Memorable Halftime Shows in the Super Bowl
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The Super Bowl is an additional annual game played to determine the outcome of the NFL and pick the champion team. But it also has come a long way by introducing us to some of the best halftime shows. From Michael Jackson to Beyonce, we have witnessed performances from some of the most influential idols.

The memorable halftime show in the Super Bowl is going to become our today’s hot topic today. Although we have witnessed some of the best halftime shows ever since January 15, 1967, we are going to pick ten memorable moments.

Top Memorable Halftime Shows In The Super Bowl

Super Bowl Halftime shows have always been a part of controversies and praise. However, over time some celebs were so energetic and promising in performing in the halftime shows that they made the halftime event memorable.

However, not all performances were memorable for outstanding performance and direction; some became notable for wardrobe malfunctions and controversies. Why not take a look at the top ten memorable halftime shows in Super Bowl history?

10. Super Bowl XXXIX Halftime Show (Paul Mccartney)

Artists – Paul Mccartney.

Date – February 6, 2005.

Audience – 78,125.

Super Bowl Winner – New England Patriots.

The halftime show of Super Bowl XXXIX was saved by none other than the living legend Paul Mccartney. He is mostly known for his top-notch musical talent and the Awards and honors he received.

However, Super Bowl Xxxix Halftime is not memorable because of the 18 times Grammy winner Paul Mccantney’s performance. Instead, it is considered one of the sleepiest Super Bowl halftimes in history due to the actions of Janet and Timberlake a year before.

But hey! Their actions made the Super Bowl Xxxix Halftime Show memorable in one way or another. The performance of Paul did set a rock n roll genre environment for the audience with his songs – “Drive My Car”, “Get Back”, “Live and Let Die”, and “Hey Jude”. 

His first song was more focused on the rock genre than the others. It made the arena hot for specific people, which was pretty awkward for those who don’t enjoy rocking and rolling all the time. However, Paul was able to connect with the audience and deliver his performance efficiently, which makes him one of the best performers of the Super Bowl halftime show.

But despite all the mixed reactions from the audiences, Legendary Sir Paul McCartney is a living legend we have around us. Moreover, the halftime show was more like a program to make people forget the incident of the previous year’s halftime show.

Discussion: It was the only year to have a Super Bowl event hosted by the city of Jacksonville, Florida.

9. Super Bowl 50 (Coldplay, Beyonce, and Bruno Mars)

Artists – Coldplay, Beyonce, and Bruno Mars.

Date – February 7, 2016.

Audience – 71,088.

Super Bowl Winner – Denver Broncos.

The Super Bowl 50 halftime show attracted the eyes of about 111.9 million viewers. The performance of Coldplay took place at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. The stage was all on fire with the special performance given by guest performers Beyoncé and Bruno Mars, who stole the show.

The special performance was capable of attracting 115.5 million viewers, which made it one of the most memorable halftime shows in the Super Bowl.

On December 3, 2015, the news was on air that Coldplay was set to lead the Super Bowl 50 Halftime show. Later, the rumors started to come to ear that Beyonce and Bruno Mars would join the halftime show as guest performers.

The halftime show aired with the performance of English singer Chris Martin singing “Yellow.” Soon the performance was joined by fellow members of Coldplay to perform “Viva la Vida,” “Paradise,” and “Adventure of a Lifetime.”

Soon after, Beyoncé, in a Michael Jackson-like bodysuit, performed her single “Formation” and was joined by Mars onstage for a verse of “Uptown Funk.” The show was on fire when the band performed “Up&Up” with Beyoncé and Mars and rocked the stage. Anyway, Hats Off to Coldplay for letting Beyonce and Mars steal the show.

8. Super Bowl LI (Lady Gaga)

Artists – Lady Gaga.

Date – February 5, 2017.

Audience – 70,807.

Super Bowl Winner – New England Patriots.

Super Bowl LI’s halftime show has to be on any list of the top ten memorable halftime shows. It is considered one of Gaga’s most memorable performances and is still admired by her fans. The show was held in February 2017 in Houston, Texas. Produced by Pepsi Zero Sugar, the show was directed by Hamish Hamilton.

The show on the roof of NRG Stadium began with Lady Gaga singing “God Bless America” (1939) as drones emitted the tone of the United States flag behind her. After this, she sang – Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land” (1945) and built a connection with the audience with her patriotic performance. Soon after, all the drones formed the design of the US flag, which received a good amount of response from the crowd.

