One could argue that the biggest night in popular music isn’t the Grammy’s but the Super Bowl Halftime Show. It’s one of the most-watched performances every year and each show brings something new to the table. Whether you’re a hardcore NFL fan or someone who only watches the Big Game for the commercials, everyone looks forward to the Halftime Show.
Debating during a big football game is part of the fun. Whether you’re debating offensive or defensive strategies, or which Super Bowl food is more popular, it’s part of the fun of parties. These parties are the most common way people watch the game – and for good reason! According to a new study, the cheapest ticket for Super Bowl LVI is over $5000! If that’s not enough, the average cost on the resale market will cost fans a whopping $9,843.
Speaking of parties – where do you fall on the debate of when the game should be played? Sundays, as tradition dictates, or Saturdays so you can recuperate after all the food and beverages consumed? A survey of over 2,000 NFL fans found 48 percent would like to see the big game move to Saturday. That would likely help out the 14 percent of Americans who call out “sick” the next day.
No matter which team you have your money on this year, you may wonder who gave the most remarkable halftime performances in history. StudyFinds set out to do the research for you, visiting 10 expert websites to put together this list of the best Superbowl Halftime shows. If you’ve got your own suggestions, please leave them in the comments below!
The List: Best Super Bowl Halftime Performances, Per Experts
1. Prince (2007)
Much like how Tom Brady easily sits atop the Best QBs to ever play in the NFL, Prince holds the crown for the best halftime show ever. His dazzling performance really is hard to beat.
“…But the explosive coda was ‘Purple Rain,’ which had the stadium full of testosterone-pumped football fanatics waving their arms and howling in falsetto as, yes, an actual downpour swamped Miami’s Dolphin Stadium,” says Billboard.
NBC Sports talks about the instruments behind his vocals adding to the overall ambiance: “No one knew how badly we needed to hear Prince backed by a brass marching band until he brought the house down at Super Bowl XLI, placing it as the greatest halftime show of all time.”
Rolling Stone shares a similar opinion, “Everybody knew Prince would make this a freakfest for the ages. But he exceeded all expectations, in the middle of a Miami thunderstorm.”
16 years ago on this date (February 4, 2007), in the pouring rain, @prince delivered one of the greatest Super Bowl shows of all time pic.twitter.com/p6TTHmeuKq
— Vala Afshar (@ValaAfshar) February 4, 2023
2. Michael Jackson (1993)
Before 2007, Michael Jackson’s iconic 1993 performance reigned supreme, and is anyone surprised? It’s Michael Jackson.
“This was the performance that changed Super Bowl halftime shows forever. Jackson’s spectacular entrance used body doubles to create the illusion of teleporting around the stadium on top of the Jumbotrons before the King of Pop himself jumped from the center of the stage,” says NBC News Channel 8.
Vulture agrees and notes some of Jackson’s choices for the show. “Instead of reaching into his packed back catalog, he performed ‘We Are the World’ with a children’s choir, then did ‘Heal the World’ while an enormous globe inflated in the middle of the stage.”
While the game was a blowout, “The King of Pop was the only interesting part of this blowout Super Bowl, and as mentioned earlier, helped turn the halftime show into the Holy Grail gig it is today,” says Thrillist.
The super bowl halftime show can easily be divided into two eras: before Michael Jackson and after #SuperBowl pic.twitter.com/m94mxAKIle
— JR (@jamster83) February 11, 2023
3. Beyoncé (2013)
Beyoncé’s performance was so good it caused a power outage at the stadium! That’ll earn you a spot on the list.
The performance, to say the least, was widely watched. According to Captial Xtra, “Watched by 104 million people, her performance became the most tweeted-about moment in Twitter history with 268,000 tweets per minute. Go Beyoncé!”
Do you remember this iconic Super Bowl Halftime performance by none other than @Beyonce? 👑
Here's a list of the 🔟 most spectacular Super Bowl halftime performances we’ve been treated to on game day. Who was your favorite? ⬇️https://t.co/iyCkN5UpPp#wuc #superbowl #halftime pic.twitter.com/XxbJ0dTElr
— Katie Couric (@katiecouric) February 11, 2023
Queen B did go back to her roots with her performance, “This Super Bowl, at the Superdome in New Orleans, was the year the lights went out during the game, but they stayed on for the halftime show, featuring a medley of Beyonce’s hits and a reunion with her former group Destiny’s Child,” said Tilt.
“Things went into high gear when fans were treated to a Destiny’s Child reunion. Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams joined her for ‘Bootylicious’ and ‘Independent Woman’ as well as Beyoncé’s hit ‘Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It).’ … Did Bey suck all the energy out? We may never know.” says The Grio.
4. Katy Perry & Missy Elliot (2015)
The massive pop star, Katy Perry, put on quite an incredible show that even spurred its own viral dancing shark. “Katy put on one of the most fun Super Bowl performances we’ve seen,” says The Pioneer Woman.
Her singing wasn’t the only thing that made waves, “The choreography for Katy Perry’s spectacle was so magnificently weird that it would deserve a spot on this list,” adds Yahoo Sports.
#MissyMilestones – Day 19
With 120.7 million people watching, in 2015, @MissyElliott & Katy Perry set the record for most-viewed Super Bowl halftime performance to date. Missy Elliott is the first female rapper to perform a melody of her songs in a Superbowl Halftime Show.🔥 pic.twitter.com/FREVcHy3l8
— Sassi N Pretty (@MsPrettyTrouble) July 19, 2021
Katy wasn’t alone during her performance either, “… The pop spectacle included cameos from Lenny Kravitz and Missy Elliott, who performed three of her own hits,” mentions NBC Sports.
5. U2 (2002)
Easily the most emotional pick on the list. U2 had the difficult job of putting on a show to a world still reeling from the attacks on the World Trade Center just five months prior. What does an iconic rock group do? They put on an iconic show.
The show was highlighted by a powerful message, “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, and Bono finished the song by opening his jacket to reveal the stars and stripes in its lining,” says Billboard.
Rolling Stone raves, “U2 created one of the truly great live-TV rock & roll moments of all time, up there with ‘Bad’ at Live Aid.”
“It’s tough not to appreciate the raw power of the performance when the names of 9/11 victims begin scrolling on a huge tapestry hung from the Superdome ceiling,” says Thrillist.
Reminder: 18 years ago U2 performed objectively the greatest SuperBowl halftime performance months after 9/11, with the list of victims who lost their lives scrolling behind them and Bono opening his jacket at the end to reveal the American flag inside#U2#SuperBowlHalftimeShow pic.twitter.com/JPVUWodnl2
— Adam Henderson (@aphendo99) February 3, 2020
- NBC Sports
- Rolling Stone
- NBC News Channel 8
- Capital Xtra
- The Grio
- The Pioneer Woman
- Yahoo Sports
You might also be interested in:
- Best Super Bowl Plays of All Time
- Best Super Bowl Commercials of All Time
- Best Super Bowls of All Time
- Worst Super Bowls of All Time
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Beyoncé/ Bruno Mars Superbowl halftime
I think it was 2017