by the NFL, performing midway through the Super Bowl - which is consistently one of the most-watched events in the world - means they gain something more valuable than a paycheck: exposure.
"It’s insane that the performers do not get paid for the #SuperBowl halftime show. Is this the biggest “for the exposure” gig that exists?" one person tweeted.
"It’s not breaking news that #SuperBowl halftime performers don’t get paid. It’s a giant marketing strategy on their own behalf," added another.
And they have a fair point. After his performance last year, The Weeknd saw a massive chart bump per Variety. Meanwhile, Esquire reports that Lady Gaga's digital catalog sales reached 1000% after her 2017 halftime show.