Where is the love? More like where is the talent? The Black Eyes Peas’ halftime show during Super Bowl XLV was universally panned, but the group is still raking in the cash as sales of their singles skyrocket.
The Pittsburgh Steelers weren’t the only losers at this year’s Super Bowl. The Black Eyed Peas were universally panned for their half time show performance where they stuffed every hit they had into a 12 minute set. But while the Steelers went home as first losers, the Peas have pulled off an upset.
The Black Eyed Peas defied the naysayers as their latest single, the pre-remixed, bad-80s-song-sampling mess that is “The Time (Dirty Bit),” has surged to the top of the iTunes sales chart. A slew of their other smash hits have re-entered the digital store’s top downloaded songs list as well including “Where Is The Love?,” “I Gotta Feeling,” and “Boom Boom Pow.”
Sales boosts following Super Bowl performances are nothing new. Following Prince’s performance at the 2007 game, sales of his Purple Rain increase an eye boggling 420 percent. But the Peas are a little bit different.
Ever since Janet and Justin’s infamous “wardrobe malfunction” at the 2004 Super Bowl, the creators of the half time show have toned it down and opted for older artists. The following year, they played it safe with Paul McCartney. Since then, more “mature” acts have performed at the show consistently from the Rolling Stones (I wonder if Mick was offended that America thought he was family friendly enough to play the Super Bowl in the post-Nipplegate era) to Bruce Springsteen. The Black Eyed Peas represent the first time since 2004 that a currently charting act has headlined the event.
The halftime show producers really couldn’t have picked a better current act to perform though. Few artists have the mainstream appeal of the Peas. Taylor Swift maybe? One of the boring-as-hell flyover rock bands like Nickleback? But still, no act in popular music today tries as hard as the Peas do to be popular with everyone at once (whether they succeed is obviously another story) as is evident with songs like “I Gotta Feeling.” I can just imagine the conversations between David Guetta and Will.i.am as they sat down to write that song. It was genetically engineered to be the ultimate mindless party anthem that would pay its writers millions of dollars in royalties until the end of time. And be performed at huge sporting events.
But not even the ultimate party anthem can be redeemed from bad auto-tune and the inevitable awkwardness that comes from one Pea singing (read: screeching) while the others dance. The Tron inspired outfits, glow-in-the-dark backup dancers, and laser light show just weren’t distracting enough.
We’ll have to wait until the end of the week to find out the ultimate impact of the Black Eyed Peas’ performance when Billboard releases their charts. “The Time (Dirty Bit)” is currently No. 14 on the Hot 100 and although radio has never really caught on to the song, a big boost of digital sales might be enough to pole vault it back into the top ten.
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