The NFL Super Bowl halftime show is one of the biggest stages in the world for a recording artist. A chance to express themselves to 100 million people at once, to exercise influence and broadcast a message beyond the typically commercial.
There was Will.I.Am addressing a verse of Where is the Love to President Obama in 2011, and Madonna ending her performance with a call for “world peace” in 2012.
After Beyoncé dressed her dancers in Black Panthers regalia last year and attracted criticism for over-politicising her performance, 2017’s halftime star, Lady Gaga, inherited especially cautious event organisers and calls to ‘play it safe’.
But as a staunch Hillary Clinton supporter, as a vocal advocate for victims of sexual assault, as a woman who climbed tearfully on the side of NYC garbage truck outside Trump Tower to raise a sign reading “Love Trumps hate”, as a star who has openly criticised the newly inaugurated President, the 30-year-old wasn’t expected to toe the line.
After all, conformity is just not her style.
But there were no outraged asides, no placards, no protests in today's show in Houston. Not overtly at least. Instead the pop superstar relied - as she always has - on her lyrics to get her point across.
Dressed in David Bowie-esque silver jacket and makeup, Gaga opened with Born This Way - a song that's become anthem of sorts for LGBTQI community and marginalised music fans.
Listen to the Mamamia Out Loud audience talk Trump. Post continues after audio.
"No matter gay, straight, or bi," she sang.
"Lesbian, transgendered life,
I'm on the right track baby.
I was born to survive.
No matter black, white or beige,
Chola or orient made,
I'm on the right track baby.
I was born to be brave."
As Gaga told the press in the lead up to the performance, her show would uphold the philosophies she's always projected throughout her career.
"I believe in a passion for inclusion, I believe in the spirit of equality and the spirit of this country as one of love and compassion and kindness," she said.
"That kid who couldn't get a seat at the cool kid's table, that kid who got kicked out of the house because his mum and dad didn't accept who he was, that kid is going to have the stage for 13 minutes."
For it's subtle yet powerful message, for it's spectacle, for it's energy, Gaga's performance is being hailed by viewers as one of the best halftime performances in recent years.
For 13 minutes she owned the stage, the singer treated viewers to a catalogue of her biggest hits, including Telephone, Bad Romance, Just Dance, Edge of Glory, Poker Face and new song Million Reasons.
Not one to simply stand and deliver, Gaga plunged out of the rafters on a harness, embraced people in the crowd, played the piano and underwent several lightening-quick costume changes (can someone please explain how she got rid of that sparkly eye makeup so quickly?), while dozens of dancers surrounded the stage waving lights in a spectacular, choreographed mosh.
Oh and some football happened. The New England Patriots played the Atlanta Falcons. There were some touch downs.