But Lady Gaga had more in her sleeves to give the fans. She sang “Telephone” (2009), “Million Reasons” (2016), and “Bad Romance”, and performed “Just Dance” (2008). The best moment was when she jumped off the stage, catching a football after shouting Super Bowl 51, making it one of the most memorable halftime shows in the Super Bowl.

Fun fact: Gaga began her preparation for the Super Bowl Halftime Show in January and performed in February. She took only one month to deliver one of the most memorable performances in Super Bowl history.

Her performance in the Super Bowl 52’s Halftime show gained an appreciation and good reactions from both the media and audiences. It seems that Lady Gaga knew what the people and how to deliver it to them without botching the performance of a lifetime.

7. Super Bowl XLVII (Beyoncé)

Artists – Lady Gaga.

Date – February 3, 2013.

Audience – 71,024.

Super Bowl Winner – Baltimore Ravens.

Beyonce is one of the few celebs to perform more than one Super Bowl halftime show. February 3, 2013, was the year when Beyonce performed her first Super Bowl halftime show, directed by Hamish Hamilton, before doing it for the second time in 2016 as a guest performer. In her first Super Bowl halftime show, she did not hold back anything and gave her 100% to the performance.

Her appearance and performance in the Super Bowl XLVII halftime show were confirmed in October 2012 when the news got official confirmation.

Her appearance in the Super Bowl XLVII was on fire as she was equipped in an oversized black jacket, lace-and-leather bodysuit, and thigh-high stockings, which were eye-catching as well as attractive. Her songs, dance, and the syncing her fellow dancers had with her moves were perfect and unignorable.

Her performance on the Super Bowl 2013 Halftime show rocked the stage with cheers and clapping as she became more energetic and gave her all for the performance. However, before the show, people had doubted that she would be singing pre-recorded. But she revealed that she will be doing the show live and will be singing and performing all live.

6. Super Bowl LIV (JLO and Shakira)

Artists – JLO and Shakira.

Date – February 2, 2020.

Audience – 24,835.

Super Bowl Winner – Kansas City Chiefs.

Super Bowl LIV features Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, one of the hottest duos to perform in a halftime show. It is odd to see Jennifer Lopez and Shakira in a performance together. JLO and Shakira set the stage on fire with their appearances alone.

The halftime show started with Shakira in an attractive red outfit having her Dare (La La La) as intro and later performing her songs;

  • She Wolf
  • Empire
  • Ojos Así
  • Whenever, Wherever
  • I Like It
  • Chantaje
  • Hips Don’t Lie

As her last song ended, Jennifer Lopez appeared in a black dress and began her performance by singing-

  • “Jenny from the Block,”
  • “Ain’t It Funny,”
  • “Get Right,”
  • “Waiting for Tonight,”
  • “Que Calor” / “Mi Gente”,
  • “On the Floor.”

After their solo performance, both united and performed on “Let’s Get Loud” and “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)” together and made the crowd go crazy for them. Their performance as a duo was truly unforgettable and received uncountable praise for delivering outstanding performance. Their performance together easily tops the list of the most memorable halftime shows in the Super Bowl.

Case in point: A month after Jlo and Shakira’s performance at Super Bowl LIV, the world went into lockdown.

5. Super Bowl XLIX (Katy Perry)

Artists – Katy Perry.

Date – February 1, 2015.

Audience – 70,288.

Super Bowl Winner – New England Patriots.

 On February 1, 2015, One of the best-known American Singers, Katy Perry, Headlined the Super Bowl halftime show along with guest singer Lenny Kravitz and rapper Missy Elliott. Their performance together was critically acclaimed and received good reviews from most attendees. Moreover, the show received acknowledgment for becoming the most-viewed halftime show in Super Bowl history, with 118.5 million viewers.

The rumors of Katy Perry becoming a part of the Super Bowl halftime show headliners started to air on the news and media in August 2014. Afterward, it was public that Katy Perry accepted the invitation to headline the halftime show.

It was one of the best super bowl halftime shows to attract so many viewers and have good reviews. It even won 2x Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lighting Design and Outstanding costumes and also received a nomination for Outstanding Short-Format Live-Action Entertainment Program.

The show was a commercial success, and Katy Perry became a part of gossip and discussion for her outstanding and rocking performance.

4. Super Bowl XXXVIII (Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake)

Artists – Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake, P. Diddy, Nelly, Kid Rock, Jessica Simpson.

Date – February 1, 2004.

Audience – 71,525.

Winner – New England Patriots.

Let’s be honest! We can not forget one of the most unforgettable and controversial halftime shows, Super Bowl XXXVIII. The show was going great, and Janet Jackson was making the stage hot with her dance in sync with Justin’s song before something shameful happened.

