Will be true to my beliefs during Super Bowl show, says Gaga

By Steve Keating

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Lady Gaga revealed few details on Thursday of what viewers can expect from her much anticipated Super Bowl halftime show, but the outspoken singer assured she would remain true to her beliefs and passions.

An advocate for lesbian, gay and transgender rights and a champion for inclusion, Lady Gaga's 13-minute concert on Sunday has generated speculation over whether she might use the spotlight to rebut U.S. President Donald Trump's controversial appointments and policies, including travel restrictions targeting seven Muslim-majority nations.

"The only statements I will be making during the halftime show are the ones I have been consistently making throughout my career," Gaga told a standing room only press conference.

"I believe in passion for inclusion, I believe in the spirit of equality and the spirit of this country -- one of love, compassion and kindness.

"So my performance will uphold those philosophies."

Not once during what appeared to be a carefully scripted news conference did Trump's name come up.

Certainly Lady Gaga would have no shortage of causes to protest, including Trump's plans to build a wall between Mexico and the United States, a large portion of which would cut across Texas, and legislation introduced by a Texas Republican state senator to limit public restroom access for transgender people.

"I think that music is one of the most powerful things the world has to offer no matter what race or religion or nationality, sexual orientation, gender that you are it has the power to unite us, so this performance is for everyone," said Gaga, a six-time Grammy Award winner.

"I want to, more than anything, create a moment that everybody that is watching will never forget."

One of the most memorable and controversial halftime shows ever occurred the last time the Super Bowl was held in Houston in 2004, when Janet Jackson suffered what became known as a "wardrobe malfunction" exposing one of her breasts to millions of viewers.

Lady Gaga played coy about everything from her wardrobe choices to set list and theatrics.

The singer, who won rave reviews for her rendition of the U.S. national anthem at Super Bowl 50 last year, adds her name to the list of Super Bowl halftime performers that includes some of rock music's most iconic acts in Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Prince, U2, Rolling Stones and The Who.

"As much as I always wanted to be an artist I never really decided to be a musician until later in my life and I think I saw the halftime show even before I made my decision that I wanted to try to be a song writer," said Gaga.

"Watching Michael Jackson do the halftime show is one of the fondest memories I have."

(Editing by Larry Fine)

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