Ranked: the top 10 Super Bowl halftime shows

Today is the 50th NFL Super Bowl, perhaps the biggest event on the US sporting calendar, with the Carolina Panthers hot favourites to win over the Denver Broncos.

But for those of us who are outside of America and don’t follow the sport, the day is all about the half-time show. Artists are given 12 minutes to entertain the world in a flashy live performance broadcast to over 100 million viewers. There have been some delirious highs over the last 50 years.

Today’s headlining act is soft-rock band Coldplay, but they’re bringing along special guest Beyonce to give them a little extra panache. Let’s see if they can live up to some of the legendary performances listed below.

10. Katy Perry (2015)

Katy Perry certainly believes more is more and, for the most part, that worked for her massively overblown performance.

9. Diana Ross (1996)

Diana Ross delivered a camp and memorable medley of her biggest hits in 1996 — but just skip to one minute into this video, when she promises to “take you higher” at the “super, super, super bowl”. It’s pretty super.


8. The Rolling Stones (2006)

You can’t go wrong with Mick Jagger — the Stones opened their set with Start Me Up on a massive stage in the shape of their iconic lips logo.

7. Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake (2004)

The performance which gave us the phrase “wardrobe malfunction”. ‘Nuff said.

6. Bruce Springsteen (2009)

The Boss took things back to basics in 2009. Well, as close to basics as you can get when performing for 100 million people.

5. Aerosmith, ‘N Sync and Britney Spears (2001)

This perfect fusion of late ’90s pop and rock won’t be forgotten any time soon.

4. Prince (2007)

His Purple Highness absolutely rocked the Super Bowl with a stunning performance of Purple Rain. Unfortunately, Prince keeps a tight leash on his intellectual property and allows little to be uploaded to the internet for free, so we haven’t been able to track this one down on YouTube. (Although it might have popped up here if you want to check it out…)

3. Madonna (2012)

Opening with a performance of Vogue, which combined ’40s glamour and greek mythology, and closing with a rousing rendition of Like a Prayer, this was a show fit for the Queen of Pop.

2. Michael Jackson (1993)

While the production is pretty simple by today’s standards, the King of Pop proved why he was regarded as one of the greatest entertainers of the 20th century.

1. Beyonce (2013)

And then Beyonce proved why she will be regarded as one of the greatest entertainers of the 21st century…

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