Kris Wu becomes first Chinese artist to sing at Super Bowl Live

PHOTO: Weibo/NFL

The National Football League recently announced Chinese singer and actor Kris Wu as Super Bowl LII Ambassador for NFL China and confirmed his debut at the 10-day live concerts leading up to the game.

Wu's performance is slated for 16:00 local time on February 3, 2018, on the Verizon Up Stage in Minneapolis, the NFL announced.

As one of the most influential artists in China, Wu has a large fan base in his home country, with over 27 million followers on China's Twitter-like Weibo platform and 5.6 million on Instagram.

The singer has topped the music charts in China with his singles "6", "Juice" and "July", and has recently become the first and only Chinese artist to hit No. 1 on iTunes with the newly released single "Deserve".

He expressed his gratitude towards the NFL and Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee for inviting him to the live festivities, saying that it is a great pleasure to be named "ambassador to one of the world's most recognizable sports and entertainment events".

"I look forward to participating in Tencent's coverage and sharing my gameday experience with fans around the world," the artist added.

The Super Bowl is the annual championship game of the NFL, a professional American football league, as well as the culmination of a regular season that begins in the last summer of the previous year. It is the most-watched TV show in the US, with 111.3 million people tuned in during last year's Super Bowl LI.

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The show is often compared to the China Central Television Spring Festival Gala, or Chunwan in Chinese, regarding the viewership. The latter is the Chinese state television's special show produced for the Lunar New Year, held annually on the Eve of the Spring Festival, and is the most-watched TV programme in China. Last year, the show was watched by over 700 million viewers.

Though usually dubbed as the "US Chunwan", the American football is not a widely-played game in China. As the NFL is eyeing global expansion, the inclusion of international musical talent in the event seems to be their new strategy.

Maureen Bausch, CEO of the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee, said that they were thrilled to host Kris Wu, while NFL China Managing Director Richard Young said they considered Kris "an extremely talented individual" who will be "a great representative for NFL's rapidly growing fan base in China."

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Wu frequently appears in the world's renowned fashion and sports occasions as well. He walked the runway for Burberry at the London Fashion Week in 2016, and has played at the NBA All-Stars in 2016 and 2017.

The Super Bowl Live's stellar lineup this year also includes Brother Ali, Skylar Grey, X Ambassadors and many others led by Grammy-winning music producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.

Tencent Sports, one of China's top digital streaming media lets, will cover and broadcast the Super Bowl LII games, other events, as well as Wu's performance and gameday experience.

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