Singer M.I.A. has been asked to pay US$16.6 million (NZ$19.4m) in fines for making a rude gesture during a controversial performance with Madonna at the 2012 Super Bowl Half Time show.

The rapper, known for her hit Paper Planes, "flipped the bird" to the crowd while performing Give Me All Your Luvin' during the show, which was watched by 167 million people.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the NFL is chasing M.I.A. for US$16.6 million in fines: $1.5m for allegedly breaching her performance contract, and $15.1m more in "restitution".

"The claim for restitution lacks any basis in law, fact, or logic," say M.I.A.'s response papers, filed on Friday.


A lawyer for M.I.A said the fines were "an exercise by the NFL intended solely to bully and make an example" of the singer.

M.I.A wasn't paid for her performance, reports THR.

The Super Bowl has a long history of Half Time show controversies, most notably for Janet Jackson's exposed breast during a performance with Justin Timberlake in 2004.