The 10 best Super Bowl halftime shows of all time

(WCMH) — It’s every musician’s dream: Performing front and center at the Super Bowl halftime show. It’s 12 minutes on the world’s biggest stage at the world’s biggest game. Before Justin Timberlake takes the stage on Super Bowl Sunday, here’s a look back at 10 of the best halftime performances of all time:

10. Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake (2004) 


{“author_url”:””,”type”:”video”,”provider_url”:””,”thumbnail_height”:360,”width”:459,”provider_name”:”YouTube”,”title”:”Court Tosses FCC ‘wardrobe Malfunction’ Fine”,”author_name”:”Associated Press”,”url”:””,”thumbnail_width”:480,”thumbnail_url”:””,”height”:344,”version”:”1.0″,”html”:”n&#lt;iframe width=” 459″ height=”344″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen=”allowfullscreen”&#gt;&#lt;/iframe&#gt;n”}


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 entire show was entertaining. Jackson was in the middle of a comeback, and Timberlake was at the beginning of his solo career, making the awkward ending all the more unfortunate.

9. Madonna feat. Niki Minaj, M.I.A., CeeLo Green and LMFAO (2012)


{“version”:”1.0″,”html”:”n&#lt;iframe width=” 480″ height=”270″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen=”allowfullscreen”&#gt;&#lt;/iframe&#gt;n”,”title”:”Madonna Super Bowl Half Time Show 2012 HD”,”author_name”:”xMaterialBoyx”,”url”:””,”provider_name”:”YouTube”,”width”:480,”thumbnail_url”:””,”height”:270,”thumbnail_width”:480,”author_url”:””,”provider_url”:””,”thumbnail_height”:360,”type”:”video”}


With an entrance fitting for the queen of pop music, Madonna’s 2012 Super Bowl performance was one for the books.  Madonna used the occasion to kick off her MDNA tour, and the star managed to rouse the crowd with new songs and old favorites alike, with a spectacular rendition of “Vogue” and “Like a Prayer.”

8. Katy Perry feat. Lenny Kravitz and Missy Elliot (2015)


{“html”:”n&#lt;iframe width=” 480″ height=”270″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen=”allowfullscreen”&#gt;&#lt;/iframe&#gt;n”,”version”:”1.0″,”thumbnail_url”:””,”height”:270,”thumbnail_width”:480,”author_name”:”Ahri Jenner”,”url”:””,”title”:”Super Bowl Katy Perry Halftime Show Performance 2015 ORIGINAL”,”provider_name”:”YouTube”,”width”:480,”thumbnail_height”:360,”provider_url”:””,”type”:”video”,”author_url”:””}


Sure, Left Shark and Missy Elliot stole the show, but Katy Perry’s 2015 halftime performance was a primer in how to make a performance wonderfully weird. Plus, who can forget the moment Perry closed out her show soaring through the stadium on a shooting star platform?

7. Coldplay feat. Beyonce and Bruno Mars (2016) 


{“version”:”1.0″,”html”:”n&#lt;iframe width=” 480″ height=”270″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen=”allowfullscreen”&#gt;&#lt;/iframe&#gt;n”,”provider_name”:”YouTube”,”width”:480,”author_name”:”BOSS THOT KNOT”,”title”:”Beyoncé – Formation (Super Bowl 2016)”,”url”:””,”thumbnail_width”:480,”thumbnail_url”:””,”height”:270,”author_url”:””,”type”:”video”,”provider_url”:””,”thumbnail_height”:360}


Let’s be honest: Did anyone even remember that Coldplay was the headliner for this show? In all seriousness though, when Mars took the stage with crowd pleaser “Uptown Funk,” the show got interesting. Beyonce emerged from the sideline, leading her dancers through “Formation” before joining Mars onstage for a dance-off set to a mashup of “Uptown Funk” and “Crazy in Love.” The performance also featured a tribute to past halftime shows.

6. Bruno Mars feat. Red Hot Chili Peppers (2014)


{“html”:”n&#lt;iframe width=” 480″ height=”270″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen=”allowfullscreen”&#gt;&#lt;/iframe&#gt;n”,”version”:”1.0″,”thumbnail_height”:360,”provider_url”:””,”type”:”video”,”author_url”:””,”height”:270,”thumbnail_url”:””,”thumbnail_width”:480,”author_name”:”NBA MLB”,”url”:””,”title”:”Super Bowl 48 Bruno Mars-Full Performance Halftime Show HD”,”provider_name”:”YouTube”,”width”:480}


Channeling the legendary James Brown, along with some moves that seemed like an homage to Michael Jackson, Mars’ performance was one of the best in recent years. The only sore spot was that the Red Hot Chili Peppers clearly weren’t 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.

