The NFL Super Bowl halftime show performers are ready to take the stage for one of the most anticipated live performances of the year.
Now that the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots have arrived in Arizona, music and sports fans alike are gearing up for the biggest night in the NFL.
Seeing as the Super Bowl is the most-watched sporting event in the US, the NFL consistently reels in big-names stars to headline the Super Bowl halftime show — and this year is no exception.
This year’s Super Bowl halftime show will feature Katy Perry, an international superstar who is famous for her larger than life costumes and choreography. Perry, drawing from an arsenal of number-one hits, will perform a medley that is sure to impress. She has recruited rockstar Lenny Kravitz to join her on stage for a guest performance, however, Kravitz might not be the only surprise of the night. It is rumored that Perry’s pal Rihanna will join her on stage for a surprise collaboration.
It is uncertain whether Perry’s performance will rival some of the best halftime show performances in history, but it will undoubtedly be better than The Black Eyed Peas’ performance in 2011. Filled with vocal miscues and awkward dance breaks, not even R&B legend Usher could save this performance from becoming one of the worst Super Bowl halftime shows in history.
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While not every halftime show has been impressive, some have been more memorable than the game itself.
Here are five halftime performances that stole the show.
5. Prince, 2007
Prince dominated the stage as he performed his classic hits in front of a fantastic display of lights and fireworks.
Prince turned the Super Bowl halftime performance into a full-blown rock concert as he torched through the fan favorites “1999” and “Let’s Go Crazy.” Prince got the crowd on their feet with his electrifying guitar skills, and the fact that it was pouring rain just added to his star power.
It was when Prince switched to his infamous purple guitar to perform the colossal hit “Purple Rain” that the energy level in the stadium reached its peak.
An enormous display of fireworks began during Prince’s finale, and “Purple Rain” took its rightful place as one of the best songs to be performed during a Super Bowl halftime show.
4. Madonna, 2012
Madonna, with the help of Nicki Minaj, M.I.A, LMFAO and CeeLo Green, turned the halftime show stage into a pop culture explosion.
The reigning queen of pop took the stage in 2012 to deliver a medley of classic hits and new music. Madonna’s lengthy and successful career helped this become one of the most watched halftime performances of all time.
Madonna kept the audience entertained with various tightrope stunts and athletic choreography that people of all ages could appreciate. However, a Madonna performance cannot go without controversy.
Producers frantically tried to censor M.I.A as she gave the camera the middle finger during her verse on “Give Me All Your Luvin’.” Regardless of the finger, Madonna proved why she is still the queen of pop when she ended with her hit “Like A Prayer.”
3. Beyoncé, 2013
On the heels of being caught lip syncing at Barack Obama’s Inauguration, Beyoncé proved any doubters wrong as she vocally soared through an impressive halftime medley.
Being one of the most popular artists today, Beyoncé didn’t need any scandals to make her performance buzzworthy. Beyoncé solidified her position as a cultural icon as she powered through her set list of girl-power anthems and classic chart toppers.
If the hype for Queen B’s performance wasn’t enough, many fans anticipated the surprise reunion of Destiny’s Child. Michelle Williams and Kelly Rowland joined Beyoncé on stage for a performance of “Independent Women, Pt. l” that had music and sports fans alike on their feet.
Beyoncé’s set was so epic that many believe it is the reason for the electrical blackout in the Superdome following her performance.
2. Michael Jackson, 1993
Before scandal and rumors tarnished his reputation, Michael Jackson delivered a record-setting halftime show performance.
The NFL needed a big-name musical talent to boost the declining halftime show audience figures. By recruiting the king of pop they not only increased their halftime show viewers, but for the first time in history more people tuned in to watch the halftime show than the game itself.
After blazing through hits like “Billie Jean” and “Black or White,” Jackson ended with a unifying and inspirational performance of “Heal the World.” After the finale, it was clear that Michael Jackson had set a new standard for Super Bowl halftime performances.
1. Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake, 2004
If there is anyone who can top Michael Jackson’s halftime show performance — it’s his sister.
Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake’s performance, often referred to as “Nipplegate,” is still the most talked about halftime show performance of all time. Although the music was good, it was the moment when Timberlake exposed Jackson’s breast during his hit song “Rock Your Body” that would make this the most controversial performance of its time.
This moment, which coined the phrase “wardrobe malfunction,” would make Janet Jackson the “Most Searched in Internet History” in the Guinness World Records.
The controversy resulted in enormous fines and multiple lawsuits, but this performance has become a staple in pop culture. Whether it was an accident or a clever marketing strategy, the infamous wardrobe malfunction makes this the most memorable Super Bowl halftime show in history.