By News Team
Last Updated: 5th February 2020
The SuperBowl is one of the most dramatic and exciting events in world sport – and that’s without even mentioning the SuperBowl’s half-time show. Every year we are treated to some of the finest entertainment in the world from the globe’s biggest stars.
Ahead of Sunday’s SuperBowl LIV between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers, we take a look back at some of the greatest ever SuperBowl half-time shows in history.
Michael Jackson, 1993
Before the early ‘90s, the SuperBowl half-time show wasn’t a big deal. At home, people turned the sound down and missed it altogether. Then the organisers caught on that there was commercial potential and they certainly didn’t hold back on artist fees.
One of the first titanic names to punctuate the ball game was Michael Jackson, who in 1993 nailed a performance that lingers long in the memory. After a storming entrance from the bowels of the stage in a black military-style uniform with gleaming gold trim and – of course – long white gloves and dark glasses, Jackson stood still for 90 seconds before careering into a dance routine and then Billie Jean, one of his best songs. The rest is history.
In 2013, Beyoncé put in a display to remember that sits third on this list, performing Crazy in Love, Baby Boy and Independent Women on stage at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. She even brought Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams on stage for a Destiny’s Child reunion. “Everybody put your hands towards me,” she yelled. “I want to feel your energy!” And everyone did. A stellar year.
The Rolling Stones, 2006
The Rolling Stones have been the biggest band in the world for decades and have played just about every venue worth playing around the globe going. But their SuperBowl appearance was something else altogether as the rock ‘n roll and sporting worlds collided.
Who can forget the Rolling Stones’ half-time set at the 2006 SuperBowl? The front of the stage unfurled in their trademark red licking tongue and, though the band only performed three songs (Start Me Up, Rough Justice and Satisfaction), it was enough to fire up the crowd as NFC champion Dallas Cowboys met AFC champions the Buffalo Bills. The second best half-time SuperBowl show in a hotly contested field.
But the top spot has to be U2’s performance in 2002. Renditions of Beautiful Day and Where the Streets Have No Name were epic enough. The match, however, took place just a few months after 9/11, and as the band played MLK, the names of those who lost their lives scrolled down in three blue columns on a giant screen. Bono looked like the Messiah. At the end, he revealed the Stars and Stripes sewn inside his jacket to make SuperBowl show history. A moving moment that will never be forgotten.
And the worst…
Having run through the event’s best ever half-time shows, it would be remiss not to mention the worst. The Black Eyed Peas wore luminescent robot suits while spouting a rendition of I’ve Had the Time of My Life in 2011. The kind of performance that made you wish you were born without ears. Coupled with Slash’s duet alongside Fergie and Christina Aguilera’s infamous rendition of the national anthem, its safe to say music had a bad day.
The performance in 2004, meanwhile, goes down only for the ill-timed emergence of Janet Jackson’s nipple. Enough said about that show the better.
As for 2020’s half-time show, it’s over to Jennifer Lopez and Shakira to make history on Sunday…