5. Aerosmith, *NSYNC and Britney Spears (2001)


{“thumbnail_url”:””,”height”:344,”thumbnail_width”:480,”author_name”:”JamieBFan”,”url”:””,”title”:”2001 Super bowl Halftime Show: Britney, Aerosmith, NSYNC”,”width”:459,”provider_name”:”YouTube”,”thumbnail_height”:360,”provider_url”:””,”type”:”video”,”author_url”:””,”html”:”n&#lt;iframe width=” 459″ height=”344″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen=”allowfullscreen”&#gt;&#lt;/iframe&#gt;n”,”version”:”1.0″}


This halftime show was packed with more star power than any other halftime show in Super Bowl history. The show opened with *NSYNC’s inescapable hit, “Bye, Bye, Bye,” and the boy band traded songs with Steven Tyler and company until they were joined on stage by Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige and Nelly for a star-studded rendition of “Walk This Way.”

4. Lady Gaga (2017)


{“author_url”:””,”thumbnail_height”:360,”provider_url”:””,”type”:”video”,”author_name”:”NFL”,”title”:”Lady Gaga’s FULL Pepsi Zero Sugar Super Bowl LI Halftime Show | NFL”,”url”:”″,”width”:480,”provider_name”:”YouTube”,”thumbnail_url”:””,”height”:270,”thumbnail_width”:480,”version”:”1.0″,”html”:”n&#lt;iframe width=” 480″ height=”270″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen=”allowfullscreen”&#gt;&#lt;/iframe&#gt;n”}


A half-time show that started on the roof and ended with a mic drop? Oh yeah, you know it’s gotta be good. The super star literally went “over the top” when she literally jumped off the roof of NRG Stadium to start the show. She then progressed through all her hits, with the show getting bigger and bigger.  And unlike several of the past Super Bowl shows, she didn’t need a surprise cameo.

Mic drop.


{“url”:”″,”author_name”:”NFL Memes”,”author_url”:””,”html”:”&#lt;blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”&#gt;&#lt;p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”&#gt;BREAKING: Cleveland Browns reportedly showing ‘strong interest’ with Lady Gaga after seeing her catch a pass during her halftime show &#lt;a href=”″&#gt;;/a&#gt;&#lt;/p&#gt;— NFL Memes (@NFL_Memes) &#lt;a href=””&#gt;February 6, 2017&#lt;/a&#gt;&#lt;/blockquote&#gt;n&#lt;script async src=”” charset=”utf-8″&#gt;&#lt;/script&#gt;n”,”width”:550,”height”:null,”type”:”rich”,”cache_age”:”3153600000″,”provider_name”:”Twitter”,”provider_url”:””,”version”:”1.0″}


3. Prince (2007)


{“thumbnail_url”:””,”height”:270,”thumbnail_width”:480,”author_name”:”NFL”,”url”:””,”title”:”Prince Performs “Purple Rain” During Downpour | Super Bowl XLI Halftime Show | NFL”,”width”:480,”provider_name”:”YouTube”,”provider_url”:””,”thumbnail_height”:360,”type”:”video”,”author_url”:””,”html”:”n&#lt;iframe width=” 480″ height=”270″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen=”allowfullscreen”&#gt;&#lt;/iframe&#gt;n”,”version”:”1.0″}


Prince playing “Purple Rain” in the middle of a downpour? Enough said.

2. U2 (2002)


{“version”:”1.0″,”html”:”n&#lt;iframe width=” 480″ height=”270″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen=”allowfullscreen”&#gt;&#lt;/iframe&#gt;n”,”author_url”:””,”provider_url”:””,”thumbnail_height”:360,”type”:”video”,”title”:”U2’s “Beautiful Day” & Super Bowl XXXVI Halftime Show Helps Heal America After 9/11 | NFL”,”author_name”:”NFL Network”,”url”:””,”provider_name”:”YouTube”,”width”:480,”height”:270,”thumbnail_url”:””,”thumbnail_width”:480}


Some bands are perfect for stadium concerts, and U2 is no different. The Irish rockers earned their place in Super Bowl halftime show fame with their performance honoring the lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001. As they played “Where the Streets Have No Name,” the names of those who died that tragic day scrolled on a screen behind them, making it one of the most powerful moments in Super Bowl halftime history. (Warning: You’ll need some tissues to get through this one.)

1. Michael Jackson (1993)


{“html”:”n&#lt;iframe width=” 459″ height=”344″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen=”allowfullscreen”&#gt;&#lt;/iframe&#gt;n”,”version”:”1.0″,”provider_url”:””,”thumbnail_height”:360,”type”:”video”,”author_url”:””,”thumbnail_url”:””,”height”:344,”thumbnail_width”:480,”url”:””,”author_name”:”MoonwalkerTV”,”title”:”Michael Jackson Super Bowl 1993 Full HQ | MoonwalkerTV”,”provider_name”:”YouTube”,”width”:459}


This 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 on top of the Jumbotrons before the King of Pop himself jumped from the center of the stage. The audience waited with baited breath as Jackson held still for more than a minute and a half before opening the show with “Jam,” and continuing on with crowd favorite “Billie Jean.” Jackson closed out his performance with dedicating “Heal the World” to children around the globe.

WNCT-TV 9 On Your Side provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s