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Not only are NFL fans treated to the top two teams taking on one another in the top sporting event of the year, but a performance at halftime by the biggest names in the industry.
Since Michael Jackson’s performance at Super Bowl XXVII in Pasadena, there have been multiple shows by a who’s who of musical talent. Let’s take a look back at the 10 greatest halftime shows we’ve seen.
10. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Super Bowl XLII
The Florida-born rocker and his group brought the house down in Arizona with their hits “American Girl,” “Won’t Back Down,” “Free Fallin’” and “Runnin’ Down a Dream”.
9. Aerosmith, N’Sync, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige, Nelly – Super Bowl XXXV
In one of the most star-studded halftime performances the NFL has seen, American rock group Aerosmith teamed up with N’Sync to entertain both classic rock and pop fans with a back and forth medley of songs that included guest appearances from rapper Nelly as well as Mary J. Blige. Beforehand, there was also a skit featuring Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler and Chris Rock.
8. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band – Super Bowl XLIII
The iconic musician had turned down previous opportunities to play the Super Bowl Halftime Show, but finally relented and performed at Raymond James Stadium in 2009, turning out hits “Tenth Avenue Freezeout”, “Born To Run”, “Working on a Dream”, and a special version of “Glory Days”.
7. Bruno Mars, The Red Hot Chili Peppers – Super Bowl XLVIII
At the time, it was the most watched Super Bowl of all time with an audience of 115 million. The pop artist sang versions of several hits including “Billionaire”, “Locked Out of Heaven” and “Just the Way You Are” as a special tribute to the United States Armed Forces. Meanwhile, the Red Hot Chili Peppers made an appearance with “Give It Away”.
6. Dr. Dre, 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige – Super Bowl LVI
While it may not have been everyone’s cup of tea, there’s no denying that this past weekend’s halftime show will go down as one of the most iconic of all time.
5. Paul McCartney – Super Bowl XXXIX
Beatles legend Sir Paul McCartney performed the halftime show at Super Bowl XXXIX, playing classic hits “Drive My Car” and “Get Back” before shifting into an explosive (literally) performance of the Wings classic “Live and Let Die”:
4. The Rolling Stones – Super Bowl XL
The halftime show at Detroit’s Ford Field featured the Rolling Stones, one of the most iconic and legendary rock groups in musical history. The group’s stage was the iconic tongue logo – a 600 member volunteer stage crew assembled the 28 pieces of the stage in five minutes and was viewed by a total of 89.9 million people.
They performed three songs – Start Me Up, Rough Justice, and (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.
3. Michael Jackson – Super Bowl XXVII
Arguably the biggest musical icon in the world at the time, Michael Jackson’s performance began the trend that we enjoy today of the NFL booking major acts for the Super Bowl Halftime Show.
2. U2 – Super Bowl XXXVI
The iconic Irish rock band put together one of the most remembered halftime shows in NFL history in the first Super Bowl that followed the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. During a stirring rendition of “Where The Streets Have No Name”, the names of the victims of the attacks were projected onto a vertical scrim behind the stage.
1. Prince – Super Bowl XLI
There’s really no denying it – there was nothing better than seeing Prince sing “Purple Rain” in the middle of a rainstorm in Miami in one of the most iconic performances ever produced.