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Music PopWrapped | Music

Top 10 Super Bowl Halftime Performances Of All Time

Mike Nied | PopWrapped Author

Mike Nied

12/30/2016 9:56 pm
PopWrapped | Music
Top 10 Super Bowl Halftime Performances Of All Time | Super Bowl Halftime
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Looking back on the Top 10 Super Bowl Halftime performances of all time...

Super Bowl Halftime performance are renowned as one of the most explosive opportunities for musicians to gain exposure on a national level. Since the mid-1990s Super Bowl promoters have recruited some of the biggest names in music to entertain millions of fans within the stadiums and watching along on television.

Famous faces such as Michael Jackson, Madonna, Britney Spears, NSYNC, Beyonce, and most recently Katy Perry have all strutted their stuff on the famous stage to great success. 

Nothing is held back, as performances include intricate costume changes, larger than life staging, and exceptional vocal feats.

This year Coldplay are slated to claim the stage alongside Beyonce and Bruno Mars for what will undoubtedly be a wild performance; however, in advance of the show we have decided to look back on the Top 10 Super Bowl Halftime performances! Check it out below...

10. Diana Ross: 1996

"Hello world, we're going to take you higher" Diana Ross declared as she descended onto the stage for the 1996 Super Bowl Halftime performance from a sparking platform. Supported by a crew of dancers, the Motown stunner worked her way through a slew of iconic hits including "You Can't Hurry Love," "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," and "I Will Survive." Ross capped things off by exiting from the stadium in a helicopter while performing a medley of "I Will Survive" and "Take Me Higher." Talk about an explosive entry and exit from the event!

9. Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band: 2009

The Boss took Super Bowl by a storm when he took the stage with The E Street Band for a rousing night of rock and Americana in 2009. On point live vocals and an explosive light show set the scene for scene for one of the most classically excellent halftime performances in recent memory. Closing out the performance with defining 1984 hit "Glory Days" Bruce Springsteen proudly proclaimed "I'm going to Disney Land," making it very clear that he won the night.

8. Katy Perry, Lenny Kravitz, and Missy Elliott: 2015

Entering the stage on a prismatic lion in a costume most closely resembling a bag of Flaming Hot Cheetos, Katy Perry went on to host the most watched Super Bowl Halftime performance ever. After a rocking performance of "I Kissed A Girl" with Lenny Kravitz, Perry performed a quick change while the stage transitioned into a summer beach scene complete with dancing beach toys, sharks, and palm trees. Another quick transition, and Missy Elliott exploded onto the stage in a sea of neon rainbows. After a medley of Elliott's career defining hits, Perry returned to the stage to close out the show by riding across the stadium on a shooting star performing "Firework." If nothing else, Katy Perry's bright and joyful pop culture extravaganza will live on in history as the year that gave birth to Left Shark! Truly iconic...

7. Paul McCartney: 2005

Following the Nipplegate nightmare of 2004 (more on that coming up), Super Bowl planners made a move away from over sexualized pop performances by recruiting none other than Sir Paul McCartney for the 2005 Halftime show. The classic rocker treated fans to a career spanning performance of hits with the support of a full live band. McCartney closed out the performance with the Beatles' "Hey Jude," taking things back in time for a magical sing-along trip down memory lane.

6. Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake, P. Diddy, Nelly, Kid Rock: 2004

Arguably the most controversial Super Bowl Halftime performance in history, the MTV produced 2004 performance still goes down in history as one of the most innovative performances to date. Featuring a slew of hitmakers the performance skipped across a variety of genres, beginning and (most memorably) ending with the smooth stylings of Janet Jackson. Dressed in a sleek leather outfit Jackson was joined onstage by Justin Timberlake, and what happened after will go down in history as the largest nip-slip in history.

5. Michael Jackson: 1993

Widely regarded as one of Michael Jackson's career defining performances, the King of Pop's 1993 performance also marked a turning point in the staging of Super Bowl halftime performances. Gone were the days of marching bands and smaller performers in favor of big name icons and super sized corporate sponsors. Performing without a veritable horde of backup dancers, Jackson was truly a star working through hits like "Billie Jean" and "Black and White" before being joined onstage by a children's choir to cap off the evening. The event will live on in history as one of the most watched moments on national television, and it features the hugely talented pop hitmaker at the prime of his career. What more could you ask for?

4. Madonna, MIA, Nicki Minaj, LMFAO, and Ceelo Green: 2012

Entering the stage on an elaborate golden chariot carried by a slew of dancers, Madonna was responsible for a renaissance of pop-oriented Super Bowl Halftime shows. Performing a career spanning medley of hits the Queen of Pop proved herself more than capable of keeping up with the younger field of pop hitmakers of the day. After being joined onstage for a cheertastic collaboration with MIA and Nicki Minaj, Madonna shared the stage with Ceelo Green before closing out the celebratory event with her "Like A Prayer" alongside a full choir. Highly gymnastic choreography and her natural charisma guaranteed that the moment would live on in history. Bitch, she's Madonna, and this performance proved exactly why the "Like a Virgin" hitmaker is still a force to be reckoned with.

3. U2: 2002

Iconic Irish rockers U2 paid tribute to the victims of the atrocities that occurred on September 11 in their 2002 Super Bowl Halftime performance. Opening with their hit "Beautiful Day," the performance took on a more serious tone as victim's names were broadcast on a screen behind the band during a performance of "MLK" and "Where The Streets Have No Name." In the final moments Bono opened his jacket to reveal the American Flag embroidered inside, proving that our country would not stand alone in the face adversity. The performance lives on as an inspiring and beautiful tribute to the horrible loss of life and provided Americans with the faith to move forward.

2. Aerosmith, 'NSYNC, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige, and Nelly: 2001

Super Bowl promoters literally pulled out all the stops when they combined the hottest boyband and pop princess on the scene with iconic rockers, soulful hitmakers, and a rapper for the 2001 Super Bowl Halftime performance. *NSYNC kicked things off with a dance heavy performance of "Bye, Bye, Bye" before welcoming Aerosmith to the stage to trade off the limelight for a handful of both group's most requested hits. The true magic happened in the final three minutes, when the two bands were joined by Britney Spears (dressed as the sexiest football player to date), Mary J. Blige, and Nelly for a shared performance of "Walk This Way." The performance bursted with energy and flawlessly brought new and old talents together for one of the most memorable Super Bowl performances to date.

  1. Beyonce and Destiny's Child: 2013

2013's Super Bowl Halftime performance will live on in history as the year that Beyonce put on a show so spectacular that it resulted in a studio-wide blackout. Appearing in front of a flaming, larger than life projection of herself, Bey proceeded to dance along with a crew of dancers and in front of a screen projecting images of herself while working her way through a collection of solo hits. She proceeded to welcome former bandmates Michelle Williams and Kelly Rowland onstage for the shortest but most essential Destiny's Child reunion that we all wanted and needed. The ladies stayed onstage to dance along to "Single Ladies" before bowing out for Beyonce to finish up her spectacle with a rousing (if somewhat confusing; why end on a ballad after such an energized set) performance of "Halo." Fireworks exploded within the stadium as Beyonce ended on a literal 

high note before thanking her fans in the audience and continuing to slay the charts. Thank you for the generous performance Bey...

What was your favorite Super Bowl Halftime performance? Let us know in the comments below!



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