NFL Super Bowl Halftime Performances: The All-Time Greatest

nfl super bowl halftime performances

The 2022 Super Bowl halftime performance will go down as one of the most memorable moments in music history as Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, 50 Cent, and Mary J. Blige blew the Californian crowd away with their epic collaboration.

With a combined 43 Grammy Awards, it will be difficult for a collective of artists to outperform the aforementioned legends of hip-hop and R&B, but when in history have we witnessed Super Bowl halftime greatness?

Not every music artist has delivered a stellar halftime musical showcase, but we’re here to remember those who have.

Prince & the Florida A&M Marching Band

The Colts vs. The Bears: Super Bowl XLI Halftime Show (2007)

While the star-studded line-up at the 2022 Super Bowl halftime show was one to remember, it remains a complex case to argue that anyone could, or will ever, outshine the late, great Prince and his 2007 halftime show at Miami Dolphin Stadium on Feb. 4, 2007.

A 12-minute set consisting of unforgettable moments like Prince playing “Purple Rain” during an unexpected downpour and his rendition of Queen’s “We Will Rock You” set a Super Bowl halftime tone that will be almost impossible to replicate.

A torrential downpour wasn’t planned, but of course, Prince made it look like it was a part of the show. And instead of cycling through his back catalog of instant classics, he opted to perform the music of those who came before and after him. Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Proud Mary”, Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower, Foo Fighters’ “Best of You”, and a cover of “Darling Nikki” were beautifully complimented by his own “Let’s Go Crazy” and the riff from “1999” played by the Florida A&M University marching band and “Baby, I’m a Star,”.

Closing out the show with “Purple Rain” and an extended guitar solo was poetry emotion for a halftime show that may never be topped.

Michael Jackson

The Cowboys vs. The Bills: Super Bowl XXVII Halftime Show (1993)

From one pop legend to another, Michael Jackson altered the approach and set the standard for halftime show performances forever when he performed a medley of “Jam,” “Billie Jean,” “Black or White,” “We Are the World,” and “Heal the World.”.

Many people argue that before 1993, the Super Bowl halftime show was nothing more than a circus act. But during this history-defining year, the world’s most decorated pop star took center stage. It evolved the Super Bowl halftime show into a mini-concert, and producers could never look back and allow anything less than a spectacle for future halftime shows.

J-Lo & Shakira

The Chiefs vs. The 49ers: Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show (2020)

Kansas City rejoiced as their beloved Chiefs collected the Super Bowl honors in 2020; in a memorable clash with the 49ers, the Sunflower State was able to blossom. Avid sports bettors utilized their offshore bookmakers to support their team and collect a winning ticket, but supporters from Kansas will now have the option to bet on their Chiefs from the comfort of their own state since the change in legislation. With that said, there’s one aspect of the Super Bowl LIV that KS fans didn’t bet on, J-Lo & Shakira delivering one of the most fierce, diverse, and unforgettable halftime shows.

The Colin Kaepernick ban made it difficult for NFL producers to find a worthy halftime gig, but they were fortunate to land two Latinas with star quality from Barranquilla to the Bronx.

Colombian pop goddess Shakira and Nuyorican queen Jennifer Lopez put their talents together for a celebration of Latin culture that electrified those in attendance.

Justin Timberlake

The Eagles vs. The Patriots: Super Bowl LII Halftime Show (2018)

Whether you like him or not, former N-Sync front runner Justin Timberlake is a modern-day Michael Jackson with his ability to sing, dance, and do them both in unison almost effortlessly.

The backlash arrived as it does with most Super Bowl halftime performances. People with minimalist lives and nothing better to do found a way to complain about Timberlake’s previous appearance at the Super Bowl when the Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction materialized. However, whilst promoting his new album at the time, classics like “Cry Me A River” and “Sexy Back” were capped off with a video duet with Prince on “I Would Die 4 U,” that still gives me goosebumps to this day. This tribute to Prince came full circle after Price had dedicated his halftime show to some of the best to pick up an instrument and microphone.


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