The Best Super Bowl Halftime Shows

The Best Super Bowl Halftime Shows

During most of the Super Bowl’s first decade, the halftime show featured a college marching band. The show’s second decade featured a more varied show, often featuring drill teams and other performance ensembles; the group Up with People produced and starred in four of the performances. The middle of the third decade, in an effort to counter other networks’ efforts to counterprogram the game, saw the introduction of popular music acts such as New Kids on the Block, Gloria Estefan, Michael Jackson, Prince, Clint Black, Patti LaBelle, and Tony Bennett.

The NFL does not pay the halftime show performers an appearance fee, though it covers all expenses for the performers and their entourage of stagehands, family, and friends. According to Nielsen SoundScan data, the halftime performers regularly experience significant spikes in weekly album sales and paid digital downloads due to the exposure.



USA Today took a run at ranking the Top 10 Super Bowl halftime shows. How many of these do you agree with?

  1. Michael Jackson (1993)
  2. Janet Jackson, P. Diddy, Nelly, Kid Rock and Justin Timberlake (2004)
  3. Aerosmith, ’N Sync, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige, Nelly (2001)
  4. U2 (2002)
  5. Prince (2007)
  6. Beyoncé, Destiny’s Child (2013)
  7. Diana Ross (1996)
  8. Bruce Springsteen (2009)
  9. Paul McCartney (2005)
  10. Motown Salute (1998)

Click here for a rundown of all the 22 Super Bowl shows to figure out who got snubbed by this list. Tom Petty? ? The Rolling Stones? The Who?