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Top 10 Most Memorable Super Bowl Halftime Shows

If the only reason you tune in to the Super Bowl is to catch the halftime show (and the Doritos commercials), then you’ve come to the right place.

It’s the show we’ve been looking forward to all year: who’s going to perform at the next halftime show?

And for the most part, they just keep getting better. How could you top Shakira and J.Lo? Oh yeah, celebrating ALL of rap history with names like Dr. Dre, Snoop Dog, and Mary J. Blige.

Even if you’re watching from your living room, covered in nacho cheese sauce, you can feel the energy coming from the screaming fans and the performance of your life. And they’ve come a long way since the marching band performances of the 1960s. Today, all the performers push it to the limit with fireworks and elaborate costumes. You almost forgot that there is still a game to finish…

Without a doubt, the Super Bowl halftime show has become one of the most anticipated musical performances of the year. Let’s run through the ten most memorable Super Bowl halftime shows.

Related: Top 10 performances in rock music history

10 Snoop Dogg (Super Bowl LVI, 2022)

The 2022 Super Bowl halftime show was a hip-hop lover’s dream come true. Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar took the stage and gave a performance that will go down in history. The show celebrated hip-hop and R&B, and it was clear that the artists were there to have a good time and put on a show for the fans.

The set design was out of this world, with the set resembling a spaceship. The artists brought their A-game, each delivering a standout performance that showcased their unique style and sound. The Nipsey Hussle tribute was a moving moment that brought tears to many eyes.

One of the most memorable moments on the show was when Eminem got down on one knee during his performance of “Lose Yourself.” It was a powerful statement against police brutality and racial injustice, and it sparked a conversation about the role of activism in music.

9 Michael Jackson (Super Bowl XXVII, 1993)

Let’s go back to 1993 with Super Bowl XXVII. The air was electric as fans eagerly awaited the halftime show. Suddenly the stage lit up and there he was, the one and only King of Pop, Michael Jackson! As soon as Jackson took the stage, the crowd went wild. He remained motionless for what seemed like an eternity, and just when you thought he was frozen, he began his signature dance moves, leaving everyone in awe.

For more than 12 minutes, Jackson had the entire stadium in the palm of his hand, belting out classics like “Billie Jean,” “Black or White” and “We Are the World.” The energy in the stadium was palpable as Jackson did his magic, and you couldn’t stop dancing.

The highlight of Jackson’s performance was his unforgettable rendition of “Heal the World.” Standing on a huge globe, she invited the audience to join him in a call for unity and world peace. It was an emotional moment that brought the stadium to its feet, with fans swaying and singing in perfect harmony.

8 Prince (Super Bowl XLI, 2007)

Welcome to Super Bowl XLI in 2007, where the halftime show featured an unforgettable performance from the legendary Prince. The crowd was buzzing as they eagerly awaited the arrival of the Purple.

As the curtain rose, Prince appeared on stage, dressed in a bright orange suit and a loose-fitting shirt. The energy was palpable as he kicked off his performance with “Let’s Go Crazy.” His electrifying guitar riffs and his energetic dance moves immediately captivated the audience.

Prince’s performance was a mix of his classic hits and covers of other popular songs, including “Purple Rain.” As he sang, he started a downpour and the stadium was lit up with purple lights. The scene was surreal, and fans sang along to every word.

The highlight of Prince’s performance came during his cover of Foo Fighters’ “Best of You.” As he played his guitar, a huge leaf was projected behind him, creating a silhouette of the artist. His shadow was projected creating an unforgettable moment that left the audience speechless.

7 Beyonce (Super Bowl XLVII, 2013)

The Super Bowl XLVII halftime show in 2013 was turned on by a mesmerizing performance from the one and only Beyoncé. From the moment she took the stage, it was clear this would be a performance to remember.

Queen Bae’s set was an impressive display of dancing, lights and pyrotechnics, leaving the audience on the edge of their seats. Her opening “Love on Top” set the tone for what was to come, with Beyoncé performing energetic dance moves that kept the stadium abuzz with excitement.

Beyoncé performed a medley of her greatest hits, including “Crazy in Love” and “End of Time.” The stage was transformed into a sea of ​​flames, with Beyoncé in the center, performing fierce dance moves and showing off her trademark vocal range.

Icon that she is, Beyoncé’s reunion performance with Destiny’s Child bandmates Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams was the icing on the cake. The trio’s medley of classic hits, including “Bootylicious” and “Independent Women,” was a nostalgic trip down memory lane.

6 Lady Gaga (Super Bowl LI, 2017)

“Gaga, ooh, la, la.”

Lady Gaga’s halftime show during Super Bowl LI in 2017 is a performance that will go down in history as one of the most visually and musically impressive halftime shows.

