The 11 most memorable Super Bowl halftime performances

Prince, Beyonce and Lady Gaga performing in past Super Bowl Halftime shows.

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This year’s Super Bowl may kickoff at 6:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, but for some the true entertainment starts at halftime.

Since the very first Super Bowl in 1967, the championship football game has always included a halftime show. However, for decades the headliners were college marching bands, Disney characters and an Elvis impersonator.

It wasn’t until boy band New Kids on the Block took the stage in 1991 that fans started to see the mid-game break as a concert-like performance. Then, two years later, Michael Jackson raised the bar.

In the last 30 years, the Super Bowl halftime show has featured some of the hottest superstar performers including Prince, Beyonce and Lady Gaga. These jaw-dropping performances can even garner more attention than the game itself.

In fact, around 11% of consumers are planning to tune in just for the halftime show this year, according to data from Oracle. The computer technology company surveyed 2,000 respondents between Jan. 8 and Jan. 9 that planned to watch the Super Bowl and 17% said that their favorite part of the big game was the halftime show.

While the majority of the most memorable halftime moments stem from extraordinary spectacles of music and dance, the mid-game show has also been noted for some wild mishaps.

The Weeknd is set to headline Sunday’s performance at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, although little is known about his plans. He did tease that he could make use of the iconic pirate ship that is situated at one end of the stadium.

Here’s a look at 11 of the most memorable Super Bowl halftime moments:

1993 — Michael Jackson

2002 — U2

2004 — Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake perform at half-time at Super Bowl XXXVIII at Reliant Stadium, 01 February 2004 in Houston.

JEFF HAYNES | AFP | Getty Images

2005 — Paul McCartney

2007 — Prince

A little rain doesn’t deter the great and powerful Prince.

In the 40-year history of the Super Bowl, it had never rained during a halftime performance. It is reported that Prince reveled in the weather, with producers saying Prince asked them to “make it rain harder.”

There was potential hazard due to the downpour, as the material on the stage was known to get slippery when wet and Prince and his dancers were all wearing high-healed shoes. Additionally, the musician had four separate electric guitars that he planned to use during the performance.

Prince started his set singing “Let’s Go Crazy” before transitioning into a mash-up of “Baby I’m a Star” and “1999.” He then sang bits of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Proud Mary,” Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower” and The Foo Fighters’ “Best of You.”

He capped off his performance with “Purple Rain,” basking in the deluge.

Prince performs at half time during Super Bowl XLI between the Indianapolis Colts and Chicago Bears at Dolphins Stadium in Miami, Florida on February 4, 2007. (Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage)

Theo Wargo | WireImage | Getty Images

2009 — Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

2013 — Beyonce

Kelly Rowland, Beyonce Knowles and Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child perform during the Pepsi Super Bowl XLVII Halftime Show at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on February 3, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Christopher Polk | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

2015 — Katy Perry

2016 — Coldplay

2017 — Lady Gaga

2020 — Shakira & Jennifer Lopez

For the 54th Super Bowl, which took place in Miami, the NFL tapped Latina superstars Shakira and Jennifer Lopez to headline the halftime show.

Shakira took the first third of the performance to sing a medley of hits: “Dare (La La La),” “She Wolf” “Empire,” “Ojos Asi,” “Whenever, Wherever,” “I Like It,” “Chantaje” and “Hips Don’t Lie.” She danced throughout her performance, showcasing her iconic moves.

She passed the reins over to Lopez, who took fans through her hit list: “Jenny from the Block,” “Ain’t It Funny,” “Get Right,” “Waiting for Tonight,” “Booty,” “Que Calor,” “El Anillo,” “Love Don’t Cost a Thing,” “Mi Gente” and “On the Floor.” Lopez showcased the talents she learned for her role in the film “Hustlers” by doing part of her routine using a pole.

Shakira and Lopez shared the stage for the final act of the performance, singing “Let’s Get Loud” and “Waka Waka.”

Jon Pareles of the New York Times said the show was “a no-nonsense affirmation of Latin pride and cultural diversity in a political climate where immigrants and American Latinos have been widely demonized.”

The performance came at a time when many were highly critical of then-President Donald Trump’s immigration policies and the incarceration of migrant children.

Pareles called Shakira and Lopez “Latina superwomen, smiling pop conquistadoras backed by phalanxes of dancers.”

“This halftime show was euphoria with a purpose,” he said.

Shakira and Jennifer Lopez perform onstage during the Pepsi Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show at Hard Rock Stadium on February 02, 2020 in Miami, Florida.

Kevin Mazur | WireImage | Getty Images

Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC.



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