The 39-year-old singer told Entertainment Tonight that he didn't take the decision lightly; many have called for the band to step down from the gig in light of the controversy surrounding how Colin Kaepernick has been treated by the NFL after igniting the kneeling protest against racial inequality and police brutality during the national anthem.
"No one thought about it more than I did," Levine said Thursday night in his only interview before the Super Bowl. "No one put more thought and love into this than I did. ... I spoke to many people, most importantly though, I silenced all the noise and listened to myself, and made my decision about how I felt."
He added that he "absolutely 100 percent" took a hard look inside of himself. "I will never sit here and deny that," he said. "I think that to have not done that would have been deeply irresponsible."
He also reassured those who feel that their voices aren't being heard.
"They will be [heard] — that's all I want to say because I don't want to spoil anything," he said. "And once again, I like to think that people know where I stand as a human being after two decades doing this. I'm not a speaker. I'm not a public speaker. I do speak, but it's through the music. My life's work and what I put out into the universe has been positive and hopefully inspiring ... So, what I would say is, you know, we are going to do what we keep on doing, hopefully without becoming politicians and continuing to use the one voice we know how to use properly."
"To make people understand, we got you," he said. "We got you."
He acknowledged the controversy, saying he and the rest of the band did some soul searching before accepting the job.
"I think we wanted to make sure we were able to speak once again through the music, so yes, absolutely, once we processed these things, it took a lot of looking inward and introspection and I thought to myself, 'What is my greatest tool, you know, what is the thing that I can use to express myself ... the best way for the band to express themselves, and how are we going to do it this year? What do we owe ourselves, what do we owe the people?'" he explained. "And that is what we did, and I am beyond proud of the finished product, and literally never, never been more excited in my entire life to present this to the people because I believe that it's truly a reflection of all of us."
He added that he's able to handle criticism, which is a given in his industry, and especially when it comes to the Super Bowl.
"You know, I think when you look back on every Super Bowl halftime show, it is this insatiable urge to hate a little bit," he says. "I am not in the right profession if I can't handle a bit of controversy. It is what it is. We would like to move on from it and speak through the music."
Earlier in the week, the NFL canceled Maroon 5's press conference after the band refused to take questions during the traditional Super Bowl halftime show press conference. The NFL assured viewers that the band was "working hard" and that at the end of the day, it's all about the performance.
"[Their] show will meet and exceed the standards of this event," the statement read. "As it is about music, the artists will let their show do the talking as they prepare to take the stage this Sunday."
Maroon 5 announced Tuesday that along with their label, Interscope Records, and the NFL, they'll be donating $500,000 to Big Brothers Big Sisters of America ahead of Super Bowl LIII as part of the NFL's #InspireChange social justice initiative.0comments
Along with Maroon 5, Atlanta native Big Boi and Travis Scott will also be performing during the halftime show. Earlier this month, Scott announced that he and the NFL will be making a $500,000 donation to Dream Corps, a social justice organization.
Super Bowl LIII airs on CBS live from Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia on Sunday, Feb. 3.