5 Best Super Bowl Halftime Show Moments and Performances

Best Super Bowl Halftime Shows

While not every red-blooded American may not be a fan of football, there’s no denying that just about everybody else in the country will tune in to witness the annual spectacle that is the Super Bowl Halftime Show.

Last year, Jennifer Lopez and Shakira teamed up for a fantastic performance by two extremely talented divas. However, their performance at Super Bowl LIV was far from the best that the NFL’s festivities had to offer. So, which of the halftime performances stand the test of time?

Read on as we count down the five best Super Bowl Halftime Show moments and performances over the years. And to be on top of all the latest from the sports and entertainment news cycle, head on over to Nitrogen Sports Blog after this.

What are the best Super Bowl Halftime Shows ever?


5. U2 (2002)

Just a few months before Super Bowl XXXVI, the United States faced its most harrowing tragedy in recent memory with the bombing on 9/11. The NFL wisely enlisted the Irish rock band U2 to perform during halftime to uplift the spirits of the nation still jarred by terrorism.

Frontman Bono, who’s already known as an active social activist in the wake of U2’s success, turned out to be the right man for the job at the right time. A lot of tears were shed when he and his band performed their hit “Where the Streets Have No Name” while names and images of victims of 9/11 scrolled down behind the band on stage for all the world to honor those who met their untimely demise. Without a doubt, it’s one of the best halftime shows of all time.
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4. Katy Perry, Missy Elliott, and Lenny Kravitz (2015)

The current generation of football fans will likely remember the Super Bowl XLIX’s halftime show for the strangely endearing appearance of the “Left Shark” mascot during Katy Perry’s performance.

While the Left Shark earned its place in meme culture history, it would be wrong to undercut Perry’s own grandiose exhibition. The multi-platinum pop sensation brought out all the stops by riding on a lion puppet and the “The More You Know” shooting star logo, while performing her hits “Roar” and “Firework”, respectively. She even shared the stage with female rap icon Missy Elliott on three of her songs.


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3. Beyoncé with Destiny’s Child (2013)

Beyoncé, arguably the biggest pop star since the turn of the new millennium, appeared in not one, but two Super Bowl halftime shows and they were both magnificent.

However, Beyoncé’s first-ever appearance on the grandest stage of them all will be hard to top, especially with recent Super Bowl halftime shows featuring more than just one musical artist on the bill. She pretty much commanded the crowd at the Superdome and viewers at home with jaw-dropping renditions of her biggest hits, and her only guests on stage were her two former colleagues from Destiny’s Child.

Queen Bey wouldn’t earn her monarchal moniker until a few years after, but her 2013 performance in the Super Bowl was pretty much her coronation ceremony as the biggest solo female act in the music and entertainment industry since Madonna, who deserves an honorable mention herself for her own performance at the Super Bowl the prior season.

2. Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake, P. Diddy, Nelly, Jessica Simpson and Kid Rock (2004)

By 2004, Janet Jackson’s popularity was on the decline, while former *NSYNC member Justin Timberlake’s solo career was just taking off. The NFL thought it would be wise to put the two pop royalties on the same stage together along with a hodgepodge of other Billboard-charting acts for a massive collection of musicians with hardly any relation with one another.

That decision turned out to be a glorious disaster of sorts. Kid Rock and Jessica Simpson felt out of place, while Jackson’s fans clamored for more of her hits after splitting way too much time with other artists on stage.

Obviously, this Super Bowl Halftime Show ranked higher on our list not because of musicianship or choreography. Rather, one simply cannot forget the moment they witnessed Janet’s notorious “wardrobe malfunction” incident, which prompted TV broadcasting companies to implement a seven-second delay during live events soon after as to prevent future instances of indecent exposure or untimely profanity from reaching the national audience. Nevertheless, it’s now regarded as among the best halftime shows of all time

1. Prince (2007)

The popular consensus amongst all football fans and entertainment journalists alike would attest that Prince’s jaw-dropping performance at Super Bowl XLI remains as the best halftime shows of all time.

The iconic 80’s superstar has always been a vocal fan of his beloved Minnesota Vikings, and the only thing that would’ve made this performance all the more memorable is if his Vikes were in the title game, or if the Super Bowl was held in the Gopher State instead.

Nevertheless, the entertainment gods showered Prince with a natural blessing that will never be replicated nor imitated to make his performance stand out above the rest. Rocking out with his purple guitar in the shape of his famous erotic symbol, Prince reached the climax of his hit “Purple Rain” just as actual rain started to fall in Miami Gardens to drench the crowd with pure bliss and elation apropos of the weather and the sonic prowess on full display.

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