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Top five Super Bowl Halftime shows

While 95 million people tuned into the Super Bowl in 2021, there is no question that for many, the highlight of the event is the famous Half-Time show which brought in 103 million viewers itself. 

This year’s halftime show will include Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, and R&B singer Mary J. Blige.

The five performers boast a total of 43 Grammys and 21 Billboard No. 1 albums.

There have been Super Bowl halftime shows since the inaugural game in 1967 with the University of Arizona Symphonic Marching Band, Grambling State University Marching Band, Al Hirt, Anaheim High School Ana-Hi-Steppers Drill Team and Flag Girls being the first-ever half time performers. 

Many performances have been shrouded in controversy, be that due to problems within the sport itself, or purely because of the acts and what happened during them, and in this list, we take a look at the top five halftime shows of all time. 

5 – J.Lo and Shakira, 2020

What may have been the last big event before worldwide lockdowns, the performance by Jennifer Lopez and Shakira in February 2020 offered viewers everything they could have expected from the two Latina superstars.

Full of flair and excitement, this performance contrasted the controversy that surrounded that year’s Super Bowl after the NFL banned Colin Kaepernick and struggled to find anyone to perform at halftime. 

4 – Janet Jackson (ft. Justin Timberlake), 2004

Possibly the most infamous halftime performance of all time. In what was a largely routine halftime show, both Janet Jackon and JT performed as expected, until Timberlake appeared to forcibly rip off part of Jackson’s costume.

This caused a controversy that killed off Jackson’s 20-year career, while Timberlake took two years to win over the public and get his ‘sexy back’. 

3 – Beyonce (ft. Destiny’s Child), 2013

Quite possibly one of the most impressive and iconic halftime shows was put on by none other than Queen B herself, with electrifying renditions of “Crazy in Love”, “Baby Boy” and “Halo”.

She then brought out former Destiny Child members Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams to perform their classic hit “Independent Women, Pt. 1”.

Even though an unfortunately timed photo led to her publicist trying to remove it from the internet, it ensured that the performance would remain memorable for more than one reason. 

2 – Michael Jackson, 1993

The King of Pop demonstrated his massive impact on not just the musical world, but his influence across the globe with his super bowl performance by breaking the tradition of marching bands having the privilege.

His grasp over audiences in the 90s was clear, as he stood staring at adoring fans for over a minute before even performing, and the crowd still loved it.

Performing iconic songs such as “Billie Jean” and “Black and White” made this an unforgettable event for those lucky enough to witness it. 

1 – Prince, 2007 

Everyone expected Prince to raise the standard of the halftime show, but not many could have expected what he ended up producing, especially in the middle of a Miami thunderstorm.

Starting with a cover of “We Will Rock You” and following it up with “Let’s Go Crazy” before ending with one of the most famous performances of “Purple Rain” that will be remembered for years to come.

Before his tragic death in 2016, it was impossible to find a copy of this performance online, but since then it has become available for everyone to enjoy and appreciate. 

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