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Lady Gaga to headline 2017 Super Bowl halftime show

Lady Gaga to headline 2017 Super Bowl halftime show
Lady Gaga sings the national anthem before the start of Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium last February. (Larry W. Smith / EPA)

It’s official: Lady Gaga is playing the Super Bowl.

The pop star will headline the halftime show at Super Bowl 51 early next year, NFL and halftime sponsor Pepsi announced on Thursday ahead of a game between the Miami Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals.

The reveal comes weeks after reports surfaced that the singer, who is gearing up to release a new album next month, was in talks for the gig. She performed at this year's game as well, opening the event with a Broadway-worthy rendition of the national anthem.

Speculation of who the NFL was eyeing for the gig heated up over the summer after Adele told fans during one of her sold-out shows at Staples Center that she had turned down the offer.

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"I'm not doing the Super Bowl," she said. "I mean, come on, that show is not about music. And I don't really — I can't dance or anything like that. They were very kind, they did ask me, but I said no."

A fansite for Kanye West started a social media campaign, encouraging fans to tweet out the hashtag #KanyeWestForSuperBowl51, while fans of embattled R&B singer Chris Brown launched a petition to have him considered.

After Adele’s quote picked up steam, blogs started making cases for suitable performers. Among the other names floated? Jennifer Lopez, Taylor Swift, Rihanna and Kelly Clarkson.

Gaga joins the ranks of Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, Madonna, the Who, Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Prince, the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, U2 and Michael Jackson as halftime headliners. 

More than 116.5 million viewers watched last year's performance featuring Coldplay, Beyoncé and Bruno Mars. 

The pop star is gearing up for the release of "Joanne," her first solo record since 2013's "Artpop." The album's first single, frothy disco-rock jam "Perfect Illusion" debuted at No. 1 on iTunes in 60 countries.

While Gaga's record will be out well ahead of her halftime showing at NRG Stadium in Houston in February, the performance will provide an immeasurable boost to the project — it's out Oct. 21 — and her back catalog.

After headlining this year's show, Coldplay saw 11 of its records surge on the iTunes top 200 songs chart, while special guest Beyoncé saw six of her records spike.

On Sunday, Gaga will join Curt Menefee and Michael Strahan on the Fox NFL Sunday Pregame Show to discuss her plans for the show.

Super Bowl 51 will air Feb. 5, 2017, on Fox.

For more music news follow me on Twitter:@GerrickKennedy

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