super bowl The Best All-Time Super Bowl Halftime Performers  

Randolph Strauss
31k votes 4.2k voters 93.7k views 28 items

Who is the best all-time Super Bowl halftime performer? Super Bowl halftime performers include some of the musical giants in the industry: Legendary performers who gave their all to put on (all too brief) concerts during halftime of one of the world's most watched sporting events. For those who stuck around in front of the TV, the spectacle made it all worth it. I've listed many of the biggest performers here, along with videos of the Super Bowl halftime shows (when possible), so be sure to vote for your favorite. If you hated the performer, vote them down, by all means.

For decades, halftime at the Super Bowl featured boring performances with marching bands, Up with People (!) and other bizarre, dull displays. That all changed with Michael Jackson's Super Bowl XXVII performance at the Rose Bowl in 1993. Jackson put on a heck of a show and the ratings were huge. From there on out, the Super Bowl began to feature bigger and bigger names. In recent years, shows featuring the likes of U2, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, The Who, The Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band have kept sports fans glued to their TV sets, instead of heading out to get more beer and tortilla chips/dip for the second half of the football game.

The most controversial halftime performance ever is an easy one: that would be 2004, in Houston, Texas, for Super Bowl XXXVII. Yes, the whole Janet Jackson/Justin Timberlake debacle. J.T. informed Ms. Jackson that he'd have her "naked by the end of this song" and by God, he delivered on that promise - accidentally ripping part of Jackson's costume and exposing her right breast. Those who watched, millions, were suddenly contemplating the merits of nipple jewelry. Definitely a performance for the ages.

But who was the best ever? Vote up your favorites here.
1 2,539 VOTES

Prince


Ranker Video
Video: YouTube
Super Bowl XLI (2007)

Also Ranked

#17 on The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

#22 on The Best Singers of All Time

#2 on People We Wish Were Still Alive

#81 on The Best Rock Bands of All Time

1,650 889
Agree or disagree?
see more on Prince
2 1,990 VOTES

Michael Jackson


Ranker Video
Video: YouTube
Super Bowl XXVII (1993)

Also Ranked

#5 on The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

#3 on The Best Singers of All Time

#52 on People We Wish Were Still Alive

#63 on The Best Rock Bands of All Time

1,238 752
Agree or disagree?
see more on Michael Jackson
3 1,481 VOTES

Lady Gaga


Ranker Video
Video: YouTube

Super Bowl LI (2017)

Also Ranked

#31 on The Best Female Vocalists Ever

#43 on The Best Singers of All Time

#3 on The Best Current Female Singers

#86 on Who Is America's Sweetheart in 2018?

903 578
Agree or disagree?
see more on Lady Gaga
4 1,996 VOTES

Bruno Mars


Ranker Video
Video: YouTube
With the Red Hot Chili Peppers - Super Bowl XLVIII (2014)

Also Ranked

#47 on The Best Singers of All Time

#8 on Who's The Most Famous Musician From Every State?

#2 on The Best Current Pop Groups/Singers

#16 on The Greatest Dancing Singers

1,149 847
Agree or disagree?
see more on Bruno Mars