Adam Levine is opening up about his late manager and childhood friend, Jordan Feldstein.
The 39-year-old singer exclusively sat down with ET’s Kevin Frazier in Atlanta, Georgia, on Thursday, for his only interview before Maroon 5’s highly-anticipated Super Bowl Halftime Show this weekend. During the chat, Levine got candid about Feldstein’s tragic death in December 2017, and how he would have liked for him to play a part in Sunday’s performance.
“I am here because of me, and I am here because of the band, but I am here because of Jordan,” Levine said of Feldstein, who was also the older brother of actor Jonah Hill. “This was our thing, you know? This is what we wanted.”
“Ultimately when looking at all this stuff and needing him and listening for him, that was a huge factor in all of this — accepting this challenge [to perform] and a challenge it has been, obviously,” Levine explained. “But I got it. At the end of the day, I know what he wanted me to do, and I know how he would have wanted me to do it. So, it’s gotten me this far, you know? I feel like he is always with me somehow. He is there.”
ET learned last March that Feldstein — who also managed stars like Miguel and Robin Thicke — died of natural causes from a blockage of an artery in his lungs and a blood clot in his leg. The Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner also listed obesity and pneumonia as contributing factors to his death. He was 40 years old.
Earlier in the interview, Levine also talked about the controversy surrounding his band’s decision to take part in this year’s halftime show. Sources previously told ET that Rihanna and Pink were the NFL’s first and second choice picks, respectively, to headline, but both turned down the offers due to the football league’s handling of the Colin Kaepernick situation.
“No one thought about it more than I did,” the Maroon 5 frontman revealed. “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.”
“I did, I absolutely 100 percent did,” he added, about taking a hard look inside of himself. “I will never sit here and deny that. I think that to not, to have not done that would have been deeply irresponsible.”
Kaepernick became a political icon over the past few years following his on-field protests of police brutality. During the singing of the national anthem at various games across the country, the quarterback, who last played for the San Francisco 49ers, took a knee as a way to make a statement, with other players and cheerleaders later following his lead. Many believe these acts allegedly had him banned from the league — Kaepernick filed a grievance against the NFL and its owners in 2017, accusing them of colluding to not hire him.
Big Boi from Outkast and Travis Scott will also perform during halftime. The “Sicko Mode” rapper agreed to perform at the championship game on the condition that the NFL pledged to jointly donate $500,000 to the social-justice non-profit Dream Corps.
Maroon 5 followed suit earlier this week, teaming up with their label, Interscope Records, and the NFL to donate $500,000 to Big Brothers Big Sisters of America to create positive social changes for youth in communities in America.
“Playing the Super Bowl has been a dream of our band for a long time,” Levine said in a statement. “We thank the NFL for the opportunity and also to them, along with Interscope Records, for making a donation to Big Brothers Big Sisters, which will have a major impact for children across the country.”
Super Bowl LIII festivities kick off Sunday at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT on CBS. In the meantime, hear more from Levine’s exclusive interview with ET in the video below.