While we are still on a hip-hop high from this year’s star-studded set, let’s go to the replay and look back at some of the best and worst Super bowl halftime shows of all time.

The Super Bowl

For those who are not aware, the Super Bowl is the annual playoff championship game of the National Football League (NFL). Most years the Super Bowl is the most watched program on television in America and the second most watched programme worldwide.

In 2015 more than 168 million people tuned in for the game, making it the most watched programme in history in the U.S.

While football fans around the world watch to see who wins the NFL season, millions of people tune in just to simply watch the Super Bowl halftime show. For 15 minutes the world’s biggest entertainers perform for the whole world.  

For many years the halftime show was quite basic and bland. It would simply feature a college marching band or two. Nothing special basically. However, that all changed in 1993 – when Michael Jackson’s performance turned the Super Bowl halftime show into must watch television.

A Superbowl performances require as much preparations as the Oscars or Grammys. The best and worst Super Bowl half-time shows of all time

Let’s start with the worst Super Bowl half-time shows:

5. All shows from 1967 to 1989

Before the 1990s’s, the Super Bowl halftime shows were the worst performances because they didn’t have a clue to exploit the break.

Marching bands, impersonators, those shows can’t compare to the modern standards of actual halftime shows. They were random and boring.

4. Gloria Estefan and Olympic Figure Skaters (1992)

They had giant snowmen, figure skaters Dorothy Hammill and Brian Boitano, and dancing imps waving hockey sticks to Queens Don’t Stop Me Now to entertain people. It had the exact opposite effect.

The ‘Winter Magic’ theme was supposed to celebrate the fact that the game was being held in Minnesota, but it all just felt really cheap and boring. It was yet another case of the Super Bowl trying to come up with a crazy and original idea instead of appealing to the average American football fan. It flopped.

3. Phil Collins, Christina Aguilera, Enrique Iglesias, Toni Braxton and Tina Turner (2000)

Big names stood in a Super Bowl spectacle. However, their presentations didn’t fit the show.

When Christina Aguilera and Enrique Iglesias performed, they were very popular and well-loved artists, but they sang themes that no one really knew. The performances just didn’t fit.

They also performed cringey songs like Celebrate the Future and Collins love theme from Tarzan. Don’t get us wrong, Disney can be great, but not the best for a Super Bowl fare. It taught us all an important lesson: Never let Disney touch the halftime show.

2. New Kids on the Block (1991)

The Rolling Stone Magazine published “this is where people started learning they could put on an actual show at halftime. But learning slowly.”

New Kids on the Block was one of the biggest groups at this time. Nevertheless, they were let down by the production and style of the show. It was a very awkward presentation.

They performed an “interesting” selection of sappy tunes such as It’s a Small World (After All) and was helped along with a Disney choir in their 1991 halftime show. Must we repeat: never let Disney touch the halftime show.

1. The Black Eyed Peas (2011)

One of the most popular bands in the 2000’s had one of the worst performances of all Super Bowls.

The production was interesting with a lot of lights and movement. However, the performance, unfortunately, was a mess, vocally it was a disaster.

It was safe to say the Black Eyed Peas never recovered after this show. Even Usher couldn’t save this thing. Oh, and to add even more salt in the wound, this was the same Super Bowl where Christina Aguilera sang the memorable cover of the National anthem. It wasn’t Black Eyed Peas’ day.

Now on a more positive note, the best Five Super Bowl half-time shows:

5. Beyonce & Destiny’s Child (2013)

Beyonce put together one of the greatest halftime performances in history and did it with the help of Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams who came together for a long-awaited reunion of Destiny’s Child during Super Bowl.

The trio performed some of their greatest hits Bootylicious, Single Ladies, and Independent Women. Beyonce was also sure to not let her fans down by singing the well-loved songs, from Crazy in Love to Baby Boy. Everyone was on their feet as you can imagine.

The performance was so extravagant that half the lights at the Superdrome went out, creating a 33 minute, 55 second blackout shortly after. However, after that performance I think everyone appreciated a little break to get their breath back!

4. U2 (2001)

U2 had one of the greatest live-TV rock and roll moments when they performed. The performance took place after 9/11 and the Irish rock band found a way to make this it strong, yet emotional.

They kicked off the show with Beautiful Day, then played MLK while the names of those who passed away scrolled on a giant screen. It was an unforgettable moment that ended with Where the Streets Have No Name.

Lead singer Bono opened up his jacket to reveal an American flag at the end of a performance. This emotional spectacular had everyone teary-eyed.  

3. Michael Jackson (1993)

For a 1993 halftime performance to be rated so highly in 2022 shows how before his time Michael Jackson was.

While he didn’t go too deep into his enormous catalogue, he performed We Are the World with a children’s choir, then did Heal the World while an enormous globe inflated in the middle of the stage. He also performed Billie Jean and graced us with his famous moonwalk across the stage.

While the King of Pop was the first star to perform at the Super Bowl – ending the marching band era as we know it – he is without a doubt the most memorable.

2. Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, 50 Cent & Kendrick Lamar (2022)

After the diva dance-off between Jennifer Lopez and Shakira in 2020 and The Weekend’s solo takeover in 2021, Super Bowl 2022 rewrote the playbook for the halftime show. It’s official: California really does know how to party.

People believe it was the best halftime show ever since after Prince. The performance marked the first time the halftime show line-up consisted entirely of hip-hop headliners.

A move that some saw as the NFL’s bid to connect with fans and artists alike after many felt alienated by the league’s stance on Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem demonstration against police brutality and racial injustice, as well as growing tensions around race in the league. It was a bonus the actual signing and performance was amazing too.

1. Prince (2007)

We’ve finally made it to number 1 best Superbowl half-time performance and who else would be in this spot other than Prince.

No one knew how badly we needed to hear Prince backed by a brass marching band until he brought the house down. Placing it as the greatest halftime show of all time.

Prince finished off his acclaimed halftime show performance with an unforgettable performance of Purple Rain sing in the middle of downpour. The performance also became more famous after his death in 2016.

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