Every Superbowl Halftime Performance, Ranked

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Vote up the best Super Bowl Halftime performance of all time.

The Super Bowl Halftime show has become a staple of pop culture so massive and influential, many argue it rivals the actual football game in terms of scope, memorability, and gravitas. Over the last five decades, musicians from around the globe have put on some of the most breathtaking, awe-inspiring, and utterly brilliant performances the world has ever seen, all from the confines of the grandest stage of them all. These Super Bowl halftime performances help shape the world of pop culture not only for the next year, but for all time, as these masterful displays of artistry and showmanship launch many musicians' careers into the stratosphere and shape the music scene for decades to come.

While the halftime show is celebrated today, it did get off to a bit of a rocky start, with marching bands, Disney characters, and other bizarre displays on full effect, relegating this showcase to more of a sideshow than a main attraction. That would all change, however, and the show would morph into what we know it as today with Michael Jackson's transcendental Super Bowl XXVII performance. This game-changing production that showcased the theatrical grandioseness of the halftime show would open the floodgates for a multitude of legendary performances for generations to come.

From Prince's euphoric and mesmerizing performance in Superbowl XLI which remains a staple in pop culture nearly two decades later, to Lady Gaga's bombastic and extravagant performance at Super Bowl LI that launched her career to another stratosphere, to even Janet Jackson's Super Bowl XXXVIII performance that shocked the world with one of the most controversial moments ever captured on live TV; each and every one of of these magnificent performances remain a cornerstone in the zeitgeist of culture, and each new year provides fans with an exciting opportunity to see new memorable moments and memes the Halftime Show.

Revisit some of the most beloved and influential displays of musical talent the world has ever seen, and then be sure to vote up the best Super Bowl Halftime performance of all time.

Most divisive: Aerosmith

  • 1
    3,320 VOTES
    Video: YouTube

    In one of the most electrifying displays of pure musicianship the world has ever seen, Prince's 2007 halftime show at the Dolphin Stadium in Miami during Super Bowl XLI remains one of the most legendary and unforgettable Super Bowl performances of all time. Belting out a medley of hits including "Let's Go Crazy," "Baby I'm a Star," and a breathtaking cover of Foo Fighters' "Best of You," Prince had the world eating out of the palm of his hand for the entire setlist. Then, as if divinely ordained, the heavens opened up and rain poured down during his heart-wrenching performance of "Purple Rain," creating a truly unforgettable moment for the ages. 

    3,320 votes
  • 2
    2,655 VOTES
    Michael Jackson
    Video: YouTube

    The King of Pop set the standard for future halftime shows with his legendary 1993 performance at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California during Super Bowl XXVII. Opening with a stunning rendition of "Jam," MJ literally catapulted onto the stage, causing spectators to go wild with anticipation. He masterfully weaved through a medley of his classic hits, such as "Billie Jean" and "Black or White," before concluding with an inspiring call for global unity during his performance of "Heal the World." Showcasing flawless dancing, unmatched charisma, and visionary creativity, Michael Jackson put this halftime performance in a league of its own.

    2,655 votes
  • 3
    2,402 VOTES
    Lady Gaga
    Video: YouTube

    Captivating audiences worldwide with her high-flying and kinetic performance during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium in Houston, Lady Gaga made a grand entrance by leaping off the roof of the stadium while singing "God Bless America" before transitioning into her smash hit "Poker Face." As if that wasn't a standout moment enough, Gaga mesmerized the crowd with a stunning piano-driven rendition of "Million Reasons" and a high-energy performance of "Bad Romance" accompanied by a bevy of backup dancers. Lady Gaga's fearless artistry and theatrics elevated this halftime show to a once-in-a-generation display of artistry. 

    2,402 votes
  • 4
    2,638 VOTES
    Bruno Mars
    Video: YouTube

    The slick showmanship and infectious energy of Bruno Mars took center stage at the 2014 halftime show at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey during Super Bowl XLVIII. Kicking off his performance with a fiery drum solo, Mars segued smoothly into crowd-pleasers like "Locked Out of Heaven" and "Treasure." During the performance, Mars even shared the spotlight with legendary funk rock group Red Hot Chili Peppers, creating a rollicking collaboration that had fans singing along with gusto. Bruno Mars' undeniable talent, high energy, and exquisite passion left an indelible mark on Super Bowl halftime show history.

    2,638 votes
  • 5
    1,525 VOTES
    Dr. Dre
    Video: YouTube

    Hip-hop royalty graced the stage at the 2022 halftime show at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles during Super Bowl LVI, led by none other than the esteemed Dr. Dre. Joined by fellow legends Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, 50 Cent, and Kendrick Lamar, this star-studded lineup performed an exhilarating medley of their greatest hits, including "California Love," "Still D.R.E.," “Alright” and "Loose Yourself" that kept fans grooving and bumping through the exhilarating setlist. Their combined prowess and commanding presence delivered a spectacular ode to West Coast hip-hop, firmly solidifying this performance as one for the record books.

    1,525 votes
  • Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
    Video: YouTube

    Rock and roll greats Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers brought their classic sound to the 2008 halftime show at University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona during Super Bowl XLII to a thunderous ovation from fans around the globe. Launching into fan favorites such as "American Girl" and "I Won't Back Down," the band delighted the crowd with their timeless melodies and raw energy. Their heartfelt performance of "Free Fallin'" was a highlight, as the audience sang along with unwavering enthusiasm. This iconic rock act proved that sometimes, all you need is a guitar, a stage, and a legendary frontman to create Super Bowl magic.

    1,747 votes