10 of the best Super Bowl halftime shows ever

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Millions of American could really care less who actually wins the Super Bowl every year. They enjoy all the fanfare surrounding the big game, including the spectacle that is the halftime show.

The trend of mega stars performing during the Super Bowl didn’t really start until 1991.

Before the big game kicks off, let’s take a look back at 10 of the best Super Bowl halftime performances ever.


The best Super Bowl performance of all-time was Prince’s during the Colts Super Bowl win on this date in 2007.

My favorite part about this performance is producers said they called Prince prior to the show to discuss the terrible forecast…he replied, “can you make it rain harder?”

Contrary to an earlier report, it’s been said that Justin Timberlake will not pull out a Prince hologram, but expect a tribute because it’s in Minneapolis.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Moving to another legend who died too soon, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers absolutely rocked Super Bowl XLII, the year after Prince.

Watch them open up with the band’s first big hit, “American Girl.”

The Rolling Stones

You cannot forget the ‘Stones!

I vividly remember watching this and I could not believe Mick is the same age as my grandfather.

The best part is, 12 years later, the band is still active and Jagger still has the same fiery energy.

Michael Jackson

Chills upon chills!

Michael Jackson performing at the Rose Bowl during the Super Bowl might be one of the top 100 greatest things that’s ever happened in humanity.

Of course he did some moonwalking during “Billie Jean.”

Janet Jackson & Justin Timberlake  (GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING AT END) 

The most infamous Super Bowl halftime show ever, Justin Timberlake joined Janet Jackson for the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show…and the rest was history.

With Timberlake performing this year, Jackson said earlier this week she has no plans of reuniting with him during the show.

The Who

British legends The Who shredded Super Bowl XLIV in 2010. They ripped through a tight set, complete with Pete Townshend’s iconic guitar arm swirl, in about 12 minutes.

They are still active, headlining a massive global tour last year. Watch them open up with classic, “Pinball Wizard” below.


In 2012, in the midst of pop stars like Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, Madonna showed up to remind everyone she’s the queen of pop.



After 9/11, the NFL brought in U2 to perform the halftime show in 2002 and they did not disappoint.

Complete with an amazing background display the victims, Bono stole the show at the end by displaying an American flag stitched inside his jacket.

Sting and No Doubt 

Sting and No Doubt was a fresh idea for the Super Bowl, and they completely crushed it. Sting performed the Police’s big hit “Message in a Bottle,” with the help of Gwen and company.

Shania Twain also performed too.

Katy Perry

Sometimes, like in Timberlake’s and Janet Jackson’s case, the Super Bowl halftime show can transcend pop culture for a very long time.

That was the case when Katy Perry performed in 2015. Everyone knows who Left Shark is after that performance.


Let’s hope this year’s halftime show with Justin Timberlake’s return will be just as good as these.

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