Super Bowl 50 just ended, which means it is time to start planning for Super Bowl LI. (Yeah, the plan is to go back to Roman numerals.) Old and new performers have less than a year to prove their worth to gain access to the most-watched televised concert in the United States and probably the world.
Lead artists for the Super Bowl halftime are more than cult performers or one-hit wonders. This halftime show seeks Hall of Fame-type artists who cover a widespread audience. Here is the short list of potentials acts for Super Bowl LI (let me finish ... ):
15. Lady Gaga
Social media reacted favorably to her national anthem performance at Super Bowl 50, which provides a good test case. She lacks the hits to legitimately compete with the heavyweights, but she would choreograph a hell of a performance.
14. Willie Nelson
Houston is hosting Super Bowl LI, and if the NFL wants to go country, Texas native Willie Nelson would make for a legendary act. Then again, he is 82, and the Super Bowl has not led with a country artist since Shania Twain at Super Bowl XXXVII.
13. Garth Brooks
This is a more realistic country choice, and he is from nearby Oklahoma. Through his foundation, Brooks once held a camp for youngsters at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
This would be lit. Unfortunately, Rihanna's edgy personalitycould deter the NFL. She is a prime candidate as a secondary performer if one of her friends below gets the nod.
11. The Eagles
Glenn Frey performed up until his death last month, and he leaves Don Henley pulling double-duty on lead vocals. Henley is a Texas native and the band could end up with a semi-tribute show to Frey if they get the right help. Perhaps Eric Clapton or someone along those lines.
10. Destiny's Child
Sure, they performed at Super Bowl XLVII and Beyonce was part of this year's halftime show, but Super Bowl LI is in Houston, so Destiny's Child deserves a shoutout. Another idea: Why not just have Beyonce do every halftime show forever?
If the Beyonce/Destiny's Child hook does not work, using Bey's husband to get her to Houston could be a loophole.
8. Britney Spears
This is not as crazy as you think. Britney has spent the better part of the past decade repairing her image and the stars could align in 2016. Spears teased her upcoming ninth studio album, which could see singles launch within the next month. She also made an appearance at Super Bowl XXXV as a 19-year-old.
7. Elton John
Elton John has never performed at the Super Bowl? Give this man a Super Bowl. Besides "Rocket Man" would be a good fit for Houston.
If the NFL tells Adele tomorrow that she will be performing at Super Bowl LI, she could prep her voice and maybe be ready for February 2017. Maybe. The fact of the matter is Adele's voice does not lend well to live performing, especially on a stage that has had its share of technical difficulties. She could lip sync, but no one wants that. Adele has the hits, but not the technique for Super Bowl.
5. Jennifer Lopez
The 46-year-old's career is experiencing a second wind post-Marc Anthony. Lopez is the star of NBC's Shades of Blue and just started a Las Vegas residency concert. Two summers ago, she was featured on the official FIFA World Cup song, "We Are One (Ole Ola)," with Pitbull, and she put on a concert for 20,000 in her native Bronx. Jenny from the Block can still draw a crowd.
4. Billy Joel
Believe it or not, the Piano Man has never performed at the Super Bowl. Classic rock dominated the 2000s after the Justin Timberlake-Janet Jackson episode, but the Super Bowl has taken a more modern stance this decade. Joel represents the NFL's best option for an American classic rock performer. Joel's ongoing residency at Madison Square Garden has revitalized his live performing career, and the Super Bowl would be a deserved hurrah.
3. Taylor Swift
Swift sold out stadiums -- not arenas, freaking stadiums -- from May to December. She is arguably the most recognized active artist in the world. Swift would cover lots of ground beyond just football fans. The question here is whether Swift would make the move. She does not need the publicity. It may be wise to hold out 10-15 years and perform at the Super Bowl for nostalgic purposes when she's past her prime.
Complex recently named Drake the best rapper alive in 2015, which overflows into the start of 2016 by default. Drizzy is about to own the sports world for the weekend, as the NBA All-Star Game moves to Toronto, showing he can captivate fans. His next album, Views from the 6 is slotted to come out in April. Drake has the rap world's momentum headed into this Super Bowl cycle and could become the first rapper to headline the Super Bowl Halftime Show. (Do The Black Eyed Peas count?) But another man coming out with a new album has a chance to get there first ...
1. Kanye West
The world is about to enter the Year of the Kanye. West dominated January with the return of GOOD Fridays and his Wiz Khalifa annihilation. His new album, Waves (or whatever it will be called), is expected to launch Feb. 11. West will debut the album in a concert at Madison Square Garden, while also debuting his Adidas Yeezy Season 3 sneaker and fashion line. West will presumably ride this into a tour, which could culminate in a Super Bowl LI performance. The NFL's biggest concern would probably be West stealing the show from the actual football game. And just imagine the Kardashian-Jenner cameos (and artist cameos from Rihanna, Paul McCartney, Jay-Z, Beyonce and other talented individuals).
-- Follow Jeffrey Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband.