History & Now, Music, Sports

Our favorite Super Bowl Halftime Shows of the last two decades

words by: Natasha Marsh
Feb 8, 2021

The Weeknd took the stage this weekend (we had too), and brought a performance for viewers at home that led to a mountain of memes. We’ll let you decide how that performance ranks but we wanted to round up our favorite Super Bowl halftime shows over the last two decades.

 

 

Coldplay, Bruno Mars, Beyoncé (2016)

Coldplay’s feel good “Viva La Vida” made people feel alive and hopeful for all things good. Beyoncé’s tribute to the Black Panthers and women all over was one that’s hard to forget.

 

 

Katy Perry, Missy Elliot (2015)

Right when we got used to the dancing beach balls, palm trees, and Alice in Wonderland vibes, the music segued into Missy Elliot’s “Get Ur Freak On” and we were living, living. It’s no wonder this was the most watched halftime show of all-time.

 

 

Beyoncé, Destiny’s Child (2013)

You have to give it to Queen Bey for her innovative set and costume design. In this particular performance, her silhouette was lit on fire, as the crowd watched her emerge from a cloud to sing “Crazy in Love” and other hits. With the crowd already living for the performance out popped the Destiny’s Child crew, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams to sing “Single Ladies” and “Bootylicious.”

 

 

Prince (2007)

There is very few performances that compare to a Prince performance. And with the Florida A&M University marching brass band behind him and pouring rain the entire show, this would go down in history forever. The legend ended his performance with “Purple Rain,” that left the entire Miami Dolphin Stadium roaring for more.

 

 

Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake (2004)

Sports fans seldom ever forget the iconic nip-slip of the 2004 Super Bowl Halftime Show. Some think Justin Timberlake accidentally ripped off a portion of her costume, others think it was purposely exposed — no one really knows the truth, and no one will forget it.

 

 

NSYNC, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige, Nelly (2001)

NSYNC and Aerosmith sang hits “Bye Bye Bye” and “Don’t Want To Miss A Thing,” but what the 2001 show was really remembered for was the finale of “Walk This Way,” where Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige and Nelly joined in.

 

 

Photo via Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for TW