San Diego hard-rock band P.O.D. (Payable On Death) will provide the halftime entertainment during this year’s Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl on New Years Eve.

This marks the return of live music to the annual college football classic’s halftime show for the first time since 2017. The game’s organizers frequently booked acts such as country acts Frank Ray, Lone Star and Lee Brice, and even an up-and-coming Rhianna in 2006.

“Having Yselta del Sur Pueblo as a sponsor allows us to bring back a featured artist for halftime entertainment,” said Sun Bowl Association Executive Director Bernie Olivas. “We know the fans enjoy seeing different performers at the Sun Bowl, and we think we are bringing in another great one in P.O.D. We thank Ysleta del Sur and Mr. Karl Maahs for the newly formed partnership.”

Here are three things to know about P.O.D. before you check them out at the big game:

‘Music for everybody’

While P.O.D. has been tagged as a Christian band because of its devout beliefs and uplifting messages in their songs, singer Sonny Sandoval says the band makes music for everybody.

That message has been spread far and wide, with the band selling more than 10 million albums worldwide, and scoring several rock radio hits, such as “Youth of the Nation,” “Alive” and “Boom” which still garner regular airplay years after their release.

Collaborating with Katy

Over the years the band has collaborated with a wide range of artists, including Carlos Santana and rapper Sen Dog of Cypress Hill. Perhaps one that will surprise even longtime fans is they not only collaborated with pop superstar Katy Perry, they helped her out when she was first starting out. As a young and unknown singer, she sang harmony vocals and appeared in the video for the song “Goodbye For Now” off P.O.D.’s 2006 album, “Testify.”

Perry would breakthrough with her single “I Kissed a Girl” in 2008, but back then, Sandoval told the San Diego Union Tribune, he didn’t know her as “Katy Perry, the diva. I know Katy Perry, the tomboy, who came in acting like one of us, picking her nose and being goofy, having dinner with us, and we’d sit around like a family. That’s the kid I know, you know. And she went on to become Katy Perry, which is crazy.”

Trying something ‘Nu’

In the late-1990s and early-2000s a wave of acts, spearheaded by Rage Against the Machine and Korn, began combining heavy metal grooves with rap vocals and attitude. The genre was dubbed Nu-Metal and P.O.D. was a part of the genre’s rising tide.

P.O.D. started as a more traditional metal band, guitarist Marcos Curiel told HardDrive radio YouTube channel. But the band was always influenced by the mixture of punk-rock, heavy-metal and rap that existed in the San Diego music scene, so the band decided to ask Sandoval, a local underground rapper and cousin of the band’s drummer, to join the band.

That decision has taken them on a 20-plus year, 11 album journey and to the field of Sun Bowl Stadium later this month.