News Article

Defensive Line

Destiny's Child, Simpson lead NFL kickoff. For this year's opener, which includes Elton John, Lenny Kravitz, Toby Keith, and Mary J. Blige, NFL officials will be on guard against wardrobe malfunctions

Jessica Simpson | SUNSHINE SLATE Simpson will chime in from Florida
Image credit: Jessica Simpson: Jennifer Graylock/AP
SUNSHINE SLATE Simpson will chime in from Florida

If any performer bares a nipple during the National Football League's season-opening concert next month, it'll be Lenny Kravitz. Otherwise, don't expect any wardrobe malfunctions during the live telecast of ''NFL Opening Kickoff,'' which will also feature Destiny's Child, Jessica Simpson, Elton John, Toby Keith, and Mary J. Blige. Unlike this year's Super Bowl, whose MTV-produced Janet Jackson-Justin Timberlake striptease incident proved a major embarrassment for the league, the Sept. 9 show will be under the complete creative control of the NFL, which will monitor the stars during rehearsal to ensure good behavior, lyrical cleanliness, unsuggestive choreography, and proper attire. ''This time around we're controlling all the content,'' NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told the New York Post.

The show, which will air on ABC, marks the third annual season-opening concert; Britney Spears headlined last year's show, held on the National Mall in Washington, and Bon Jovi did the honors two years ago in New York's Times Square. But this will be the first time the show is being held at the stadium where the first game will be played -- in this case, at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass., where the New England Patriots will host the Indianapolis Colts after the concert. Simpson will be performing in a separate segment, to be broadcast from Jacksonville, Fla., where the Super Bowl will be played next winter. Some of the performers, like Destiny's Child's Beyoncé and Elton John, have already proven at past NFL events that they can perform with decorum. ''We have a very high comfort level with the performers,'' McCarthy told the Hollywood Reporter.

Originally posted Aug 10, 2004