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NFL denies barring Lady Gaga from talking politics ahead of Super Bowl performance

Lady Gaga delivered a well-received version of the national anthem at last year’s Super Bowl. (Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

Is Lady Gaga under a gag order imposed by the NFL? Not according to the league, which denied a report that the pop star was ordered not to discuss politics ahead of her performance at halftime of this year’s Super Bowl.

Entertainment Tonight cited a “source close to the halftime show” as saying, “Lady Gaga was told by the NFL that she cannot say anything or bring anything up about the election, or mention Donald Trump.”

However, the NFL issued a statement calling that “unsourced nonsense from people trying to stir up controversy where there is none.”

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“The Super Bowl is a time when people really come together,” the league added in its statement. “Lady Gaga is focused on putting together an amazing show for fans and we love working with her on it; we aren’t going to be distracted by this.”

Gaga was outspoken in her disdain for Trump while supporting Hillary Clinton during the presidential race. She spoke at a Clinton rally just before Election Day and, the day after voting concluded, held a sign outside of Trump Tower reading, “Love trumps hate.”

The ET report also quoted the source as saying that Gaga was having trouble “getting a guest to sign on” and perform with her during the halftime show, with “two artists” having declined invitations. The Super Bowl halftime show is a major event for even the biggest musical superstars, given that the game is annually the most-watched TV show of the year.

Gaga garnered favorable reviews for her rendition of the national anthem before last year’s Super Bowl, even if there was a gambling-related dispute over how long it actually lasted. The halftime performance featured Beyoncé, who was criticized by some, including Rudy Giuliani, for her nod to the Black Panthers.

That reaction could have caused the NFL to be concerned about what Gaga may say or do before or during her halftime performance, and despite its denial of attempting to muzzle her, the league may have been sending a message by saying, “The Super Bowl is a time when people really come together.” Meanwhile, the pop singer herself has used her most recent social-media posts to express excitement about her halftime gig.