Music
4.6k voters

The Best All-Time Super Bowl Halftime Performers

Updated March 18, 2020 30.3k votes 4.6k voters 96.8k views28 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. Then go see who hasn't played the Super Bowl halftime yet but should.

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  • Prince
    Video: YouTube
    Super Bowl XLI (2007)
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  • Michael Jackson
    Video: YouTube
    Super Bowl XXVII (1993)
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  • Lady Gaga
    Video: YouTube

    Super Bowl LI (2017)

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