RANKED! The 10 Best Super Bowl Halftime Performances of the 21st Century
Photo: Jonathan Daniel (Getty Images)
Ah, Super Bowl Sunday, an excuse to gather together, drink some beer and watch one last football game. Between the actual game and the premiere of multi-million dollar commercials, sometimes the halftime show gets a little overlooked.
And with good reason. Many of them aren’t memorable, and some are downright bad. With only 15 – 20 minutes to work with and the eyes of millions, even the biggest stars seem to fumble this lifetime opportunity.
Fortunately, these 10 not only took their moment but ran with it. Here are some remarkable moments from the best Super Bowl halftime performances.
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Katy Perry and Missy Elliot
Left shark. For real, though, Katy Perry's set was tight with some incredible props (that huge metal lion is hardcore). Bringing Missy on-board was a fun surprise and the surrealism of left shark really made the entire thing feel special.
Photo: Tom Pennington (Getty Images)
Bey brought her A-game for this Super Bowl appearance. Not only did her stage consist of two portraits of her facing each other, but her all-female ensemble was a great show of solidarity. The surprise Destiny's Child reunion was just the cherry on top.
Photo: Al Pereira/WireImage (Getty Images)
Lady Gaga's theatrics were perfect for a Super Bowl spectacle. From starting with "God Bless America" to singing "Poker Face" from what seems to be a post-apocalyptic watchtower, Gaga fired on all cylinders.
Photo: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP (Getty Images)
Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers
Bruno Mars proved that while he was a little younger than most Super Bowl performers, the lights didn't faze him. Starting off with some pretty badass drumming and bringing on the California funk-rock of the Red Hot Chili Peppers (sans shirts) were both great moves.
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Opening with "American Girl," Tom Petty showed that he knew his audience. He gave us this efficient set that didn't stray too far from what the audience knew and loved.
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Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake
Yes, the YouTube-inspiring nipplegate itself. What is sadly lost in the shuffle of Jackson's exposed breast was that she put on a very energetic show, played her hits, and did everything right. Well, almost everything.
Photo: KMazur/WireImage (Getty Images)
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
The Boss gave a pretty good show, but with just 12 minutes to play, it seemed like they were just getting started when it was over. Not awful, but Bruce can definitely do better.
Photo: Donald Miralle (Getty Images)
Madonna, Cee Lo Green, M.I.A, and Nicki Minaj
The Queen of Pop made it look easy at over 50. With a shining roster of guests and some pretty intense costumes, Madonna showed that fashionably late is always better than never.
Photo: Gregory Shamus (Getty Images)
Nothing screams football more than a group of older British men. While the Who gamely gave us the hits, they definitely didn't seem like the rebellious rock stars of old.
Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic (Getty Images)