The Best Super Bowl Performances of All Time

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In this Feb. 4, 2007, file photo, Prince performs during the halftime show at the Super Bowl XLI football game in Miami. Minnesota's Congressional delegation on Monday, Oct. 25, 2021, is introducing a resolution to posthumously award the Congressional Gold Medal to pop superstar Prince, citing his "indelible mark on Minnesota and American culture,” The Associated Press has learned.
(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
BetMGM @BETMGM Feb 24, 2023, 5:22 AM

The Philadelphia Eagles will face the Kansas City Chiefs in the NFL’s biggest event of the year after each team won their respective conference titles. The Super Bowl LVII will be played at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, on Feb. 12, 2023.

While the obvious draw is the hard-hitting football actions and enticing NFL betting, there’s also the small attraction of the Super Bowl halftime show, featuring performers like Coldplay, Rihanna and even Prince. The Super Bowl halftime performers have certainly come a long way since the very first halftime show in 1967, which featured the University of Arizona Symphonic Marching Band performing “The Sound of Music” and “When the Saints Go Marching In!”

The halftime show reached a milestone in 1993 when organizers pulled off the unthinkable and got Michael Jackson to headline. The performance raised the bar for all subsequent performances. The NFL has tried to get better Super Bowl halftime performers every year since – an endeavor in which they’ve sometimes failed completely, with Fergie’s nails-on-a-chalk-board rendition of “Sweet Child O’ Mine” going down in history as one of the most memorable worst performances.

Who’s Performing the Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show?

“Baby, this is what you came for.”

Yep, that’s right. Music icon and Bad Girl RiRi (more famously known as Rihanna) will keep us glued to the screens at this year’s Super Bowl halftime show

The Best Super Bowl Halftime Shows

Join me as we count down our Top 10 Super Bowl performers. 

10. Michael Jackson (1993)

(AP Photo/ Rusty Kennedy)

Despite the controversies surrounding the former King of Pop, it’s undeniable the guy knew how to perform. This was the first big performer at the Super Bowl halftime show, and he nailed it with a medley of “Jam,” “Billie Jean,” and “Black or White.” He then involved the crowd, getting them to turn over cards revealing drawings from children of Los Angeles to his “We Are the World” hit.

He finished his performance with “Heal the World” while surrounded by 3,500 youngsters as a blow-up globe deployed on the 50-yard line.

9. Paul McCartney (2005)


The NFL needed a relatively safe performer after Justin Timberlake caused controversy with the previous year’s “Nipplegate” incident. Paul McCartney’s setlist was made up of iconic, much-loved songs such as “Drive My Car” and “Get Back” before he took to the piano for a rendition of Wings’ James Bond theme, “Live and Let Die.”

He ended with an absolutely banging performance of “Hey Jude,” to which the 84,000-strong crowd sang along joyfully.

8. Lady Gaga (2017)

(AP Photo/ Matt Slocum)

Gaga started the evening with a medley of “God Bless America” and “This Land Is Your Land” from the stadium roof. She then brought the house down with some of her most famous dance tracks, such as “Poker Face,” “Born This Way,” “Bad Romance,” and more.

Her vocal performance, complemented by the impressive visual stage work, was truly outstanding. She then exited the stage by dropping the mic, catching a football toss and hopping off the staircase into the great beyond. Needless to say, Lady Gaga’s halftime show was one of epic proportions.

7. The Rolling Stones (2006)

(AP Photo/Evan Agostini)

Simple, classic rock ‘n’ roll was what people wanted from The Rolling Stones in 2006, and that’s exactly what they got. The stage was modeled into a gigantic pair of red lips with a tongue sticking out, while Mick Jagger sent the crowd wild with his iconic hip thrusts and reckless abandon.

Instead of playing a setlist of different shortened original songs, the band performed three full-length songs: “Start Me Up,” “Rough Justice,” and, of course, “Satisfaction.”

6. Beyoncé (2013)

(AP Photo/Jordan Strauss/Invision)

You just knew this would be a cracker of a show when Queen Bey started with her fiery silhouette, only to reveal herself through a cloud of smoke! She performed an array of her top hits, from “Crazy in Love” to “Love on Top”

What’s more, the Destiny’s Child reunion everyone craved finally happened when Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams joined Beyoncé on stage. Together, they performed iconic tracks such as “Bootylicious,” “Independent Women,” and “Single Ladies.”

5. Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band (2009)

(AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

Springsteen started his set by asking his viewers to “put the chicken fingers down” and step away from the guac. The Boss then took the crowd on a trip down memory lane with 12 minutes of pure rock gold.

The E Street Band went through some of the crowd favorites, but Springsteen’s crotch contact with the camera during the “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out” was what sent most people into a frenzy.

4. Madonna (2012)

(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Of course, everybody knew there would be nothing conventional about Madonna’s halftime performance – and it lived up to those expectations. 

The eccentric singer was the captain of a cheerleading squad that consisted of fellow singers LMFAO, Nicki Minaj, M.I.A. and CeeLo Green. She started off belting out “Vogue” and then joined up with LMFAO for a “Party Rock Anthem”/”Sexy And I Know It” infused take on her song “Music.”

The “Like a Prayer” finale, in which Mage was aided by CeeLo and a massive, robed choir, was an absolute spectacle.

3. U2 (2002)

(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

The U2 performance in 2002 was undoubtedly one of the most poignant and emotionally-charged halftime shows of all time. The band took to the stage just five months after the 9/11 tragedy and kicked off with “Beautiful Day.”

For the 9/11 tribute, they performed “Where the Streets Have No Name” against a scrolling backdrop of victims’ names. Bono then opened his jacket at the end to reveal the stars and stripes in the lining.

2. Dr. Dre & Friends (2022)

(AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman)

Hip-hop finally got the halftime show it deserved when Dr. Dre and his cohorts took to the stage at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood. He was joined by hip-hop legends Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar and Eminem. What made the show even more exciting was a surprise performance of “In Da Club” by 50 Cent.

It was truly a magical moment and the first Super Bowl halftime show ever to win a top program Emmy for an outstanding variety special.

1. Prince (2007)

Although some people were concerned about the potential of Prince’s halftime show being a little erotic (only three years after Justin Timberlake caused Janet Jackon’s “wardrobe malfunction”), it turned out there wasn’t much need to worry.

What most people will remember about the performance is undoubtedly the way he played his guitar and blew them away with classics such as “1999” and “Let’s Go Crazy” from his own albums. He also played excellent covers of “Proud Mary” and “All Along the Watchtower.”

The highlight of the performance was undoubtedly “Purple Rain,” as the massive crowd sang along to the track during an absolute deluge at Miami’s Dolphin Stadium.

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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.