The Best Super Bowl Halftime Performances Ever!

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There have been some stellar performances at the Super Bowl. Some of these have come pregame, with the offering of The Star Spangled Banner (think Whitney Houston offering the greatest rendition ever… and Christina Aguilera forgetting the lyrics), but the most memorable Super Bowl performances have come at half time.

To dig into what the Super Bowl halftime show has been, and what it has become, it is necessary to spotlight our discussion with the Justin Timberlake, Janet Jackson “Wardrobe Malfunction” of 2004.

For starters, this incident coined the term “wardrobe malfunction,” and it also changed the way live events would be broadcast in the United States forevermore. Do we really believe it was a wardrobe malfunction? Based on what? The photographic evidence? It suggests the opposite. The lyrics of the song? They suggest the opposite. But, woo! What a half time show it was!

There have been other incredibly memorable half time performances, and over the last decade, the NFL has contracted some living legends to rock the stage. Prince thrashing his ax, and creating that incredibly risque silhouette in 2007…? That comes to mind. Paul McCartney taking the stage in 2005 does as well. It wasn’t until 2011 that we really started to see contemporary pop acts back in the mix with the Black Eyed Peas, Usher and Slash.

All those honorable mentions being offered their due, one half time show still makes all others pale in comparison: 1993 — The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA. In fact, it was the last time the Super Bowl was played at the iconic stadium. The King of Pop took to the tops of jumbotrons, before magically exploding onto the stage. The game was an epic beat down, and many viewers were probably asleep by half, so it was good that Michael Jackson showed us all what the half time show could become year after year.

To see some of the iconic Super Bowl half time moments, check out the video below!


James Sheldon