Posted on: February 6, 2023 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

Photo by Anthony Quintano

By Nic Kowal, Multimedia Editor

Featuring Rihanna, who hasn’t released a new album since 2016’s “Anti,” Super Bowl LVII’s halftime show this Sunday is at least as highly anticipated as the game itself. And with the hype train chugging away, we decided it would be a great time to count down our top 10 favorite Super Bowl halftime shows of all time.

Will Rihanna make the list in the future? We sure hope so.

No. 10: Mickey Mouse and New Kids On the Block, 1991

Super Bowl XXV brought one of the most playful and adorable halftime shows, starring Mickey Mouse and New Kids on the Block. Alongside the pair were 2,000 kids, making this the first and only almost all-children halftime show.

This halftime show also paid tribute to the soldiers who were fighting in the Gulf War, with the crowd making an American flag out of little pieces of fabric. Even President Bush made an appearance. The last show to feature any mascots, this one was an overall swell time. 

No. 9: Madonna, 2012

Super Bowl XLVI featured the Queen of Pop, Madonna, along with LMFAO, Nicki Minaj, M.I.A and Cee Lo Green. While Madonna’s performance alone wasn’t one of the strongest in halftime history, the star-studded features and incredible spectacles with Ancient Greek themes and a golden chariot really made this performance unforgettable.

Incorporating Madonna’s song “Music” with LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” turned up the energy. Seeing artists from so many different genres come together like this solidifies this show’s place in the top ten.

No. 8: U2, 2002

Super Bowl XXXVI featured U2 as the halftime show. This one will always be memorable to so many, especially the viewers who were old enough to witness 9/11. U2’s tribute to the victims of 9/11 was breathtaking, displaying all of their names on a banner behind the band during the song “MLK” and “Where the Streets Have No Name.”

At the end of the performance lead singer Bono opened his jacket to reveal the American flag. This will go down as one of the most powerful moments in NFL history. 

No. 7: The Weeknd, 2021

Super Bowl LV was the first to take place during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite having to perform in a different part of the stadium, The Weeknd blew this performance out of the water with a medley of nine of his songs. Having no featured artists due to COVID regulations, he still made the most of it with an entertaining performance.

The set was gorgeous and made great use of the camera as he entered a hall of mirrors with flashing lights surrounded by a plethora of dancers in matching outfits, decked out in white ski masks. All of this led to some trance-inducing moments. 

No. 6: Bruno Mars, 2014

Before Uptown Funk and Silk Sonic, Bruno Mars performed at Super Bowl XLVIII and did a spectacular job. Mars is so much fun to watch take the stage. With Red Hot Chili Peppers joining him to sing “Give It Away,” this performance will always stand out as a really fun and memorable one. 

No. 5: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, 2009

Whether you’re a fan of the E Street Band and the Boss himself or never really heard their music before, this halftime show stands out as one of the best. Springsteen is such a natural-born performer and such an American icon that his music is beloved by people across different boundaries.

The stage doesn’t have huge spectacles, but the entire band’s stage presence makes up for it. Another incredible thing about this show is how much you can see the audience enjoy it. 

No. 4: Prince, 2007 

All of Prince’s performances are spectacular and he will always be a legend. With the stage being his iconic emblem in purple, this is another insane show from him, and it will always be in the top five halftime shows of all time.

Before the game, management called Prince to tell him it was raining, and he said, “Bring on more rain,” which simply shows his personality and dedication to his craft. The rain during the show is even more iconic since his most famous song is “Purple Rain.”

No. 3: Lady Gaga, 2017 

This performance started on top of the stadium, followed by Lady Gaga dropping into her halftime show. This show has it all: huge spectacles made out of metal, smoke effects, an insane vocal performance, and a pop star flipping through the air! What more could anyone want from a halftime show?! The dancers and the fireworks also help put this one near the top of the rankings.

No. 2: Katy Perry, 2015 

This halftime show not only made the Arizona Cardinals’ stadium roar, but it took the Internet by storm during Super Bowl XLIX. Not only did this performance have Katy Perry’s amazing vocals, but it also featured a massive lion prop and some insane special guests like Lenny Kravitz and Missy Elliot. 

But all of that got overshadowed by another unintentional feature, the iconic Left Shark, who became an insanely viral meme after this Superbowl. Bryan Gaw, the man behind the suit of the shark character to Perry’s left, seemed to forget the dance routine, improvising. Whenever someone mentions halftime shows, Perry’s is usually the one to come to mind, specifically for Left Shark. 

No. 1: Beyonce, 2013

At our top spot, we have Beyonce’s performance during Super Bowl XLVII. Beyonce is undeniably one of the best performers of the 21st century, and this performance is as incredible as her others.

This show has it all–iconic hits that shaped an era of pop, like “Love On Top” and “Crazy In Love,” Beyonce’s insane vocals, and a chorus of phenomenal dancers. She even brought her old band, Destiny’s Child, onstage to help her finish out the show.

Overall, her performance will always stand out as one of the most iconic halftime shows in all of Super Bowl history.