The Super Bowl is one of the most anticipated events of the year! The annual championship game of the National Football League (NFL) has brought in over 1 BILLION viewers in its fifty year history. The Super Bowl is known for a lot more than just its game. One highlight is its commercials, which ran about 4.5 million dollars per 30 second slot in 2015.
However, whether you are a football fan or not, the part of the Super Bowl that keeps everyone enticed is the halftime show. Every year, it is a spectacle of lights and fire and massive performances! There have been some awesome halftime shows, and some not-so awesome halftime shows. Here, we rank our top 5 Super Bowl halftime shows from “must see” to “how could you miss it?”
Teams: Indianapolis Colts Vs. Chicago Bears
Based on his previous provocative performances, Prince’s was a bit of a shocking choice. However, he did the halftime show great justice. His stage was shaped in the form of his brand. He is the commander of this performance with little to no help from guest performers.
Let’s not forget that Prince’s stage was covered in rain, which didn’t seem to affect him at all! Prince is no stranger to use of lights and pyrotechnics.a That experience shows in this performance. The rock n roll, the style, the energy, and the raw vocals all collide to create this awesome halftime performance.
He performed hits “Baby I’m a Star” and “Let’s Go Crazy,” as well as covers of “Proud Mary” and “We Will Rock You” to name a few. Then, those legendary chords to smash hit “Purple Rain” chime in, letting the audience know they were in for a treat. He ended this performance with that Prince falsetto, and a plethora of fireworks. This performance reigns purple.
Teams: Carolina Panthers, New England Patriots
For the purpose of this top five list, we will just go ahead and pretend that the wardrobe malfunction that practically coined the term “wardrobe malfunction” never happened!
Janet Jackson dances the stage in only a way that Janet Jackson can dance the stage. Janet had one of the most interesting stage set up of all the halftime shows on our list. Beginning with her hit “All for You” and her crew dressed in all white, this performance makes you feel as though you are in a music video. With the help of P.Diddy, Nelly and Kid Rock the crowd goes wild when they perform hits “Hot in Here,” “Mo Money Mo Problems” and “Bawitdaba.”
Next, lights back up on Janet and her circus-like ensemble. She proceeds to crush her hit, “Rhythm Nation,” in an all leather costume with the help of the traditional marching band. Then comes the America’s beloved pop prince, Justin Timberlake, to perform a duet. Everything is fine and the chemistry between the two is great, until that thing we said we weren’t going to talk about happened.
All in all, we can’t dismiss Janet’s killer performance that garners her the number 4 spot!
Teams: St. Louis Rams Vs. New England Patriots
This performance comes at the wake of the 9/11 attack and turned out to be a beautiful, touching tribute that incited healing for the entire Country. U2 dedicates its songs “MLK,” “Where The Streets Have No Name” and a sincere prayer to the fallen victims of the Twin Towers attack. This move evoked an extreme amount of emotion from the audience.
What makes this performance even more spectacular, is the fact that it almost did not happen. U2 wasn’t the first choice for this Super Bowl halftime show. Some of the league executive’s didn’t think that U2 could pull it off. Boy, were they wrong!
Performing hits like “Beautiful Day” and “Energetic,” this is THE definition of a rock ‘n’ roll performance. Bono’s gritty voice serenades the audience in perfect U2 manner. The curtain behind them fell, the fires shot out, Bono sang his heart out, and the audience screams to the top of their lungs. By the end, everyone was left thinking, “Wow, let’s see that again!” That gains U2 our number 3 spot.
Teams: Baltimore Ravens against San Francisco 49ers
Who can even deny the ferocity of this performance that encompassed an all woman entourage? Beyonce was unofficially crowned as the Michael Jackson of the day! She commanded the stage – which, by the way, was shaped in the silhouette of her own head – and left the crowd wondering, “is she even real?”
There is no doubt that the Super Bowl halftime show is the place to pull out all the bells and whistles. Beyonce did just that with her crazy use of lights and pyrotechnics! In fact, she used such a crazy amount of lights for her show that some even claimed she was the reason for the 3rd quarter power outage that resulted in a 34 minute suspension of the game!
With untouched vocals and full out moves, she ruled every dance routine, never missing a beat, even when her backup dancers are her own hologram The highlight of this performance is when the super group Destiny’s Child reunites for what seems like the first time in decades. After a quick reunion, she bids them goodbye and proceeds to kill the stage.
Performing hits “Love on Top,” “Baby Boy,” “Single Ladies,” “Independent Woman,” she earns the number two spot on our list.
Teams: Buffalo Bills Vs. Dallas Cowboys
Never was there ever a greater performer than Michael Jackson! The King of Pop set the precedent for all Super Bowl halftime shows to come. Screaming fans ran across the field, as he awed the nation with lights, fire, and his moves.
Jackson begins by standing statuesquely and gazing into the audience for an entire minute. Even this simple act is enough to make the audience go wild! A slight turn of the head, the whole crowd is left gasping for air.
Jackson had one of the simplest stages, yet the most intricate performance of all time. Just himself and few other backup dancers were needed to pull of this performance. Jackson performed hits “Billie Jean,” “Black or White,” “We Are The World,” “Jam.” Ending with a message of caring and unity, Jackson sealed this performance with the help of a 3,500 childrens ensemble choir. Did he lip sync pretty much the entire performance? Yes. Do we even care? No. He sealed this performance with a kiss goodbye, but we didn’t want it to stop!