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Eminem takes a knee during Super Bowl half-time performance

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By AP
Eminem kneels down during the halftime performance at the NFL Super Bowl 56 football game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals, Feb. 13, 2022.
Eminem kneels down during the halftime performance at the NFL Super Bowl 56 football game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals, Feb. 13, 2022.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Chris O'Meara

Eminem dramatically took a knee at the Super Bowl half-time show on Sunday.

American football's biggest game of the year saw the Los Angeles Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 to win Super Bowl 56.

As his rendition of “Lose Yourself” ended, the rapper took a knee and held his head in his hand in apparent tribute to former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who took a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality during the 2016 season. Other players followed suit, and the move created widespread cultural controversy. Kaepernick would be out of the league soon after.

The NFL denied reports that it was attempting to stop Eminem from making the gesture.

“We watched all elements of the show during multiple rehearsals this week and were aware that Eminem was going to do that,” league spokesman Brian McCarthy said.

It was a rare Super Bowl halftime show performed in the daylight, but it still had a feeling of a nightclub at SoFi Stadium on Sunday, with a set made up to look like the houses of nearby Compton and South LA.

Dre and Snoop opened the show with “Next Episode” and “California Love.”

50 Cent, not among the announced performers, started his “In Da Club” while hanging upside inside one of the rooms.

Blige was decked out in silver sparkles and surrounded by backup dancers as she sang a medley of her hits.

The set was surrounded by what looked like a lit-up cityscape from above, with classic convertibles and replicas of the Tam's Burgers stand and the sculpture outside the Compton Courthouse.

The crowd had lanyards with LED lights that flashed in coordination with the show’s beats, turning the whole stadium into a light show.

An explosion of fireworks lit up the sky as the sunset outside and the show ended, with Snoop and Dre performing “Still DRE.”

Celebrities in the stands of the first Hollywood-adjacent Super Bowl in nearly 30 years provided much of the entertainment at SoFi Stadium during commercial breaks.

The crowd cheered as Kevin Hart blew kisses, Chris Tucker and Charlize Theron danced and Doja Cat and Danny Trejo waved.

Jennifer Lopez didn't seem to notice she was on the huge 360-degree screen at all.

And a shot of a man in a hoodie whose face was fully covered by a black mask who was seated with NFL player Antonio Brown set off social media speculation on his identity.

The loudest cheers came for local Los Angeles sports heroes, including Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw and former Lakers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Shaquille O'Neal, who wagged his tongue at the camera.