Epic Super Bowl Halftime Shows

Counting down some of the most iconic Super Bowl halftime shows


Everyone has a favorite part of the Super Bowl: the football, commercials or chicken wing dip. But the most popular event, apart from the game, is the annual halftime performance by a high-profile artist or band. This year’s halftime show will feature Katy Perry and will assuredly be a funky affair filled with flashing neon lights and elaborate costumes. In honor of 22 years of halftime shows, here are eight of the most memorable.

Michael Jackson – 1993

Michael Jackson was the man who started it all. He walked onstage at the Rose Bowl and played five songs for 100,000 screaming fans. In those 15 minutes, Michael Jackson played one of the most watched television sets ever.

U2 – 2002

In a heartfelt moment of solidarity, U2 played a tribute to all 9/11 victims in the New Orleans Superdome. On a screen behind the band were the names of the victims of the terrorist attacks.

Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake – 2004

Who doesn’t remember seeing Janet Jackson’s boob on TV? In a way, it was more iconic than the game itself. Such an obvious wardrobe malfunction on national television was one of the most talked about news stories for months.

“Rock Your Body,” indeed.

Paul McCartney – 2005

Some songs are eternal. Many would argue that applies to most of The Beatles’ catalogue. Regardless, watching Paul McCartney wailing “Hey Jude” and “Live and Let Die” at the ripe age of 62 in a jam-packed, sold-out stadium was a moment destined to be timeless.

Prince – 2007

Prince covered Jimi Hendrix and the Foo Fighters before going into his own grand finale of “Purple Rain.” When Prince started to play his final hit, the skies opened up above him and it started pouring. Prince screamed the words to “Purple Rain,” while water was dumping on him from above, and the neon glow of the light show and Florida A&M University’s Marching 100 Band playing behind him shimmered though the rain – the perfect coincidence made the perfect ending.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band –2009

“The Boss” has always been an animated performer. But there is a certain charm to seeing the artist leap into a crowd screaming “Born to Run,” “Working on a Dream” and “Glory Days.” He even smashed into a camera after sliding across the stage, in perfect “Boss” fashion.

Madonna, Nicki Minaj, M.I.A., Cee Lo Green, LMFAO – 2012

The halftime show has never been more of a performance. A drum group and choir, as well as a 53-year-old Madonna with breakout star Nicki Minaj, M.I.A., pop star Cee Lo Green and LMFAO made the 2012 Super Bowl halftime show one of the most ridiculous, over the top 15-minute TV segments of all time. It also got the highest rating of any halftime show.

Beyoncé and the Destiny’s Child Reunion – 2013

Destiny’s Child was one of the most iconic super groups in history. Seeing Destiny’s Child reunite on national television in 2013 was perhaps one of the most wildly satisfying five minutes of all time.

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