At the last moment of the performance, we get to see Justin pull Janet’s top, which was supposed to be an end moment and part of the performance. However, both were shocked as it ended in a wardrobe malfunction for Janet. Her right chest was entirely visible to more than 70+ thousand people.

This occurrence quickly became part of one of the most embarrassing moments of celebrities and went viral in the news and internet. People started to believe that it was one of the most shameful publicity stunts done by a celebrity.

As a result, Janet had to face the consequences of the malfunction, which ended her career as a public icon. Due to this malfunction, people started criticizing the Super Bowl event.

Fun fact: Kid Rock was a part of the controversy for “desecrating” the flag; however, all the people were more focused on Janet Jackson’s dirty trick.

3. Super Bowl XLI (Prince)

Artists – Prince.

Date – February 4, 2007.

Audience – 74,512.

Winner – Indianapolis Colts.

The Super Bowl XLI was held at the Dolphin Stadium in Miami, Florida, featuring Prince as a headliner for the show presented by the NFL network. Just like the other Super Bowl halftime shows, Super Bowl XLI also took place in February of 2007 in front of 70+ attendees.

Prince’s performance started with the “We will rock you” theme song. He then sang his songs and had a great play of guitar while having Florida A&M University Marching 100 Band as a guest performer. Prince, in a 12-minute duration, had delivered a great show and rocked the stage in a short amount of time.

The New York Times recognized Prince’s performance as one of the best halftime shows to surely go down as one of the most thrilling halftime shows ever. Although he later became a part of controversies due to the placement of his guitar.

Fact: The weather was rainy, which continued into Prince’s performance. However, audiences had to adjust themselves and enjoy the Super Bowl Show.

2. Super Bowl XLVI (Madonna)

Artists – Madonna.

Date – February 5, 2012.

Audience – 68,658.

Winner – New York Giants.

The Super Bowl XLVI halftime show starring Madonna was the first female individual to headline the halftime show since 1996. The halftime show was directed by the British director Hamish Hamilton.

Besides Madonna, celebs such as LMFAO, Nicki Minaj, M.I.A., and CeeLo Green made guest appearances in the show in collaboration with Cirque du Soleil, choreographer Jamie King as music director, and Moment Factory as a multimedia show producer.

The show was well-received by critics, and Madonna received many accolades for her stunning and melodious performance. She started her training for the halftime show in January and was drained by her continuous rehearsal. However, she was well-rounded and managed to deliver a performance that joins the list of most memorable Super Bowl halftime shows.

1. Super Bowl XXVII (Michael Jackson)

Artists – Michael Jackson.

Date – January 31, 1993.

Audience – 98,374.

Winner – Dallas Cowboys.

The Super Bowl XXVII was one of the most memorable shows for none other than our most beloved legendary artist Michael Jackson. The show itself received extra popularity for starring Michael Jackson’s performance in its halftime show. The show took place at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.

Michael Jackson was all ready and prepared to deliver his outstanding performance in the Super Bowl. However, his performance and a few surprise appearances before the show made it quite successful in increasing its attendees by halves.

MJ’s performance started with his stunt double appearing at the top of the stadium’s two jumbotrons. However, as soon as MJ jumped on the stage, the crowd went mad to see him dance and sing. Fun fact, MJ stood 90 seconds still in the same position and did nothing but still made the crowd crazy for him.

Michael did remarkable work by performing on his video song “black or white” which sent a positive message to the crowd during that time. He ended the performance with his song “Heal The World,” which made the crowd go crazy and deliver a standing ovation. Despite how good and memorable the show had been, MJ donated all the money he received to his charity, ‘Heal LA’.

The show was commercially a hit and soon listed as one of the most memorable Super Bowl halftime shows of all time. Also, it was the only halftime show with more live audience viewers than the Super Bowl itself.


From Paul McCartney to Michael Jackson, we’ve seen some memorable halftime shows at the Super Bowl event. Some of them were critically acclaimed and won awards and some became part of unknown controversies.

But either way, the Super Bowl has come a long way in providing its fans with outstanding shows. Many sporting events aren’t able to do that or don’t even try to go so far as to focus more on the concert establishment than the sport itself.

However, people have different preferences and memories, and we value that. Let us know in the comments which Super Bowl halftime shows were memorable to you and deserve a rank on the list.

Golam Muktadir is a passionate sports fan and a dedicated movie buff. He has been writing about both topics for over a decade and has a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with his readers. Muktadir has a degree in journalism and has written for several well-known publications, including Surprise Sports.