This article was originally published on reverb, Drake Cooper’s reflections on advertising, creativity, and trends. Read more.

Who Will Play The Halftime Show In Ten Years?

Madonna put on an entertaining halftime show. Despite M.I.A.’s gesture it was well received. For most people, it seemed like a welcomed event to have a three-decade performing music veteran on stage since last year’s performance by the Black Eyed Peas wasn’t so well received.

It’s interesting to consider the collection of previous Super Bowl halftime performers… In 2010 we had The Who. The year before, Springsteen played. The year before, Tom Petty. Before that was Prince, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Janet Jackson, Shania Twain and U2.

What’s interesting is that ever since the birth of online music, whenever we need an entertainer for the masses, we still reach back to performers who were popular before digital music arrived.

Why?

It’s an interesting thing to ponder…

Over the course of modern music history, we have had giants. People who, no matter what your individual favorite performer was at the time, everyone can agree is great: The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Elton John, Michael Jackson and all the aforementioned Super Bowl performers. Giants who defined their times.

But today, with the splintering of music such as it is, we have very few giants. We have people who are great in their genre, but very few entertainers that critics and mass amounts of consumers alike can both get behind and champion.

Perhaps because of this, when it comes time to choose a performer for a TV event that draws over 110 million American viewers we find ourselves looking back into the past to find someone that most people will enjoy. There’s only so long that can go on.

So while we’re becoming a society that champions individual preference, we’re resigning the notion to draw together for common likes. We’re becoming more ingrained and defined by our own clubs. Which is good. But if we can’t come together and unite around common things, are we creating a watered down culture that is undefinable for future generations when they look back? Elvis defines the 50s. Hendrix the 60s. And so on.

Who will be the key musicians to define this decade?