We all know that Super Bowl XLIX will be between the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots. But I know that for a lot of us, our interest lies in either the Super Bowl commercials or the halftime show. This year, we’re gearing up for Katy Perry, but she’ll have a lot of pressure on her shoulders to rival some of the best Super Bowl halftime shows of all time. Although there have been a few not-so-notable performances — who can forget the 1991 New Kids on the Block and Disney characters fiasco — the Super Bowl Halftime show is still one of my favorite things of the year. Here are my eight most noteworthy Super Bowl halftime shows that I wish I could see again.
Bruno Mars (2014)
I remember a huge smile on my face the entire time that Bruno Mars performed. Directed by Hamish Hamilton, Mars spent the set singing the songs that made him a household name off of his one and only album. The youngest performer ever, he brought a rock and jazz mix to the energetic performance that was only topped off by the inclusion of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The skepticism to his ability to energize a crowd – both in the stadium and on television – was proven wrong with every note he sang. It’s considered the most-watched halftime show in history with 115.3 million views, according to Nielsen ratings. And I’m sure I’m not the only one who can’t stop listening to his new song Uptown Funk.
Though this halftime show will forever be known as “nipplegate,” the performance leading up to Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction was purely amazing. With collaborative artist, Justin Timberlake by her side, the energy, style and enthusiasm that came from the stage was electrifying. Included in the surprising line up were drop in performances by Nelly, P. Diddy and Kid Rock. The dance numbers were mesmerizing, the music comfortable and addicting and the entire show was choreographed to perfection.
Michael Jackson (1993)
Yes, we’re adding another Jackson to the list. Michael Jackson might have been shrouded in controversy when he was alive, but his halftime performance and his legend lives on. Not only did every song I have ever loved by him get a snippet, but he included the audience in the largest collaborative effort by fans ever. As 3,500 youngsters surrounded a huge globe on the field, the crowd turned over cards that were drawn by children throughout the stadium.
This was probably one of the most hyped Super Bowl halftime performances of all time. Ever since she left Destiny’s Child, Beyonce has become a household name and one of the biggest stars in the world, so it was certain that she was going to do it big. The best part is that she performed a mix of her number one hits and even gave the Superdome a little reunion with her former group-mates.
This Super Bowl was a hard one to watch. It was just months after 9/11 when U2 took the stage in New Orleans. Respectfully and with the knowledge that the Super Bowl was being played with somber hearts, the names of the victims scrolled behind them as they sang songs that touched us all. Gone were the pyrotechnics and large dance troops as U2 was the perfect band to commemorate the incredible loss the country was feeling with no better opening song than Where The Streets Have No Name.
Shania Twain (2003)
I think most people forget about this girl power Super Bowl halftime show that was led by Shania Twain and included performances by No Doubt and Sting. One of the last times I saw Shania on a large stage, she belted out her fabulous songs as only Shania could. Later finding out that she has crippling stage fright makes this an even more profound performance. As Gwen Stefani did pushups to open her entrance, the crowd cheered for strong women everywhere. When Sting entered for the unforgettable Message in a Bottle rendition, the show ended but was forever burned in our minds.
Did your favorite halftime show make the cut? If not, what performance do you think should have made the list?
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Videos courtesy of YouTube. Main image courtesy of The Associated Press.