From Beyoncé To The Stones: The Most Iconic Super Bowl Halftime Shows Ever

Queen Bey, Michael Jackson, and The Rolling Stones are considered to be some of the best halftime performers at the Super Bowl. Here’s the complete ranking.

The Super Bowl is around the corner, and everyone's excited about the halftime show. So, for those of us who don’t expect much, we can get excited by taking a look back at the ultimate best halftime shows ever.

10. Aerosmith and *NSYNC (2001)

We have to start our ranking with this show because, although it was clearly not the best, it was a potpourri of all our late-nineties, early-aughts all-star favorites. Though Aerosmith and *Nsync were the main artists, that last song with the Princess of Pop, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige, and Nelly was actually very cool. Also, the intro with Ben Stiller was hilarious and something we haven’t seen since.


9. Madonna (2012)

I know I’m going to diva hell for this, but frankly, at that time, Madonna wasn’t even close to her golden years when she was the world's top performer and pop sensation. Though the production of her halftime show was spotless, she, in particular, wasn’t as spectacular as we were used to seeing from her. While it would’ve been great to see her steal the show some years before, her presence is always cool to watch. 

8. Black Eyed Peas (2011)

Though the Black Eyed Peas were near their glory days, they managed to slip into the ranking mainly because of the cool appearance of Slash performing “Sweet Child of Mine” with Fergie, and Usher with his famous “Oh My Gosh.” Kudos for the spectacle, the special effects, the costumes, the dancers, and some of the songs, but the audio was actually a mess that, had it been fixed, it would’ve earned them a better ranking.


7. Katy Perry (2015)

Katy Perry’s is probably one of the weirdest halftime shows ever, in a good way. She looked flawless, as usual, her numbers were as surreal as ever, and the songs as good as always. One of the highlights, besides the great memes that came from it, was Missy Elliot’s appearance, which helped make the show truly epic.

6. The Rolling Stones (2005)

I mean, The Rolling Stones = legends, right? The stage shaped as their iconic red lips with the tongue out was just one of the best things of the entire performance, not to mention the Jagger + Richards combo of rock realness. Nonetheless, the show was actually quite controversial due to the fact that people from Detroit were really disappointed that the organizers did not hire a Motown artist, and also because they only performed three songs, including their latest hit, instead of their best hits. Still, it was quite a legendary moment, if you ask me.

5. Lady Gaga (2017)

While opinions are divided with this one, Lady Gaga went back to her iconic hits that drew more than 6 million spectators more than the number who watched the Patriots take the trophy that year. With some impressive aerial moves, a couple of outfit changes, and more importantly, without any playback, Gaga was definitely one of the performers who gave the most to entertain the crowds.


4. Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band (2009)

Just ten years ago, Springsteen did what he does best: thrill the crowds with his E-Street Band. Running for almost 14 minutes, it's considered one of the best halftime shows ever.

3. Beyonce (2013)

Queen Bey didn’t get that title for being less than fabulous, and her halftime show proves it. That voice, those moves, those effects, and that reunion with her former Destiny’s Child bandmates were more than enough to make of that performance historically iconic.

2. Prince (2007)

Watching Prince perform "Purple Rain" was always a wonder, but his performance at the 2007 Super Bowl is considered one of the best performances of the past decades. You just have to watch a few minutes to realize that he was truly one of the best musicians and entertainers in history.


1. Michael Jackson (1993)

Of course, the best halftime show ever is Michael Jackson, not only due to his impressive talents, but also because he was pretty much the one who invented the concept of the halftime show as we know it. He was the one who gave the first show with all the letters, including impressive show effects, dancers, and entertainment features. 

These performers have raised the bar high for future shows, and we should all give thanks to the internet for allowing us to watch and revive those great and iconic moments in music history. 


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