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Top 10 Super Bowl Halftime Shows of All-Time

Publish Date: 02/08/2024
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa

The Super Bowl is the most watched event in the United States every season and while it is because people love football, the reason it’s the most watched maybe because you don’t just have a game. The Super Bowl Commercials and Halftime show have blown the Television ratings out of orbit on Super Bowl Sunday.

Criteria

The criteria is simple on this one, how good was the show, most of these shows had multiple entertainers. How iconic was the act? The Who is an iconic group, but the halftime show they put on was sad as they looked unprepared for the moment and the music was bad.

When an icon like a Michael Jackson, Prince or Springsteen nail it, will you put those acts in the top 5.

10) Aerosmith, Britney Spears, ‘NSync, Nelly & Mary J. Blige (2001)

“Walk This Way” must rank amongst one of the craziest three-minute shows ever shown on TV, featuring Britney in silver football pants as the Missy Who Was Ready to Play; Mary J. Blige wailing along; Nelly rapping over Joe Perry’s guitar solo – indeed, all aspects of American pop music’s gloriously sleazy history can be found within this performance!

It was both horrible and brilliant all at the same time. Britney Spears is dressed as a football player as old perv Steven Tyler drooled over her! Classic!

Video: 2001 Super bowl Halftime Show: Britney, Aerosmith, NSYNC

2001 Super bowl Halftime Show: Britney, Aerosmith, NSYNC

9) Jennifer Lopez and Shakira (2020)

Jennifer Lopez and Shakira weren’t the first Latinas to make an impressionful halftime show, but in 2020 they certainly raised their voices loudly. Following Colin Kaepernick’s blacklisting, it proved difficult to find performers for the show, but these two stars rose up to take centre stage; Shakira played the guitar while J. Lo rode into view on a stripper pole; plus Emme Lopez made an appearance singing Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.”

Yes, it seems a little weird to perform on a stripper pole with your daughter also performing, but Hollywood entertainers usually like a little bit in taste and morals, so I guess it’s all good. Shakira’s performance is why this made the top ten.

Video: Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show 2020 | Shakira & Jennifer Lopez [4K ULTRA HD]

Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show 2020 | Shakira & Jennifer Lopez [4K ULTRA HD]

8) U2 (2002)

U2 produced one of the most unforgettable live-TV rock & roll moments at Super Bowl XXXVI. Just months after 9/11, this Irish rock band managed to deliver an emotionally charged yet strong performance, starting the show with “Beautiful Day,” then “MLK,” while scrolling off a giant screen were names of those who passed away and ending it all with “Where the Streets Have No Name.” It truly left an indelible mark.

Video: U2 - Superbowl Half-Time Show 2002.mp4

U2 – Superbowl Half-Time Show 2002.mp4

7) Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar & 50 Cent (2022)

Super Bowl LVI travelled to Inglewood, Calif. and SoFi Stadium for the Los Angeles Rams-Cincinnati Bengals clash. Hip-hop and R&B superstars quickly assembled an entertaining halftime show.

Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar, and 50 Cent delivered such an unforgettable halftime performance that earned them the Emmy win for Outstanding Variety Special (Live). This historic victory made history. Take a look at our top 10 worst coaching decisions in Super Bowl history!

Video: Super Bowl 56 Halftime Show w/ Dre, Kendrick, Mary J. Blige, 50 Cent, Eminem & Snoop | LIVE 2-13-22

Super Bowl 56 Halftime Show w/ Dre, Kendrick, Mary J. Blige, 50 Cent, Eminem & Snoop | LIVE 2-13-22

6) Katy Perry (2015)

Katy Perry made sure her appearance at Super Bowl XLIX 2015 would make an impactful statement, arriving on the back of a massive lion puppet before being pulled through the sky to perform “Firework.” Lenny Kravitz made an appearance, as did Missy Elliott, who performed three hits from her career; Left Shark, an impressive dancing shark standing directly to Perry’s left, quickly went viral for its stunning dance moves during Perry’s performance.

I am not a huge Katy Perry fan, but the show was solid from start to finish.

