Leave it up to the Rolling Stones to deliver an epic performance at the 2006 halftime show. Nothing better than to start a show with the speakers blasting out “Start Me Up” and “Satisfaction”. Audiences went crazy for the English band, who played for a heart-racing 12 minutes.
Of course, as was to be expected, the show’s producers had to censor or cut out parts of lyrics that were too daring to appear on TV, but Mick Jagger’s legendary strut and Keith Richards electrifying guitar more than made up for it.
Average: Tanya Tucker, Clint Black, Travis Tritt, and The Judds, 1994
The halftime show at the 1994 Super Bowl was confusing because nobody knew who the performers were. Sure, they were as American as you can get, all from Nashville, all playing wholesome country music, but they weren’t really chart-toppers.
The set featured The Judds, Clint Black, Tanya Tucker, and Travis Tritt, and the show was as underwhelming as the musicians. It seems the Super Bowl producers just wanted a quiet year with a bland but ultimately traditional halftime show.
Average: Halftime Shows from 1967 to 1989
The first Super Bowl halftime show was in 1967, and the general opinion is that, until 1989, all shows were mediocre at best. With some exceptions, most of the shows back then didn’t really feature a famous artist or entertainer but simply a university’s marching band. Producers were trying to keep costs to a minimum, and halftime wasn’t a priority.
It was simply a space that had to be filled by something other than bathroom breaks and food vendors. However, after 1990, Super Bowl halftime shows became something of an institution, with people often tuning in to see the show rather than the actual game.
Best: Katy Perry and Missy Elliott, 2015
These two stars put on a spectacular halftime show for the 2015 Super Bowl. First, in what seemed like an all-frills Las Vegas show, Katy Perry performed alongside Left Shark and quirky dancing palm trees.
The bit was incredibly entertaining, and things got even better when the audience saw a jaw-dropping comeback from one of America’s favorite artists – the one and only Missy Elliott. “Get Ur Freak On” blasted out of the speakers, and the crowd went wild. The show was a huge success, and both these ladies are still topping charts all these years later.
Best: Madonna, 2012
There’s a reason that Madonna is considered to be one of the world’s best performers – because the woman is a powerhouse. She proved this in her 2012 performance at the halftime show, appearing on stage with gladiator dancers and belting out her greatest hits.
The diva performed “Like a Prayer” to close the set, together with a beautiful choir dressed in robes and artist Cee Lo Green. Rocking the world since her 20s, Madonna looked as spectacular and talented as ever, making it one of the best Super Bowl halftime shows ever.