In the early years of the Super Bowl, the halftime entertainment was normally a college marching band. Somehow, the Southeast Missouri State band got to play at Super Bowl V. Around 20 years ago, the NFL figured out that actual musical stars might work better.
#5. Super Bowl XXXIX (2005)- Paul McCartney
With as many famous songs as Paul McCartney had to choose from, it’s pretty hard to see how this act could have gone wrong. McCartney rocked out with “Get Back” and “Live and Let Die” before bringing the entire crowd in on a sing-along for “Hey Jude.” He made for a thoroughly uncontroversial and entertaining halftime show, exactly what the Super Bowl wanted after the Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction the year before.
#4. Super Bowl XLIII (2009)- Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
The Boss brought plenty of energy to the halftime stage and worked seamlessly between older hits like “Born to Run” and “Glory Days” and newer ones like “Working on a Dream.” The great showman even gave a powerful knee slide across the stage, crashing into a cameraman. A little too much rock and roll never hurt anyone, though.
#3. Super Bowl XXVII (1993)- Michael Jackson
The then-undisputed King of Pop moonwalked through smoke and blazing pyrotechnics, delivering a medley of hits: “Jam,” “Billie Jean” and “Black or White.” NBC aired the entire performance live, and never again would a network cut away from a halftime show.
#2. Super Bowl XXXVIII (2004)- Janet Jackson, P. Diddy, Nelly, Kid Rock, Jessica Simpson, and Justin Timberlake
No one seems to recall that Jessica Simpson, Nelly, P. Diddy and Kid Rock also performed at this particular halftime show. That’s because Super Bowl XXXVIII will always be remembered for Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction,” when Justin Timberlake ripped off part of Jackson’s outfit at the very end of “Rock Your Body” to reveal her bare breast. The incident, dubbed “Nipplegate,” led to a widespread debate and a major crackdown on indecency in broadcasting.
#1. Super Bowl XLVII (2013)- Beyoncé
Mrs. Carter took the stage to perform a medley of current and past hits such as “Love on Top,” “Single Ladies” and “Halo.” Joining Beyoncé in her more-than-12-minute set were former Destiny’s Child groupmates Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams. The performance drew more than 104 million viewers, making Beyoncé’s extravaganza the second most-watched Super Bowl halftime show in history. Personally, I just thought it was nice of Beyoncé to let the football players be her opening act.