(Reuters) - Madonna will headline the 2012 Super Bowl halftime show, the National Football League said, in a performance co-created by the Cirque Du Soleil.
The Grammy-winning pop star, who in the past has garnered attention and stoked controversy with provocative performances, joins a roster of A-list stars who have appeared at the high-profile Super Bowl.
The annual ritual, which will take place on February 5 in Indianapolis, has come to be defined as much by its halftime shows and the innovative television commercials that run during the program, as by the football game itself.
More than 162 million TV viewers watched last year's halftime show, making it the most watched musical event of the year, according to the NFL which announced Madonna's appearance Sunday.
For the Indianapolis show, Madonna, 53, has partnered with a creative team from Cirque du Soleil, the innovative Canadian circus troupe, as well as choreographer Jamie King who has worked with Prince and Michael Jackson, and multimedia artists from Moment Factory, the NFL said.
Past Super Bowl performers have included Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Prince, the Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney and U2.
In an especially notorious appearance, Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson's 2004 "wardrobe malfunction," in which Jackson's nipple was fleetingly exposed, causing an outcry, and a subsequent FCC fine against CBS Corp. television stations which an appeals court recently threw out.
Reporting by Chris Michaud; editing by Jill Serjeant