When it was announced that Beyonce would be the performer at this year’s Super Bowl halftime show, I was intrigued and optimistic. Besides being drop-dead gorgeous, Beyonce is a great entertainer. And as if that wasn’t enough, there could also be a Destiny’s Child reunion and/or a collaboration with husband Jay-Z. Then, Beyonce caused an uproar while lip synching the “Star-Spangled Banner” during President Obama’s Inauguration.
Whether or not she decides to lip synch in New Orleans, we’re pretty sure that now that she has gotten all this heat she’s really going to bring it. And judging by some rehearsal pics that were unveiled over the weekend, one thing is for sure. It looks like it’s going to be a show full of performers.
With all this hype heading into the halftime show, we got to thinking. What are the greatest halftime shows in the history of the Super Bowl? Well, here are the top 10.
10. No Doubt, Sting, Shania Twain (Super Bowl XXXVII, 2003)
It’s almost a give in that during the halftime show there are going to be collaborations. For years, however, the collaborations featured a younger act performing with elber acts. But at Super Bowl XXXVII, there were actually multiple acts from different musical genres. Shania Twain opened up the show with “Man! I Feel Like a Woman” and “Up,” before handing things over to No Doubt. After “Just A Girl,” Sting joined the group for a rendition of “Message in a Bottle.”
9. Diana Ross (Super Bowl XXX, 1996)
During Super Bowl XXX Diana Ross performed a hit-filled set that included: “You Keep Me Hangin’ On,” “Baby Love,” “You Can’t Hurry Love,” “Why Do Fools Fall in Love,” “Reach Out and Touch Somebody’s Hand,” “Ain’t no Mountain High Enough,” “I Will Survive,” “Take Me Higher.” As if that wasn’t enough, the Diva was whisked away by a helicopter in mid-song as she hung out of the aircraft.
8. Aerosmith, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige, Nelly, ‘N Sync (Super Bowl XXXV, 2001)
I really didn’t want to include this Super Bowl XXXV performance, but it actually worked. The MTV produced show had Aerosmith do “Walk This Way” with some of the biggest acts at the time. Sure. Rock fans may have cringed, but this halftime show had a little something for everyone, even comedy with a sketch featuring Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, and Ben Stiller. And seriously it could have been a whole lot worse with all this star power.
7. The Rolling Stones (Super Bowl XL, 2006)
The Stones had the honor or headlining the Super Bowl XL halftime show, which was two years after the Janet Jackson debacle. With censors still on edge, ABC actually censored some of the lyrics, but there was nothing else to fear. Overall, The Stones pulled off a solid and gimmick free set of “Start Me Up,” “Rough Justice,” “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” that proved that they’re still the greatest rock n’ roll band in the world.
6. Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band (Super Bowl XLIII, 2009)
Personally, The Boss should have done the halftime show a long time ago, but better late than never. Besides having a flawless, energetic and appropriately-themed set that included Working on a Dream,” “Glory Days,” “Born to Run” and “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out,” most of us will never forget when Bruce kept on sliding — until his crotch collided with a TV camera – during his famous slide stage.
5. Paul McCartney (Super Bowl XXXIX, 2005)
Sir Paul was called upon to headline the Super Bowl XXXIX so that there wouldn’t be a repeat of “nipplegate”. McCartney was enthusiastic, energetic, and played enough hits to keep even the most uninformed people interested, with a set consisting of “Drive My Car,” “Get Back,” “Live and Let Die,” and “Hey Jude.”
4. Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Jessica Simpson, Nelly, P. Diddy, Kid Rock (Super Bowl XXXVIII, 2004)
Honestly, I couldn’t tell you what songs were performed on the top of my head – after looking it up the set was “All for You,” “Rhythm Nation,” Rock Your Body.” And, I forgot that there were other performers, like Jessica Simpson and Kid Rock. So, the reason why this halftime show is one of the most memorable is Ms. Jackson’s wardrobe snafu. People freaked out. Fines were issued. And for years the halftime show featured “safe” classic rock acts.
3. Prince (Super Bowl XLI, 2007)
I wasn’t looking forward to Prince performing at Super Bowl XLI. I’m not saying that he isn’t talented, his music just isn’t my cup of tea. But on a rain-soaked night in Miami the Purple One performed an incredible show. His set, which was “We Will Rock You,” “Let’s Go Crazy,” “1999,” “Baby I’m a Star,” “Proud Mary,” “All Along the Watchtower,” “Best of You,” “Purple Rain,” had not only the classic hits but also impressive covers. And if the guitar solos weren’t enough, Prince made a point and pushed the envelope as he appeared as a giant silhouette with a guitar that looked like a big, well you know.
2. U2 (Super Bowl XXXVI, 2002)
The country was still healing over September 11, and the Irish band played a fitting, impressive, and respectful tribute. After opening up with “Beautiful Day” and “MLK” the names of all the 9/11 victims scrolled up a screen behind the band during “Where The Streets Have No Name.” But the most memorable moment came when Bono opened his jacket to reveal its stars-and-stripes lining. It was simple, effective, and soothing.
1. Michael Jackson (Super Bowl XXVII, 1993)
Before 1993, the Super Bowl halftime show wasn’t that big of a deal. Because of this, viewers turned the channel. The networks figured that if they wanted people to stay tuned they would need to keep them interested. The answer? Have a big-time halftime show. And who better to perform it than the biggest act in the world.
After Michael Jackson was shot out from underneath the stage, and amid a flash of smoke, he just stood there. For over a minute. But that alone was enough to send the Rose Bowl and viewers around the world in a frenzy. The megalomanic set of “Jam,” Billie Jean,” Black or White,” and “Heal The World” would forever change the Super Bowl halftime show from a sporting event to a cultural event.