10 of the best NFL Super Bowl Halftime show performances ever

13 February 2022, 02:11

10 of the best NFL Super Bowl Halftime show performances ever
10 of the best NFL Super Bowl Halftime show performances ever. Picture: Getty

From Beyoncé to The Weeknd, here's a list of the 10 best NFL Super Bowl Halftime show performances ever!

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The annual NFL Super Bowl is BACK, and this year, the Cincinnati Bengals will go head-to-head against the Los Angeles Ram for the 56th edition of the playoff championship game.

For the last four decades, one of the most exciting parts to the Super Bowl is the halftime show, and this year Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar will be performing some of their greatest hits onstage in front of nearly 100 million people.

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Ahead of tomorrow's spectacular show, here's a list of the 10 of the best NFL Super Bowl Halftime show performances ever, from Michael Jackson to Shakira and J-Lo!

  1. Prince (2007)

    Back in 2007, when Indianapolis Colts faced off against the Chicago Bears, the late Prince played what many consider to be the best Superbowl halftime show ever.

    Performing some of his greatest hits and mashups including Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower", Queen's "We Will Rock You", and Foo Fighters' "Best of You", the artist (Formerly Known as Prince) completely rocked the stage.

    Closing the show with the most perfect rendition of 'Purple Rain' accompanied by a marching band, the XLI halftime show remains as one of the most talked about and adored performances ever.

    We miss you Prince! 💜🕊

    Prince performing at the Super Bowl XLI in 2007
    Prince performing at the Super Bowl XLI in 2007. Picture: Getty
  2. Beyoncé (2013)

    Slaying her way through 15-minutes of booty shaking classics, Queen B aka Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter shut the 2009 Super Bowl XLVII show down, LITERALLY!

    Causing a 35-minute power outage after her performance with the help of her Destiny's Child bandmates Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams, Beyoncé stormed the stage shortly after giving birth to her first daughter Blue Ivy to perform a medley hits.

    From doing her own hits like "Single Ladies", "Halo" and "Crazy in Love", she also did what is arguably two of DC's biggest tracks "Bootylicious" and "Independent Women Part I".

    Watched by 104 million people, her performance became the most tweeted-about moment in Twitter history with 268,000 tweets per minute. Go Beyoncé!

    Kelly Rowland, Beyonce and Michelle Williams performing at the Pepsi Super Bowl XLVII Halftime Show in 2013
    Kelly Rowland, Beyonce and Michelle Williams performing at the Pepsi Super Bowl XLVII Halftime Show in 2013. Picture: Getty
  3. Michael Jackson (1993)

    Ejecting onto the stage as one of the first popstars to perform at a Super Bowl halftime show, the King of Pop aka Michael Jackson mesmerised more than 90 million viewers, as he stood still for 90 seconds before launching into a medley of hits.

    His performance, which was one of the second-largest viewership in Super Bowl history at the time, saw the icon perform a small fragment of his catalog including 'Billie Jean', 'Black or White' and 'We Are The World'.

    Remaining as one of the most talked and referenced shows ever, the 1993 Super Bowl XXVII show helped launch the superstar era of halftime performances as we know it today.

    Michael Jackson performing at the Super Bowl XXVII Halftime show in 1993
    Michael Jackson performing at the Super Bowl XXVII Halftime show in 1993. Picture: Getty
  4. Jennifer Lopez & Shakira (2020)

    Produced by Jay-Z, Jennifer Lopez and Shakira's Super Bowl LIV halftime show was a gargantuan moment for Latin culture, earning them five Primetime Emmy nominations with them winning one!

    The critically acclaimed performance saw J-Lo and Shakira shake things up at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida in front of 103 million viewers whilst covered in 200,000 Swarovski crystals.

    Dazzling the crowd with a joint number of hits including "Hips Don't Lie", "On The Floor", "She Wolf" and "Waka Waka", guests included Bad Bunny, J Balvin and Jennifer's daughter Emme Muñiz, who performed a special rendition of "Let's Get Loud" alongside her mum.

    Shakira and Jennifer Lopez performing at the Pepsi Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show in 2020
    Shakira and Jennifer Lopez performing at the Pepsi Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show in 2020. Picture: Getty
  5. The Weeknd (2021)

    Last year, The Weeknd – whose real name is Abel Makkonen Tesfaye – took centre stage at the Super Bowl LV show set in Florida to give the performance of a lifetime.

    With his stage resembling a music video trapped within a scary house of mirrors, the performance featured more than 100 male backup dancers dressed all in black with red jackets and bandages on their face.

    The performance was held in Raymond James Stadium's upper pavilion in Tampa, saw him perform some of his biggest hits including "Can't Feel My Face", "Earned It", and "Blinding Lights"; with several reports claiming that he spent $7 million dollars of his own money on the show.

