It's no longer rumor: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will perform during the Super Bowl halftime show in Tampa, the NFL and NBC announced Sunday night.
The Super Bowl will be played Feb. 1 at Raymond James Stadium. NBC will telecast the event.
The New York Post began the Boss talk in August, when it reported rumors of the rock icon performing at the game. At the time, the NFL offered no confirmation and Amanda Holt, director of communications for the Tampa Super Bowl host committee, was left dancing in the dark.
Springsteen's performance will continue the NFL's run of major rock 'n' role talent to play the Super Bowl. That group has included the Rolling Stones, U2, Paul McCartney, Prince and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
Last year's halftime show was watched by more than 148 million viewers in the United States, the NFL said. It wasn't always that way: For years, the game's halftime show was made up of local and college marching bands and drill teams.
Chubby Checker in 1988 was the first popular musician to perform at halftime, and Michael Jackson upped the ante in 1993. His sister Janet provided the show's most infamous moment with 2004's "wardrobe malfunction" - and the show has stuck with straight ahead rock acts ever since.
Springsteen recently wrapped up a 100-show world tour in which he played for more than 2 million people, according to his Web site. His Tampa stop in April was the group's first after the death of longtime keyboardist Danny Federici. That show at the St. Pete Times Forum was postponed a day, and two other Florida dates were pushed back, as well.
Federici, who died after a battle with melanoma, had played with Springsteen for about 40 years, going back to pre-E Street ensembles such as Steel Mill. Federici's illness sidelined him for the recent tour, but he joined the band in Indianapolis March 20 for a few numbers. He appeared on Springsteen's latest album, 2007's "Magic."