The Super Bowl is the event that the entire football world looks forward to. While the game is a spectacle in itself, a good number of fans also look forward to the event’s halftime show. Throughout history, we’ve seen the most popular performers take center stage in the halftime show, adding more star power and fireworks to the much-anticipated Super Bowl. For this piece, let’s rank the 10 greatest Super Bowl Halftime shows ever.
10. Bruno Mars
Bruno Mars' #SuperBowl performance was… AMAZING! Here are the 6 best moments from halftime in #GIFs: https://t.co/A8BeUFE3N0
— MTV NEWS (@MTVNEWS) February 3, 2014
Super Bowl XLVII served as the first time it was held at New York City. While Bruno Mars carried huge expectations and the Seahawks gave the Broncos a tough 22-0 beating, he didn’t disappoint. Mars performed some of his hit songs such as Locked Out of Heaven, Just the Way You Are, and Treasure as he was also joined by Red Hot Chilli Peppers.
9. Lady Gaga
3- Lady Gaga, Super Bowl LI Halftime Show (2017) pic.twitter.com/vJmFOgpMZQ
— bowdowntoshak❄️ (@_bowdowntoshak) October 8, 2022
Lady Gaga is one of the most popular artists. Although not everyone is a football fan, the presence of Lady Gaga was enough to draw people to watch the big game. Based on reports, Lady Gaga’s halftime show garnered a large audience of 117.5 million. She performed some of her iconic tracks such as Bad Romance, Just Dance, and Poker Face.
8. Bruce Springsteen & the E-Street Band
Bruce Springsteen – Superbowl Halftime Show HD 2009 XLIII NFL. Still one of our favorites. https://t.co/QyxwrkAXxU via @YouTube
— 99.5 The River (@995TheRiver) February 8, 2021
Super Bowl XLIII was a cardiac affair between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Arizona Cardinals. But during half time, Bruce Springsteen & the E-Street Band lit up Tampa, Florida by performing songs such as Tenth Avenue Freezeout, Born to Run, and Glory Days.
7. Katy Perry
when katy perry said “SING IT” at the super bowl and everybody sang it >>> pic.twitter.com/SZGCA64Ljn
— 2000s (@PopCulture2000s) February 1, 2023
While it was a tight affair between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks from start to finish, they must’ve gotten a lot of motivation from Katy Perry who sang some of her hits such as California Gurls, Firework, Dark Horse, and Roar. Perry’s performance remains as the most watched halftime show in history with 118.5 million viewers.
Known as the Queen of Pop, it’s not a surprise that Madonna delivered a spectacular performance in the NFL’s climactic event in Indiana. Headlined by Madonna, the halftime show was watched by 114 million viewers. Madonna opened the show with the song Vogue before concluding the show with Like a Prayer.
5. Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blidge, 50 Cent, Kendrick Lamar, and Dr. Dre
Super Bowl LVI would be known for Cooper Kupp taking the Los Angeles Rams to a 23-20 victory. However, it also showcased one of the finest halftime show performances by some of the best hip-hop and R&B artists. The performance was so good that their performances earned an Emmy Award in 2022, marking the first time a halftime show was awarded an Emmy.
4. Michael Jackson
This month in 1993, Michael put on an epic Super Bowl halftime show. Watch the performance that left the world in awe: https://t.co/Zmp5fH9hOJ pic.twitter.com/mnn4rUHk7j
— Michael Jackson (@michaeljackson) January 12, 2021
While the halftime shows in recent years have been headlined by seasoned performers, that wasn’t always the case. However, that only changed when Michael Jackson became the most decorated performer to take center stage at Super Bowl XXVII. He performed some of his most iconic songs including We Are the World, Heal the World, and Billie Jean. While the Dallas Cowboys gave the Steeler a pretty bad 52-17 beating, at least fans enjoyed Jackson’s iconic performance.
3. Jennifer Lopez and Shakira
Shakira and JLo’s performance at the Super Bowl last year will forever be ICONIC!
— Parceros United (@ParcerosUnited) February 7, 2021
Patrick Mahomes led the Kansas City Chiefs to a victory at Super Bowl LIV to take MVP honors. However, some would also argue that Jennifer Lopez and Shakira stole the show at halftime. The Latina duo performed to popular songs such as She Wolf and Kashmir, with the iconic moves to show for it.
Although Prince isn’t as decorated as the other performers in this list, he did deliver a big time performance that brought the house down at Super Bowl XLI. The game experienced tough weather conditions. But despite those conditions, Prince wowed the crowds, especially performing Purple Rain, a fitting song in the midst of a rainy weather. Aside from Purple Rain, Prince also performed We Will Rock You, Let’s Go Crazy?, and All Along the Watchtower.
Super Bowl 50 was a solid upset pulled off by the Denver Broncos against the heavily favored 15-1 Carolina Panthers. But before the Panthers met their demise, fans were treated with an iconic performance by Coldplay who sang their hits such as Fix You, Yellow, Adventure of a Lifetime, and most notably Viva la Vida. Shortly after, Beyonce took the stage by storm when she performed new song Formation alongside backup dancers wearing Black Panther costumes. Their performances at Super Bowl 50 wouldn’t be easy to forget.