5 best Super Bowl halftime shows ever

Where will Beyonce’s halftime show at Super Bowl XLVII rank among the all-time greats? Based on my list of the 5 best Super Bowl halftime shows ever, she’s got some tough acts to follow.

Beyonce Super Bowl Halftime Show

A couple of provisions before we get started: First, I only wanted to include one member of the Jackson family, so you won’t find the 2004 Nipplegate performance involving Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake (although he does make our list with his band); second, please feel free to chime in on the comments section if you disagree or want to talk about your favorite act.

#5: Madonna
2012, Super Bowl XLVI (Indianapolis, IN)
NY Giants 21, New England Patriots 17
I even surprised myself with this selection, because I was never a big Madonna fan; but she was at her best teaming up with Cee Lo Green, LMFAO, Nicki Minaj, M.I.A. and Cirque du Soleil in performing hits like “Vogue” and “Like a Prayer.” Controversy did ensue when rapper M.I.A. flipped the bird to the camera.

#4. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
Year: 2009, Super Bowl XLIII (Tampa, FL)
Game: Pittsburgh Steelers 27, Arizona Cardinals 23
Recap: When you are the Boss, you don’t need supporting acts or bells and whistles. Springsteen and his band rocked out to classics including “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out,” Born to Run” and “Glory Days.”

#3: Michael Jackson
Year: 1993, Super Bowl XXVII (Pasadena, CA)
Game: Dallas Cowboys 52 Buffalo Bills 17
Recap: MJ set the bar for halftime shows after this year when he was joined by scores of children and choir singers in performing hits such as “Billy Jean,” “We Are the World” and “Heal the World.”

#2: Aerosmith and N’Sync
Year: 2001, Super Bowl XXXV
Game: Baltimore Ravens 34, NY Giants 7
Recap: Without question, this was the most star-studded show ever, and it appealed to all demographics. The two headliners were joined by Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige and Nelly on stage, while Ben Stiller, Chris Rock and Adam Sandler lent their talents for the intro. “Bye Bye Bye,” “Walk This Way” and “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” were a few of the songs we were treated to that day.

#1: Prince
Year: 2007, Super Bowl XLI (Miami, FL)
Game: Indianapolis Colts 27, Chicago Bears 17
Recap: The performance was arguably the best ever, and the fact that Prince was able to perform hits like “Let’s Go Crazy,” “Proud Mary” and “Purple Rain” almost flawlessly in a heavy downpour makes it even more impressive. Sadly, finding good footage of the event due to copyright reasons is almost impossible.

Prince Superbowl Halftime Show 04.02.2007 part.1

Jazz Magazine | Myspace Video


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  1. I am so with you… except for Madonna. That was AWFUL! She made her career all about reinventing herself as she got older… then she decides to go “teen queen”?!?!? YUCK!

  2. Tom,
    Great list! I really enjoyed watching Michael Jackson, and then seeing Aerosmith made me smile, love those guys! Personally I wish they would of brought in Jason Aldean, and Miranda Lambert to belt out some good kick ass country for us true football fans, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Beyonce, just not during a football game.
    Have a great Superbowl Sunday!

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