Even if you don’t like football, chances are you still watch the Super Bowl. Not only because it’s usually on in the room that has all the good food, but because you want to see the iconic halftime show performance. Here’s a comprehensive ranking of the best Super Bowl Halftime shows:
10. Lady Gaga (2017)
Although I am a big Little Monster, I had trouble placing Mother Monster’s performance above #10. Her decent from the ceiling and jumping off her platform for her finish were certainly iconic, but the performance was missing a big moment. She slayed the vocals, hit every dance move, and certainly entertained the audience with her sheer talent. It would be a sin to leave her out of the best Super Bowl halftime shows.
9. Bruno Mars, Red Hot Chili Peppers (2014)
Bruno Mars is a perfect pick for a halftime performance, because I don’t think anyone could possibly dislike Bruno or his music. He gave a fun performance that made everyone smile. Bruno hit every dance move flawlessly, which was impressive as he knew just how many billions of people were watching him. It is clear he was born to entertain, which is probably why he was invited back two years later…
8. Coldplay, Beyoncé, Bruno Mars (2016)
Even though this was technically Coldplay’s halftime show, Bruno Mars and Beyoncé are the real reason this lands on the list of best Super Bowl halftime shows. The dance-off between Bruno and Bey was fun and playful, and the colorful fun vibes Coldplay brought to the stage lit up the stadium and television screens around the country. It was one big feel good performance, while still bringing awareness to gender equality and spreading love.
7. Madonna (2012)
From Cirque-de-Sole performers, a Greek-Spartan theme, and the crazy special guests (Nicki Minaj, LMFAO and Cee Lo Green), there was a lot to take in with this performance. Madonna showed that she’s still got it by nailing every dance move along with her 200+ dancers. It’s almost like she’s been doing Vegas style shows for decades…
6. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band (2009)
While people were weary about having an aging rocker perform at the halftime show, Bruce proved to everyone that he can still move and groove like it’s 1975. Known to be one of the best American rockers, Bruce rocked the stage and engaged with the audiences watching from home by seemingly transporting the concert into their home. Bruce Springsteen is a natural born performer, and he deserves a spot on any list of the best Super Bowl halftime shows.
5. U2 (2002)
More than 100 million people watch the Super Bowl every year, so U2 decided to unite the country in tribute to those who died in the September 11th terrorist attack that happened just 4 months prior to their performance. The performance was powerful, and it was very difficult for people to go from the excitement of the Super Bowl to 15 minutes of mourning at a rock concert and then back to the excitement of football. This Super Bowl was a roller coaster ride of emotions, but U2 gave an incredible performance nonetheless.
4. Katy Perry, Missy Elliot (2015)
This 15 minute halftime show felt like a quick ‘shroom trip, but it was probably the most entertaining 15 minutes of the Super Bowl that year. Only Katy Perry would be able to do a halftime show that didn’t take herself too seriously while still being a knock out. People who weren’t Katy Perry fans before this most certainly changed their minds. Fireworks at the end of her song ‘Firework?’ Yes please. And of course, who could forget the endless shark memes after the performance…
3. Aerosmith, Britney Spears, *NSYNC, Nelly, Mary J. Blige (2001)
This halftime show was every 90’s kid dream concert. This was the first year that fans could swarm the stage, and swarm the stage they did! This performance really felt like a concert, and when surprise guest Britney Spears hit the stage to sing with Aerosmith it united old rocker fathers and their Britney-obsessed daughters like nothing else. And who could forget JT literally shooting fireworks out of his hands.
2. Beyoncé (2013)
Bow down, bitches. Sliding into spot number two we have the queen herself. Beyoncé took to a more toned down aesthetic, bringing attention to her talent and performance. She only allowed female performers, pushing the message of girl power to millions of people. With football being such a male dominated industry, it was nice to dedicate 15 minutes of the biggest football game of the year to girls. And finally, there was the Destiny’s Child reunion we were all waiting for.
1. Prince (2007)
“It’s never rained at the Super Bowl, you have nothing to worry about!” Well, they were wrong about the rain, but Prince really did show that he had nothing to worry about. The rain seemed like it was an intentional part of Prince’s show, as he showed no signs of struggle or slowing down as he performed in true Prince style. He made his performance all about the music; all special effects and frills came second. Though he may be called ‘Prince,’ he is the king of the Super Bowl halftime show.