Top 5 Super Bowl Halftime Shows

Published On February 1, 2013 | By Meghan Riggs

One of the staples of the Super Bowl is its halftime show, where huge musical artists perform. As another Super Bowl is just two days away, Beyoncé is prepping for an epic set that is rumored to include a Destiny’s Child reunion and new material of her own, but what about the past? Break out the beer and wings early and watch what we think are the top five most spectacular halftime performances ever.

After viewing our choices, we want you to weigh in! Did we leave someone out? Or rank someone too high? Let us know in the comments section!

No. 5 Madonna, 2012

Madonna charged into her Super Bowl XLVI halftime performance as a gladiatorial captain of a cheerleading squad that included LMFAO, Nicki Minaj, M.I.A., and Cee-Lo Green. Amid Roman soldiers, she entered the field on a golden throne to belt out longtime favorite “Vogue” before being joined by LMFAO for a “Party Rock Anthem”/”Sexy And I Know It” infused take on her hit “Music.” The most talked about moment was when M.I.A. and Minaj joined her for new single “Gimme Your Luvin’.” It happened fast, but everyone watching at home certainly saw M.I.A.’s mischievous middle finger.


No. 4 Aerosmith, ‘N Sync and Britney Spears, 2001

Besides the show’s hard-rocking headliners, 2001′s epic halftime opened with ‘N Sync‘s “Bye, Bye, Bye.” The two bands traded songs and verses until the stage exploded with the addition of Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige and Nelly for a show-stopping rendition of “Walk This Way.”


No. 3 Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake, 2004

It was the day that the phrase “wardrobe malfunction” entered the American vernacular. It’s a shame all anyone remembers is the last two seconds. In fact, the show might have been more talked about that the actual game itself even though the Patriots won their second Super Bowl over the Carolina Panthers 32-29.


No. 2 U2, 2002

Less than five months after the tragedies of September 11, U2 delivered an unforgettable halftime show commemorating those who lost their lives that fateful day. As they played “Where the Streets Have No Name,” a scrolling backdrop featured the names of all of the victims who perished in the attacks. The Patriots would go on to launch their dynasty by beating the favored St. Louis Rams 20-17.


No. 1 Michael Jackson, 1993

Eager to keep viewers glued to their televisions, the NFL whipped up the biggest halftime show ever starring Michael Jackson. The King of Pop whipped viewers into a frenzy with a medley of “Jam,” “Billie Jean” and “Black or White.” MJ then cued up a snippet of “We Are The World” as the crowd turned over cards revealing drawings by the children and concluded with “Heal the World.”



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About The Author

Meghan is a junior at Boston University majoring in broadcast journalism and minoring in communications. She has been an athlete her whole life and is a member of the Women’s Ice Hockey team at BU. She is also a member of BUTV10’s sports talk show, Off Sides.