A Guide to the Super Bowl Halftime Shows We're Still Thinking About
Michael Jackson, Britney Spears and Beyoncé are only a handful of superstars who've graced the Super Bowl stage through the years
Let the countdown begin! We have a few more days before the Philadelphia Eagles compete against the New England Patriots in what’s sure to be a can’t-keep-your-eyes-off-the-TV game this weekend. And while yes, we’re eager to find out if Tom Brady will pull yet another Super Bowl win, we’re totally preoccupied with what this year’s halftime show headliner, Justin Timberlake, has planned for this Sunday.
As we eagerly await his performance, which will sadly not feature an ‘NSYNC reunion (boo!), we’re getting pumped up by rewatching the most memorable halftime shows of years past. From Katy Perry and her Left Shark to Beyoncé getting in “Formation,” here are the performances we’re still not over.
Michael Jackson — 1993
What made it memorable: Jackson broke barriers. In an unprecedented move, the King of Pop headlined the Super Bowl halftime show, which was previously reserved for marching bands and tributes.
Aerosmith & ‘NSYNC ft. Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige & Nelly — 2001
What made it memorable: We don’t even know where to begin. Aside from Aerosmith and ‘NSYNC slaying their performances, fans also got to witness the powerhouses share a stage with Spears, Blige and Nelly. Adam Sandler and Ben Stiller’s cameos ahead of the stars’ performances weren’t half bad either.
Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Diddy, Nelly & Kid Rock — 2004
What made it memorable: Excuse us while we bop around for the next hour to Jackson’s “All for You,” Nelly’s “Hot in Herre” and, of course, Timberlake’s “Rock Your Body,” which gave us “Nipplegate.”
Prince — 2007
What made it memorable: How majestic the legendary singer looked as he braved the downpour to belt out “Purple Rain” during Super Bowl XLI.
Beyoncé ft. Destiny’s Child — 2013
What made it memorable: The Destiny’s Child reunion, which may or may not have made us well up.
Katy Perry ft. Missy Elliott & Lenny Kravitz — 2015
What made it memorable: If choosing Lenny Kravitz and Missy Elliott is off the table, we’d totally go with Left Shark as the standout character during Perry’s super fun, super colorful set.
Beyoncé, Coldplay & Bruno Mars — 2016
What made it memorable: Beyoncé giving us our first taste of Lemonade with her performance of “Formation” during Super Bowl 50.
Lady Gaga — 2017
What made it memorable: Gaga kicked off her inaugural Super Bowl halftime performance with a beautiful rendition of “God Bless America” and “This Land Is Your Land,” subtly making a political statement before jumping into her own hit songs.