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    'N Sync, Aerosmith to rock halftime show

    MTV is banking on Super Bowl music appealing to all, with Ray Charles and the Backstreet Boys kicking off the pre-game show.

    By BABITA PERSAUD

    © St. Petersburg Times, published December 19, 2000


    TAMPA -- Forget the contest on the football field during Super Bowl XXXV. The real battle will be between the boy bands.

    'N Sync will perform at the MTV-produced halftime show at Raymond James Stadium on Jan. 28, the NFL announced Monday.

    Last week the league announced the Backstreet Boys, who compete head-on with 'N Sync for teen sensation supremacy, will sing the national anthem before kickoff.

    But the league threw in something for baby boomers, too: Ageless '70s rock group Aerosmith also will be part of the halftime show.

    The NFL picked MTV to produce the show, which is expected to attract 130-million viewers, keeping their choice in the family: Super Bowl XXXV is being aired on CBS, which is owned by Viacom, a parent company of MTV. This is MTV's first shot at the halftime show.

    At last year's Super Bowl, Disney produced the Tapestry of Nations with Phil Collins, Christina Aguilera, Enrique Iglesias and Toni Braxton.

    This year's theme has not been announced, but the teen-prone MTV hopes Aerosmith will help broaden the show's appeal.

    "By bringing together two of the most popular bands in music today, we'll be able to stage an incredibly entertaining and eclectic halftime show for Super Bowl fans everywhere," MTV president Van Toffler said in a news release.

    Steven Tyler formed Aerosmith when he met guitarist Joe Perry at a New Hampshire ice ream parlor in the early 1970s. The fivesome gave the world Dream On, Sweet Emotion and Dude Looks Like a Lady. The band's rap remake of its mid-'70s hit Walk this Way with Run DMC was high on MTV's rotation during the '80s.

    The band has sold more than 100-million albums and was recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Steven Tyler -- born Steven Tallarico -- is 52.

    'N Sync was formed in Orlando three years ago. Their March release No Strings Attached broke records by selling 2.4-million copies in its first week.

    'N Sync won best pop video at this year's MTV Awards for Bye Bye Bye. In the video the boys are marionettes.

    Ray Charles completes the all-male lineup, singing America the Beautiful before the Backstreet Boys take the stage in the pre-game show.

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