    The Weeknd Performing at the Super Bowl LV Halftime in 2021
    The Weeknd Performing at the Super Bowl LV Halftime in 2021. Picture: Getty
  6. Janet Jackson (2004)

    Janet Jackson's 2004 Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime appearance is considered one of the shows most controversially talked about performances ever.

    Birthing a whole new meaning to the words "wardrobe malfunction", a total audience of 150 million viewers, watched Janet's guest performer Justin Timberlake 'accidentally' ripped off her chest covering, revealing her breast and nipple piercing during a performance of his hit single 'Rock Your Body'.

    Other performers for the show included Jessica Simpson, Nelly, Kid Rock and Diddy.

    Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake performing during the halftime show in 2004
    Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake performing during the halftime show in 2004. Picture: Getty
  7. Motown 40th Anniversary (1998)

    The 1998 Super Bowl XXXII show not only saw the Green Bay Packers take on the Denver Broncos and win, but also a special musical number that

    Titled "A Tribute to Motown's 40th Anniversary", the show featured surprise guest appearances from the likes of Boyz II Men, Smokey Robinson, Queen Latifah, Martha Reeves and The Temptations.

    Queen Latifah, Smokey Robinson, Martha Reeves and Boyz II Men Perform At Halftime Of Super Bowl XXXII
    Queen Latifah, Smokey Robinson, Martha Reeves and Boyz II Men Perform At Halftime Of Super Bowl XXXII. Picture: Getty
  8. Bruno Mars (2014)

    Watched by 115 million, Bruno Mars stepped on the stage at the Super Bowl XLVIII halftime show and shut it down despite the poor weather conditions.

    Inviting legendary rock group the Red Hot Child Peppers to join him, he performed some of this biggest hits including "Billionaire", "Locked Out of Heaven" and "Just the Way You Are" as a special tribute to the United States Armed Forces.

    Bruno Mars performing at the Pepsi Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show in 2014
    Bruno Mars performing at the Pepsi Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show in 2014. Picture: Getty
  9. Justin Timberlake (2018)

    Shockingly returning to the NFL halftime show stage, this time as the sole performer, Justin Timberlake took centre stage in 2017 at the Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis, Minnesota alongside his band "The Tennessee Kids" to perform 11 of his best hits.

    Whilst his performance wasn't received well by critics who shamed the star for accepting the invite after it was reported that Janet Jackson received a lifetime ban following 'nipple gate', the show was still watched by 106.6 million viewers.

    Performing tracks like "Señorita", "Cry Me A River", "SexyBack" and a pre-recorded tribute video of "I Would Die 4 U" by Prince, Justin kept the crowd entertained, reminding everyone that he's still got it.

    Justin Timberlake performing at the Pepsi Super Bowl LII Halftime Show in 2018
    Justin Timberlake performing at the Pepsi Super Bowl LII Halftime Show in 2018. Picture: Getty
  10. The Black Eyed Peas (2011)

    2011 was an epic year for the Black Eyed Peas as not only were they dominating the charts all over the globe, they got to perform at the Super Bowl XLV halftime show.

    Despite the criticism, the show was watched by over 100 million viewers, with the band performing tracks like "I Gotta Feeling", "Boom Boom Pow" and "Where Is the Love?". Usher and rockstar Slash both made a guest appearance at the show.

    Critics may have deemed their performance 'lacklustre' and 'bizarre' but fans across the globe loved their performance and the many lights that glowed that night.

    The Black Eyed Peas performing during the Bridgestone Super Bowl XLV Halftime Show in 2011
    The Black Eyed Peas performing during the Bridgestone Super Bowl XLV Halftime Show in 2011. Picture: Getty
  11. Honorable Mentions

    Madonna, Nicki Minaj and M.I.A (2012)

    Nicki Minaj, Madonna and M.I.A. performing at the Bridgestone Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show in 2012
    Nicki Minaj, Madonna and M.I.A. performing at the Bridgestone Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show in 2012. Picture: Getty

    Coldplay, Beyoncé and Bruno Mars (2016)

    Beyonce, Chris Martin of Coldplay and Bruno Mars at the Pepsi Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show in 2016
    Beyonce, Chris Martin of Coldplay and Bruno Mars at the Pepsi Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show in 2016. Picture: Getty

    Maroon 5 and Travis Scott (2019)

    Maroon 5 and Travis Scott at the Pepsi Super Bowl LIII Halftime Show in 2019
    Maroon 5 and Travis Scott at the Pepsi Super Bowl LIII Halftime Show in 2019. Picture: Getty

    Katy Perry and Missy Elliott (2015)

    Katy Perry and Missy Elliott performing at the Super Bowl Halftime Show in 2015
    Katy Perry and Missy Elliott performing at the Super Bowl Halftime Show in 2015. Picture: Getty

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