The 2013 Super Bowl halftime show is worth mentioning twice because each performer stood out. Madonna put on a great show, as always, but M.I.A. and Nicki Minaj were also spectacular. They came out dressed in Egyptian costumes and danced with pom-poms on stage.
Despite the show being a complete success, M.I.A. pulled off a stunt that cost her a lot of criticism and money. While performing with Madonna, M.I.A. pulled the middle finger straight into the camera, which ended up with Madonna being very upset and the NFL suing M.I.A. for $16 million. Fortunately, the artist settled with the NFL two years later for an undisclosed amount, which the NFL donated to charity. Supposedly.
Best: Coldplay, Beyonce, Bruno Mars, 2016
In 2016 the beloved British band opened with “Yellow” and followed with “Viva la Vida”, both great songs to get any crowd going. Especially when “Viva la Vida” is performed along a huge kid orchestra led by the musical maestro, Gustavo Dudamel. The segway was even better when Beyonce appeared on stage and delivered a performance like the diva she is.
To top it off, Bruno Marks appeared and sang his hit “Uptown Funk,” to then be immediately joined again by Beyonce and Coldplay for an amazing performance of “Up&Up” and “Fix You.”
Best: Lady Gaga, 2017
Since the start of her career, Lady Gaga has never been known for keeping things simple, and her performance at the 2017 halftime show was anything but that. Mother Monster began her act by jumping off the stadium roof and singing “God Bless America” with a unique voice that only Gaga can pull off.
She continued the patriotic note with “This Land Is Your Land” and shifted to upbeat tunes to get the crowds going. Gaga’s performances of “Just Dance,” “Born This Way,” and “Telephone” were off the charts.
Best: Tribute to Louis Armstrong, 1972
Back in the 70s, the Super Bowl halftime shows weren’t a spectacle in and of themselves but more of a bathroom break. However, some of them are worth mentioning, like the 1972 halftime show. In a tribute to legendary jazz musician Louis Armstrong, the great Ella Fitzgerald and trumpeter Al Hirt performed a beautiful rendition of “Mack the Knife.”
The U.S. Marine Corps Drill Team and famous singer Carol Channing performed alongside the jazz greats, making the event one of the most memorable of the decade. Another thing that made this halftime show historic is that Ella Fitzgerald was the first African American woman to ever perform at the Super Bowl.
Best: Justin Timberlake's Tribute to Prince, And Selfie Kid,2018
After the great fiasco of 2004, Justin Timberlake returned to the stage for the 2018 halftime show. He was introduced by Jimmy Fallon and backed up by the University of Minnesota Marching Band, and the show was quite good. Timberlake performed his greatest hits, including “My Love,” “Senorita,” “Cry Me a River”, and even the controversial “Rock Your Body,” which he performed with Janet Jackson back in the day.
The golden moment was when Timberlake performed a tribute to Prince by playing “I Would Die 4 U” on a grand white piano. Also, after taking a selfie with a random kid, Timberlake was called to appear on Ellen.