The NFL’s season finale, known as the Super Bowl, is big enough to get by on just the football. But the game is also popular because it has the best halftime show in sports.
The upcoming Super Bowl in Arizona will see Barbados-born star Rihanna take center stage; it’s quite a highly-anticipated affair. Some of the biggest names in music have graced the break between halves where this game is concerned and this will continue to be the tradition. That said, let’s take a look at some of the biggest stars to perform during the Super Bowl.
6. Super Bowl LVI – 2022
This year’s Super Bowl, between the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals, presented a hip-hop-themed halftime featuring an all-star cast including L.A. icons Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, with Eminem, 50 Cent, and Mary J. Blige also performing.
The singers paid tribute to Inglewood as Dre and Snoop delivered some of their biggest hits before Mary J took it home. Dre also gave the crowd a remarkable keyboard performance while 50’s surprise appearance saw him hang upside-down performing his biggest hit, “In Da Club.”
Eminem performed his own hit, “Lose Yourself,” which ended in him taking a knee in solidarity with blackballed quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
A fitting outing for an entertaining Super Bowl affair between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers that ended in a 34-31 scoreline favoring the Ravens. Beyoncé and her former group, Destiny’s Child, were the ones in charge of making the halftime show just as entertaining as the game and they certainly delivered.
One of the most memorable moments came when the group came through a trapdoor à la Michael Jackson. The graphics and lighting were also things to behold but may have had something to do with the blackout that occurred during the game.
4. Super Bowl XXX – 1996
Diva Diana Ross simply couldn’t have afforded to disappoint during the 30th iteration of the big game in 1996 and didn’t come close. The performance itself was a banger but her exit was what left people talking. Ross left the stadium in a helicopter, marking one of the rare occasions when the halftime performance was more entertaining than the game.
3. Super Bowl XXVII – 1993
The King of Pop, the late-great Michael Jackson lent his body and voice to Super Bowl XXVII in 1993. His performance is the one that made the halftime show as huge a spectacle as it is today. The “Beat It” star’s performance was made even better by a crazy leap from a trapdoor on the stage, his aviators, and, of course, his iconic moonwalk.
2. Super Bowl XXXVI – 2002
America needed something to celebrate after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Super Bowl XXXVI was the first one since the tragic day and its halftime show was patriotic. The game featured a young Tom Brady, who led the underdog New England Patriots to a famous win over the Rams.
U2 came on at halftime to deliver a memorable performance that also saw the names of 9/11’s victims displayed via a tapestry hanging from the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans. Bono will forever be remembered for his saying, “We play ‘Where the Streets Have No Name’ whenever we need God to walk through the room.”
1. Super Bowl XLI – 2007
No one has been able to touch Prince’s performance from Super Bowl XLI’s halftime show. His Royal Badness seemed to force the skies to burst open and shower the crowd while he performed his mega-hit “Purple Rain” and put on one of the best guitar-acts ever, effortlessly gliding his fingers across the strings to prompt goosebumps. The Purple One also gave the audience a rendition of the Foo Fighters’ “Best of You” which came right on the back of a dispute between himself and the rock band over the covers of their music.