M.I.A successfully upstaged Madonna. That's right. The sassy rapper, most popular on the alternative scene, made more headlines Monday morning after Super Bowl Sunday than the Queen of Pop herself. Why? Because she gave the middle finger to over 111 million people during the Super Bowl Halftime Show 2012.
During Madonna's Halftime Show, while singing Madonna's new song Give Me All Your Luvin, on which she is featured, M.I.A decided to stomp her high heeled foot and flip the bird at NBC Super Bowl cameras.
The gesture was so quick that NBC broadcasters were unable to blur it out in time. Thus, over 111 million people got the middle finger. Both the NFL an NBC apologized for M.I.A's lewd act. The obscene gesture in the performance was completely inappropriate, very disappointing and we apologize to our fans, said Brian McCarthy, spokesman for the NFL, which produced Madonna's Halftime Show.
The NFL hired the talent and produced the halftime show, NBC spokesman Christopher McCloskey said. Our system was late to obscure the inappropriate gesture and we apologize to our viewers.
The NFL and the FCC have been on high-alert since Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction during the 2004 Super Bowl Halftime Show. An incident that landed CBS with a $550,000 fine (which was later reneged by an appeals court).
Before hitting the stage for Super Bowl 2012, Madonna swore that there would be no wardrobe malfunctions. Great attention to detail has been paid to my wardrobe. There will be no wardrobe malfunctions. Promise, she told reporters. Seems she did not plan for M.I.A's spontaneous gesture.
Who exactly is M.I.A? Here are five things to know about the sassy rapper who gave the middle finger at Super Bowl 2012.
M.I.A was London-Born, Sri Lanka-Raised
M.I.A was born Mathangi Maya Arulpragasam. She was born in London in 1975. As an infant, she moved to Sri Lanka and was raised there up until the age of 10. After that, she returned to England again with her family. She pursued a career in visual arts, according to RadarOnline. She graduated from Central St Martins College and then worked as a filmmaker, designer and visual artist. Actor Jude Law was one of the first fans and art buyers.
Controversy Might as Well be Her Middle Name
In April 2010, M.I.A released an eight-minute, 50-second music video for her song Born Free that was ultimately banned in the U.S. Though the video can still be found, it is completely NSFW. The controversial montage includes sex, drug use, harsh language and violence. In one scene, a 12-year-old boy is shot point blank in the head. Others are beaten and blown-up. YouTube banned it because of its graphic nature and overt sexuality.
M.I.A herself has been critiqued for her history of glorifying violence in interviews. During an interview with The Daily Beast in 2009, the rapper made controversial comments about life in Sri Lanka. If you're an immigrant you left somewhere and most of the time you fled a war. Gun sounds are a part of our culture as an everyday thing, she said. If you've been exposed to gunfights and violence and bombs and war then I can use those sounds backing my thoughts, ya know? Look, I've been shot at so I'm quite comfortable with gunshot sounds.
She is Not Afraid to Diss Lady Gaga
In April 2010, M.I.A gave an interview to NME magazine on her upcoming album at the time. When asked if the music industry still needs record labels, M.I.A responded, Are they even interested in making money from music anymore? Lady Gaga plugs 15 things in her new video. Dude, she even plugs a burger!
She went on to further diss the pop star saying when asked if singing competitions on TV and the Internet have destroyed the mythology around pop stars.
I don't know. Again, there's Lady Gaga - people say we're similar, that we both mix all these things in the pot and spit them out differently, but she spits it out exactly the same! None of her music's reflective of how weird she wants to be or thinks she is, said M.I.A.
She models herself on Grace Jones and Madonna, but the music sounds like 20-year-old Ibiza music, you know? She's not progressive, but she's a good mimic. She sounds more like me than I f---ing do!
That's a talent and she's got a great team behind her, but she's the industry last's stab at making itself important - saying, 'You need our money behind you, the endorsements, the stadiums' Respect to her, she's keeping a hundred thousand people in work, but my belief is: Do It Yourself.
When asked her opinion on images and visual in music, M.I.A. referenced Queen Monster again: Very. But it's not like Haus of Gaga (laughs). Me blindfolded with naked men feeding me apples and s---.
She Married Well
M.I.A. is married to Benjamin Bronfman, son of Edgar Bronfman, Jr., who served as CEO of Warner Music Group from 2004 through 2011, as well as Chairman of the company from 2011 to 2012, reported RadarOnline. The Bronfmans have an estimated $2.5 billion fortune. They earned their wealth through the Seagram Company. Her son, Ikhyd Edgar Arular Bronfman, born in 2009, is heir to that hefty fortune.
M.I.A May Live in L.A. but She's Brooklyn's Girl
Currently, M.I.A owns a home in one of the ritziest areas in California - the Brentwood area of Los Angeles. Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen just built their $20 million mega-mansion there. Other superstar neighbors include Heidi Klum and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
However, despite having a California address, M.I.A was most celebrated for her time in Brooklyn. From 2006 to 2008, M.I.A lived in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of the New York borough. That is where she met her husband. She has been known to go back and perform for her fellow Brooklynites, like in Oct. 2010 when she gave a free show in Williamsburg.