Pop stars head 'tapestry' Super Bowl show


By Len Pasquarelli SportsLine Senior Writer

ATLANTA — Although negotiations continue with other potential participants, SportsLine learned Monday the halftime show for Super Bowl XXXIV here on Jan. 30 at the Georgia Dome will feature pop stars Phil Collins and Toni Braxton.

The intermission entertainment, being produced by Walt Disney Attractions, is titled “Tapestry of Nations,” and will include more than 125 drummers and percussionists, a full symphony orchestra, aerial dancers and an 80-member choir.

Noted actor and producer Edward James Olmos, an Academy Award nominee, will serve as narrator for the halftime show, which will be televised by ABC to an estimated 130 million viewers in this country, and internationally. ABC is owned by Disney.

Scheduled for 10 minutes, the show, inspired by the yearlong Walt Disney World Millennium Celebration, also will feature large puppets and advanced pyrotechnics. For the first time ever, the intermission will have an entire symphony on the field, along with high-tech theatrical lighting.

Collins has sold more than 70 million albums and the former Genesis drummer has won six Grammy Awards. Between 1984-90, he had a streak of 13 consecutive top 10 singles. In recent years, he has added acting and composing to his repertoire and recently composed several songs for the soundtrack from Disney’s animated Tarzan.

Although prohibited by her religion from listening to rock music as a child, Braxton has emerged as one of the leading female pop vocalists of this decade. Her debut album won three Grammy Awards. Braxton also starred on Broadway in Beauty and the Beast.

Contrary to several broadcast and published reports, the popular group ‘N Sync currently is not scheduled as part of the halftime show, SportsLine has learned.

As first reported Saturday by SportsLine, the pregame show will feature the legendary Tina Turner and Travis Tritt, and the national anthem will be performed by Faith Hill. The theme for the pregame festivities is “Great American Music of the 20th Century.” The 12-minute show will be hosted by Tom and Dick Smothers.

The show, which will highlight some of the musical styles unique to America, also will include the Georgia Tech marching band and the 125-member Georgia Mass Choir. A native of Marietta, Ga., an Atlanta suburb, Tritt also performed at halftime of Super Bowl XXVIII at the Georgia Dome in 1994.

The Georgia Mass Choir, founded by the Rev. Milton Biggham in 1983, will perform Georgia on My Mind and The Battle Hymn of the Republic.

Turner and Hill appeared together earlier this year on VH1’s Divas Live. The title game appearance by Turner, who turned 60 last month, will be one of her last before she begins her much-touted “Millennium 2000 Twenty Four Seven” concerts, which she claims will be her final world tour. Turner has sold more than 50 million albums and has had nearly two-dozen No. 1 singles.

In only six years, the 32-year-old Hill has sold 11 million albums and had eight top singles. Tritt has had three No. 1 singles.