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Nebraska Jazz Orchestra

Maroon 5 guitarist and Lincoln native James Valentine speaks between songs during a performance in April 2017 at the Lied Center for Performing Arts.

To say James Valentine is excited about playing the Super Bowl LIII halftime show is an understatement.

The Maroon 5 guitarist — and Lincoln native — took to Facebook on Friday, posting: "This weekend!! It’s going to be the highlight of my career.”

The multi-platinum album-selling pop band fronted by Adam Levine skipped the usual pre-game news conference this week, likely in part to avoid the controversy over artists playing the Super Bowl amid criticism of the NFL’s treatment of Colin Kaepernick, who knelt during the national anthem while with the 49ers.

Levine, however, talked with "Entertainment Tonight" and said the band expected the backlash against its performance.

“I’m not in the right profession if I can’t handle a little bit of controversy,” he said. “It’s what it is. We expected it. We’d like to move on from it and speak through the music.”

In that interview, Levine implied that Sunday’s show will be less about the production and more about music.

“The spectacle is the music,” he said. “We wanted to bring it back to a time when it was a little more simple, when the focus was the connection to the songs.”

Maroon 5 will be joined during the 12-minute halftime show by rappers Travis Scott and Big Boi. Valentine seemed to imply there may be additional guests, but could give nothing about the show away.

“I wish I could tell you guys what we’re doing and who with,” he posted.

More than 100 million people are expected to watch the halftime performance, which will likely take place close to 7 p.m. on CBS. That is, by far, the largest annual audience for any musical performance in the world.

Not surprisingly, Valentine posted: “Not going to lie, I’m nervous.”

Reach the writer at 402-473-7244 or kwolgamott@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSWolgamott.

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Entertainment reporter/columnist

L. Kent Wolgamott is an entertainment reporter and columnist.

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