With the NFL football regular season wrapping up, it’s time to start thinking about playoffs and the Super Bowl!
Being the big football fans that we are, we were pretty disappointed in our hometown team (the Chicago Bears), but that doesn’t mean we can’t still enjoy the game and cheer on the commercials and the halftime show!
Each year the NFL, and their sponsors, put on an extravagant halftime show that rivals some of the best live performances on the planet. Of course, this show can be hit or miss depending on the artists involved, the sponsors involved, and just the show itself. We’d be lying if we said that every year was better than the previous year, but there have definitely been some unforgettable acts to hit the Super Bowl stage.
Last year Pepsi presented Dr. Dre with guests Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, and Kendrick Lamar (with special guest 50 Cent). This year Apple Music has taken over the reigns as the sponsor of the show and they are bringing Rihanna to the stage.
And while we can’t tell you how Rihanna’s performance is going to stack up against acts of the past, we can give you a rundown of some of our favorite halftime performances over the last few decades.
Here are our 5 favorite NFL Super Bowl Halftime performances, in no particular order.
Best Ever NFL Super Bowl Halftime Shows
While these are in no particular order, it’s hard to top Prince’s performance at Super Bowl XLI in 2007. And this isn’t just because the Bears actually made it to the super bowl that year, and Devin Hester opened the game with a kickoff return touchdown, but everything about this performance is iconic.
The stage was setup to look like Prince’s symbol, the song choice, the lighting… and oh, did we mention that it was pouring rain throughout the entire performance?
Prince was using live electric guitars, prince and his dancers were dancing around in high heels on the slippery stage, any number of things could have gone wrong… but they didn’t and Prince absolutely crushed it.
Even if you were too young to appreciate the greatness that is/was Prince, there is no denying that this performance at the Super Bowl will forever go down in history as one of the greatest performances ever. And he did it all by himself on that stage, no guest performers, and he even played a lot of other artists songs. No self-promotion at all, he just went out there to have fun and put on a show.
We go from one icon to another. Michael Jackson performed at Super Bowl XXVII in 1993 when the Bills took on the Cowboys.
You’ve got arguably the biggest celebrity on the planet performing at the biggest football game, performing for tens of millions of viewers… this is what the Super Bowl Halftime show is all about.
Michael Jackson’s performance reinvigorated the massive spectacle that is the Super Bowl Halftime show after the previous year’s halftime show was overshadowed by a special broadcast of the show “In Living Color”.
To keep viewers from turning off the game and going elsewhere during halftime, the NFL brought out the biggest name they possibly could, and it work.
Jackson performed 5 songs and stole the show on his own. Since this was the first of these big spectacle performances it didn’t have the money and glam behind it that current shows have, but it paved the way for what we now deem to sometimes be the highlight of the Super Bowl.
It was only fitting that the 2022 Super Bowl Halftime Show, held in Los Angeles, was headlined by one of LA’s most successful artists, and cheerleader, Dr. Dre.
This is the first time in history that a hip-hop act was the headliner at the Super Bowl, so Dre didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to flaunt his talents and artists he’s helped mold.
Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, and Kendrick Lamar were all invited by Dre to perform alongside of him and showcase some of the titans of hip-hop that Dr. Dre has produced over his career. In addition to that, 50 Cent also performed a song while Anderson .Paak sat in on the drums for Eminem’s set.
This groundbreaking performance embodied the west coast hip-hop scene and the music that came out of LA and the surrounding areas.
It’s going to be hard to top it this year.
While Bruno Mars has technically performed at the halftime show twice, his headlining performance at Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014 is the one that stands out.
While Mars wouldn’t go on to release his best album to date, in our opinion, 24k Magic, until 2016, he was already one of the biggest names in music. He performed a number of his top hits including “Just the Way You Are”, “Runaway Baby”, and “Treasure” among others.
In addition to his solo performance, the Red Hot Chili Peppers were brought out as special guests to perform “Give it Away”.
While we would have loved to have seen Mars perform some of his more recent hits, which obviously wasn’t possible at the time, we loved this performance and the energy that he brought to the stage.
With some of the biggest songs in the world accredited to her, Beyonce was just about the biggest star the NFL could have hoped for at this time. She came out swinging with songs like “Run the World (Girls”, “Love on Top”, “Crazy in Love” and “Baby Boy”.
And as if her solo performance wasn’t enough to have the crowd up on their feet dancing, she brought out 2 special guests that blew the roof off the place.
Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams joined Beyonce on stage to kick off a medley of their Destiny’s Child hits “Bootylicious” and “Independent Women Part II”.
Another star-studded Super Bowl halftime show that went down in history.
Super Bowl Halftime Show 2023
Rihanna definitely has some big shoes to fill coming up after the Dr. Dre performance from last year. And while she has the accolades, awards, hits, and star power needed to put on a great show, we’ll just have to see how it stacks up against some of the more recent halftime performances.
But before we can get to the Super Bowl, the NFL playoffs must commence. While the Chicago Bears have fallen to last place in the league, unfortunately we will not be witnessing them on the field, but we hope your favorite teams come out on top!