LOS ANGELES – Katy Perry says her female empowerment anthems make her the ideal Super Bowl halftime performer after an NFL season shadowed by highly publicized domestic violence cases involving players.
Perry was in discussions with the league last year as it faced scrutiny over its handling of incidents including Baltimore Ravens star Ray Rice's elevator assault of his then-fiancee.
"It wasn't an image problem, it was a problem," Perry said in an interview last week. "We were all watching and asking ourselves questions about what this year would mean. But I think that the problem that the NFL is dealing with is a global problem ... we need to work out — or educate people on.
"I'm all about female empowerment and uplifting people's spirits, and people finding their own voice with songs like 'Roar' and 'Firework,' so maybe there is no better person" for the show, Perry added. "Hopefully I can bring that incredible strength and empowerment to people through the performance."
Perry promised a 12-minute mash-up of her hits, humor, multiple costume changes, at least two distinct "worlds" and special guests including Lenny Kravitz. She wouldn't comment on reports that she would perform an unreleased song.
The Super Bowl's massive TV audience — over 110 million people last year — makes the halftime show a much sought-after gig for musicians. So much so that the NFL reportedly asked Perry and other finalists to pay for the privilege of performing Feb. 1 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
Perry adamantly didn't agree to that.
"I put my foot down very early in the courtship. I said, 'Look guys, here's where I draw a line in the sand,'" she said. "I want to be invited on my own merits and not with some fine print. I stuck to my position ... I don't even care if my contract leaks. ... I have nothing to hide, basically."
The heavily scrutinized broadcast has led to controversy in the past — from Janet Jackson's 2004 "wardrobe malfunction" to M.I.A.'s middle finger flash when she assisted Madonna in 2012. Perry, 30, said she isn't about to risk anything with her biggest single audience ever.
"Everything I've done in my career hasn't been blatant this or that. It's always with a wink. It's a soft-serve sexiness," Perry said. "My intention is that everyone talks about the music and nothing else. ... Sometimes you can't control other people. But I will control myself."