Having apparently exhausted the list of American performers big enough to play the halftime show at the Super Bowl, the National Football League has followed up last year's booking of Ireland's U2 by hiring Canadian Shania Twain to sing at this year's event. She'll be the headline performer at the game, which will be broadcast live on ABC from San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium on Jan. 26, though the NFL is expected to announce a roster of pre-show performers soon.
''The AT&T Super Bowl Halftime Show is an important part of the Super Bowl and one of the most widely viewed entertainment events of the year,'' said NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue in a statement. (The NFL expects some 130 Americans and 800 million overseas viewers to watch the game, though it's not clear how many of those will be taking a bathroom break at halftime.) ''We are pleased that the spectacular talent of Shania Twain will become part of our Super Bowl halftime tradition,'' Tagliabue said.
Twain's latest release, ''Up!,'' which contains multiple versions of the same set of songs, spent five weeks atop the Billboard album chart (in week six, it's at No. 2) and has sold nearly 3 million copies, according to SoundScan. No word on whether Twain's halftime set list will contain three or four songs or just the same song played three or four different ways.