The 2014 NFL season is in the books. What an ending it was. I daresay it was the most shocking Super Bowl finish of all time, but that’s a top ten for another day (we do have 220 days to fill until kick-off, after all). Today, though, since emotions are still flying high from last night’s big game, we’re going to look at something fun. My list of the top ten best halftime shows in Super Bowl history is just below.
1. People can say what they want about Michael Jackson (heck, I don’t even like his music), but the man was a showman of the first degree. His Super Bowl XXVII half-time performance takes the cake. From multiple MJs showing up all over the stadium to the crowd’s insane engagement, the Prince of Pop’s show was truly one for the ages.
2. Like MJ, Prince is a pretty polarizing figure, but it’s hard to deny that the man knows how to put on a darn good show. His Super Bowl XLI performance featured his own hits, other people’s hits, and an super weird, yet super cool, purple symbol-shaped guitar. The whole thing culminated with an intense version of “Purple Rain.”
3. There are very few people in this world who really hate The Rolling Stones. Thus, they were a pretty good bet for Super Bowl XL. Mick Jagger and the boys delivered, performing on a stage shaped like their infamous lips logo (fans stood in the tongue, of course). The Stones sang everything from “Start Me Up” to “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” with the 5-second delay imposed after Nipplegate.
4. While both Aerosmith and Britney Spears have had personal drama in recent years (it’s a miracle poor Brit survived 2007), their Super Bowl XXXV half-time show with N'Sync was an incredible one. You can’t really go wrong with rock royalty, pop’s reigning princess, and the boy band of the moment. Add in a little Nelly and a little Mary J. Blige and you’ve got a show to remember.
5. After several years of classic rock performances, Super Bowl XLVII saw a return to current pop stars reigning supreme at half-time. Beyonce killed it, even reuniting with her Destiny’s Child bandmates to perform a couple of songs. All hail Queen Bey (let’s ignore the existence of that one terribly unfortunate photo…you know the one).
6. I’m going to jump the gun just a little bit and include Katy Perry’s Super Bowl XLIX performance last night on today’s list. I thought Katy did an amazing job (I mean, how many costume changes did she pull off?) and I loved the fun, upbeat sets. Plus, girl managed to sing without missing a note and didn’t totter on her shoes (sorry, Madonna).
7. U2’s Super Bowl XXXVI half-time performance was definitely one to remember. I’m not a big fan of Bono and Co. personally, but it was tough not to tear up as they sang “It’s a Beautiful Day” just four months following the 9/11 attacks. They certainly put-on one of the most emotional shows I can recall during the big game.
8. I’ll admit that I love Bruno Mars, so I’m a little bit biased, but last year’s Super Bowl XLVIII performance was an excellent one. Bruno (and the Red Hot Chili Peppers) are all incredible showmen and managed to put-on on a show that the whole family could truly enjoy (yes, even Flea behaved).
9. I would be remiss to leave out the Super Bowl XXXVIII half-time show. We all remember the “wardrobe malfunction” during Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake’s performance. I was 16 at the time and it was still a little shocking; younger kids are probably still scarred from the experience. Thank goodness for pasties.
10. While this show certainly didn’t have a crazy light show, a wardrobe malfunction, or a giant animatronic tiger, it was the very first Super Bowl half-time performance in history. I thought it was only appropriate to include it today. The University of Arizona marching band had the honor of performing at half-time of Super Bowl I. That’s what you get for a $12 ticket.