TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — It’s every musician’s dream: to be front and center at the Super Bowl halftime show.
It’s 12 minutes on the biggest stage in the world in the biggest game in the world. Before Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar take the stage on Super Bowl Sunday, here’s a look back at 10 of the best halftime performances of all time:
10. Madonna feat. Niki Minaj, MIA, CeeLo Green and LMFAO (2012)
Super Bowl XLVI, Indianapolis, Indiana
With an entrance worthy of the queen of pop music, Madonna’s 2012 Super Bowl performance was one for the books. Madonna took the opportunity to kick off her MDNA tour, and the star managed to wake up the crowd with new songs and old favorites, with a spectacular rendition of “Vogue” and “Like a Prayer.” This performance was not without controversy, however, as the MIA singer gave the middle finger on camera. She settled with the NFL, but settlement details were never revealed.
9. Bruno Mars feat. Hot Red Chilies (2014)
Super Bowl XLVIII, East Rutherford New Jersey
Channeling the legendary James Brown, along with a few moves that felt like a tribute to Michael Jackson, Mars’ performance was one of the best in years. The only sore point was that the Red Hot Chili Peppers were clearly not playing live when it was their turn on stage, but it’s not like they were the first band to deliver a pre-recorded performance at the big game.
8. Coldplay feat. Beyoncé and Bruno Mars (2016)
Super Bowl L, Santa Clara, CA
Let’s be honest: did anyone even remember that Coldplay was the headliner of this show? On a more serious note, when Mars took the stage with the “Uptown Funk” audience, the show got interesting. Beyonce emerged from the sidelines, leading her dancers through “Formation” before joining Mars on stage for a dance set to a mashup of “Uptown Funk” and “Crazy in Love.” The performance also featured a tribute to past halftime shows.
7. Katy Perry starring. Lenny Kravitz and Missy Elliot (2015)
Super Bowl XLIX, Glendale, Arizona
Sure, Left Shark and Missy Elliot stole the show, but Katy Perry’s halftime performance in 2015 was an introduction to how to make a performance wonderfully weird. Plus, who can forget the moment Perry closed his show by flying around the stadium on a shooting star platform?
6.Lady Gaga (2017)
Super Bowl LI, Houston, TX
A halftime show that started on the roof and ended with a mic drop? Oh yeah, you know it must be good. The superstar literally went ‘over the top’ when she literally jumped off the roof of NRG Stadium to start the show. She then progressed through all of her hits, with the show getting bigger and bigger. And unlike several of the previous Super Bowl shows, she didn’t need a surprise appearance.
5. Aerosmith, *NSYNC and Britney Spears (2001)
Super Bowl XXXVII, Tampa, Florida
This halftime show was filled with more star power than any other halftime show in Super Bowl history. The show kicked off with *NSYNC’s must-have hit, “Bye, Bye, Bye,” and the boy band swapped songs with Steven Tyler and company until they were joined on stage by Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige and Nelly for a star-studded performance. of “Walk this way”.
4. Prince (2007)
Super Bowl XLI, Miami Gardens, Florida
Prince playing “Purple Rain” in the middle of a downpour? Enough said.
3. U2 (2002)
Super Bowl XXXVI, New Orleans, Louisiana
Some bands are great for stadium gigs, and U2 is no different. The Irish rockers earned their place in the Super Bowl halftime show with their performance honoring the lives lost on September 11, 2001. As they performed ‘Where the Streets Have No Name’, the names of those who died that tragic day flashed on a screen behind them, making it one of the most powerful moments in Super Bowl halftime history. (Warning: you will need tissues to cross this one.)
2. Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake (2004)
Super Bowl XXXVIII Houston, Texas
You can’t talk about Super Bowl halftime shows without talking about the one that made the phrase “wardrobe malfunction” part of the national lexicon. While most people only remember that infamous moment, the whole show was entertaining. Jackson was in the midst of a comeback, and Timberlake was at the start of his solo career, making the awkward ending all the more unfortunate.
1.Michael Jackson (1993)
Super Bowl XXVII, Pasadena, California
It was the performance that changed Super Bowl halftime shows forever. Jackson’s spectacular entrance used body doubles to create the illusion of teleporting around the stadium atop the Jumbotrons before the King of Pop himself jumped from center stage. The audience waited impatiently as Jackson lay still for over a minute and a half before opening the show with “Jam” and continuing with audience favorite “Billie Jean.” Jackson closed his performance by dedicating “Heal the World” to children around the world.
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