Video: Katy Perry - Roar Live at Super Bowl Halftime Show 2015 (HD)

Katy Perry – Roar Live at Super Bowl Halftime Show 2015 (HD)

5) Beyonce and Destiny’s Child (2013)

Beyonce delivered one of the most incredible halftime performances ever seen during the Super Bowl halftime shows, placing her among three iconic acts – Kelly Rowland, Beyonce, and Michelle Williams joining together in an epic reunion of Destiny’s Child at Super Bowl XLVII halftime shows.

The trio performed many of their greatest hits: “Bootylicious,” “Single Ladies” and “Independent Women.” Beyonce sang fan-favorites ranging from “Crazy in Love” to “Baby Boy”. The 2013 production was so lavish that half the lights at the Superdome went out shortly after that, causing a 33-minute, 55-second blackout that delayed the game.

Video: Beyoncé & Destiny's Child Live at Super Bowl Halftime Show 2013

Beyoncé & Destiny’s Child Live at Super Bowl Halftime Show 2013

4) Bruce Springsteen (2009)

Springsteen and the E Street Band performed their first halftime show ever at Super Bowl XLIII on February 1, 2009. Within 12 minutes allotted for this performance, they blasted through “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out,” “Born to Run,” Working on a Dream’s title song “Working on a Dream”, as well as Glory Days.”

Sure, the “Boss” was getting up there in age, but he was still sliding around on his knees on the stage. Sure, he looked worn out after the twelve minutes, but he gave a great performance.

Video: Bruce Springsteen - Superbowl Halftime Show HD 2009 XLIII NFL

Bruce Springsteen – Superbowl Halftime Show HD 2009 XLIII NFL

3) Janet Jackson (2004)

Super Bowl XXXVIII stands out as an unforgettable Super Bowl in recent memory – not due to Tom Brady winning another title, but for an incident which gave rise to a new phrase: wardrobe malfunction.

Diddy performed in a sea of smoke; Nelly came out in an enormous red car to perform “Hot in Here; Kid Rock and Jackson traded off songs between band interludes; but the 2004 performance was ultimately marred by Timberlake accidentally tearing Janet off her chest covering. Nip or No Nip it was still a great show!

Video: Janet Jackson Super Bowl XXXVIII Halftime Show (2004) ᶠᵘˡˡ ᴴᴰ 60fps

Janet Jackson Super Bowl XXXVIII Halftime Show (2004) ᶠᵘˡˡ ᴴᴰ 60fps

2) Prince (2007)

No one realized just how badly we needed Prince with his brass marching band until Super Bowl XLI when he gave an unforgettable halftime show – now known as one of the greatest halftime shows ever performed and even more remembered following his death in 2016. This performance would become even more iconic after Prince passed away.

He combined classic songs from Bob Dylan (All Along the Watchtower), Queen (We Will Rock You), and Foo Fighters (Best of You) with original compositions to produce stunning mashups that culminated with an unforgettable Purple Rain cover, complete with an epic guitar solo in the rain! What are the top storylines heading into this year’s Super Bowl?

Video: Prince - Super Bowl XLI 🏈 | Halftime Show 2007 FULL SHOW HD

Prince – Super Bowl XLI 🏈 | Halftime Show 2007 FULL SHOW HD

1) Michael Jackson (1993)

That a 1993 halftime performance by Michael Jackson would still rank so highly in 2024 is a testament to how ahead of his time he was. Although not going too deep into his massive catalogue, he did perform “We Are the World” with the children’s choir and “Heal the World”, featuring an inflatable globe centre stage. Additionally, he performed “Billie Jean” before moonwalking across the stage to round off a fantastic halftime show performance.

As the inaugural star to take the stage at a Super Bowl — effectively ending marching band performances as we know them — the King of Pop was undoubtedly memorable. The reason the Halftime show is so big today was because of what the King of Pop delivered in 1993.

Video: Michael Jackson Super Bowl Complete Version HQ

Michael Jackson Super Bowl Complete Version HQ

 

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