As the lights at Houston’s NRG Stadium dimmed, Lady Gaga descended from the roof on cables and began her performance with “God Bless America.” She then moved on to a medley of her greatest hits, including “Poker Face” and “Born This Way.” Her performance was electrifying, leaving the audience spellbound.

Lady Gaga performed “Bad Romance” while standing on the stadium roof. As she sang, fireworks exploded behind her, creating a breathtaking scene that will forever be etched in Super Bowl history. And during “Million Reasons,” she sat behind a piano and delivered a stripped down version of the song, showcasing her incredible talent as a singer and musician.

5 U2 (Super Bowl XXXVI, 2002)

In 2002, we had one of the most emotionally charged halftime shows in Super Bowl history, courtesy of the iconic Irish rock band U2. Super Bowl XXXVI (I’m still crying about it).

As the band took the stage, they began performing their hit song “Beautiful Day,” accompanied by a huge backdrop of the names of the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The stadium fell silent as names scrolled across the screen, and U2’s powerful performance served as a tribute to the victims and a show of solidarity with the American people.

As Bono sang the lyrics, the stadium erupted in applause. The band then launched into a moving rendition of “MLK,” which served as a tribute to civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. The performance was a moving tribute to the values ​​of unity, peace and equality.

And during “Where the streets have no name,” the band’s circular stage was lowered onto the field as a sea of ​​lights illuminated the stadium.

4 Katy Perry (Super Bowl XLIX, 2015)

Katy Perry’s Super Bowl XLIX halftime show was an unforgettable sight, featuring one of the most epic entrances in Super Bowl history. The crowd was stunned as Perry rode atop a massive mechanical lion, singing her hit song “Roar” to the ecstatic crowd.

As Perry made her way to the main stage, the stadium was transformed into a vibrant carnival of colors, with dancers in vibrant costumes and fireworks exploding in the background. Perry’s performance was an energetic mix of her greatest hits, including “Dark Horse,” “California Gurls” and “Teenage Dream.” Her commanding stage presence and infectious energy left the audience in awe, with fans singing and dancing to every song.

But the real show was Perry’s finale, during which she performed her hit song “Firework” while flying over the stadium on a shooting star. Perry sang her trademark high notes as he floated above the crowd, creating a magical moment.

3 Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake (Super Bowl XXXVIII, 2004)

We won’t forget this one, but probably for the wrong reasons. The Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show in 2004 will be forever remembered for the controversial “wardrobe malfunction” that occurred during a performance by Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake.

But there was so much more to the performance than just that (terrible) moment.

As Jackson and Timberlake took the stage, they kicked off their set with “Rock Your Body,” and the crowd rose to its feet. But then, during the final moments of the performance, Timberlake reached out and ripped off a part of Jackson’s costume, exposing his chest on live television. The moment created a media frenzy and sparked a nationwide debate about censorship and indecency.

Despite the controversy, Jackson and Timberlake’s performance was an energetic show that showcased their incredible talent. Their chemistry was undeniable and the audience was captivated by their dynamic stage presence and electrifying moves.

2 Bruno Mars (Super Bowl XLVIII, 2014)

The Super Bowl XLVIII halftime show in 2014 was a celebration of music and dance courtesy of the immensely talented Bruno Mars.

As the stadium lights dimmed, Mars appeared on stage, dressed in a gold blazer and black pants. He kicked off his performance with “Locked Out of Heaven,” showcasing his incredible vocal range and contagious energy. The crowd was on their feet, singing and dancing to every beat.

Mars’ performance was a mix of his greatest hits, including “Treasure” and “Just the Way You Are.” The stage was transformed into a party, with Mars and his band backed by a troupe of dancers in matching outfits.

But when the Red Hot Chili Peppers joined him, the whole world went crazy. The band performed their hit song “Give It Away,” with Mars on vocals and (impressive) guitar. The combination of the pop sensibilities of Mars and the rock energy of the Red Hot Chili Peppers was a perfect match.

1 The Rolling Stones (Super Bowl XL, 2006)

The Rolling Stones’ halftime performance at Super Bowl XL in 2006 was a rock ‘n’ roll extravaganza that left fans yearning for more.

As the band took the stage, they kicked off their set with “Start Me Up,” accompanied by an impressive fireworks display that set the stadium ablaze. The crowd was on its feet, dancing and singing along with the iconic voice of Mick Jagger.

The Stones’ performance was a mix of their greatest hits, including “Satisfaction” and “Brown Sugar.” Jagger strutted across the stage, thrilling the crowd with his trademark moves and infectious energy, while Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood delivered guitar solos that left fans stunned.

The highlight of the Stones’ performance came when they performed “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” while playing on a stage that was shaped like the band’s famous lips and tongue logo. Classic.

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