Beyonce signals Super Bowl halftime gig

Pop diva Beyonce all but confirmed Tuesday that she will be performing the much-watched halftime show at the Super Bowl in New Orleans next year.

She appeared in a photograph on her Tumblr page wearing bright red lipstick and "Feb 3 2013" -- the date of the American football classic -- stenciled in white over eye black on her cheekbones.

"Countdown to touchdown," read the accompanying headline.

Pending a formal announcement, the ESPN television sports network said on its website that Beyonce, 31, would be the youngest halftime act in nearly a decade.

Super Bowl organizers have played it safe since Janet Jackson's infamous "wardrobe malfunction" while performing with Justin Timberlake in Houston in 2004 -- the year Beyonce opened the game by singing the national anthem.

This year's halftime artist was Madonna, 53, whose guest star MIA got tongues wagging by flipping a middle finger on live television. The show got higher ratings than the game itself.

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