Top 5 Super Bowl Halftime Shows

Top 5 Super Bowl Halftime Shows

By Lori Bowes

Here’s my pick of the top five Super Bowl halftime show performances, complete with pictures, and yes, what you all wanted to see, the left shark.


  • Beyoncé (with Destiny’s Child) – 2013



All hail Beyoncé! Amirite?! Beyoncé made us all bow down during this performance with her booty poppin’ dance moves and brought out all of our inner “Queen Beys.” I know I was hitting the living room dance floor during her performance. She opened with “Run the World (Girls)” and told us all who really is on top. Beyoncé then brought out her girls from Destiny’s Child and they sang an exceptional version of “Bootylicious.” Lastly, she brought down the house with her hit, “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It),” telling it to all the men in the audience that, in fact, “if you like it, you should put a ring on it.” She then shut it all down with “Halo,” and in case you forgot, she literally shut it down – the power that is. Shortly a few minutes after her exhilarating performance, half the lights in the stadium shut off in an unfortunate blackout. Way to go out with a bang, Bey.


  • Bruno Mars – 2014



Bruno Mars’ Halftime Performance had us all up on our feet dancing along to the music, even my dad, who claims he “doesn’t like pop music.” Bruno stunned with his drum solos, “groovy” dance moves and truly funky music performance. The show was opened by a rendition of “Billionaire” from a children’s choir, and then the cameras cut to Bruno’s amazing drum solo before he jumped right into the 2014 hit “Locked Out of Heaven.” He then transitioned into “Treasure,” probably giving half the girls in America heart attacks in their living rooms. Finally, he ended with “Just the Way You Are” and yes, we know you’re amazing just the way you are, Bruno. The only thing that was missing was “Uptown Funk,” but hey, even Bruno can’t perform time travel and blow us all away at the Super Bowl in one night.


  • Katy Perry – 2015



Seeing as Katy Perry’s performance was merely just a week ago, it’s probably pretty fresh in everyone’s minds. If you missed out though, let me fill you in. Unfortunately for Katy Perry, what might’ve been one of the most memorable performances of her musical career has now all been overshadowed by the screw-up “left shark” who was dancing during her performance of “California Girls” and was completely (and now famously) off beat. According to the actual dancer, he couldn’t see very well out of the costume and had actually bumped into a palm tree. Hilarity ensued. Flash-forward a week and he has become a world famous Internet meme for everyone to laugh at for years to come.

But back to Katy; she opened the performance coming in on a questionable mechanical tiger/lion of some sort. I’m just going to say what everyone was thinking: that roar and glowing eyes at the end was pretty creepy. She then jumped into several hits, with Lenny Kravits assisting on “I Kissed a Girl.” Then Missy Elliot came out, reminding us that, yes, we really can be double-wowed in one night. Finally, Katy took off on a “shooting star” across the sky (or the stadium) while singing her hit “Firework” on what was everyone with a fear of heights’ worst nightmare. Real fireworks commenced and Katy just let us take it all in for the night, ending her dazzling performance.


  • Madonna – 2012



Madonna, the original “Queen of Pop,” opened up the night with the 90s hit “Vogue,” channeling her inner Egyptian goddess. She then jumped into a less noteworthy mash-up of “Music”/”Party Rock Anthem” with LMFAO, and we all watched in amazement at the guy jumping on the bungee rope. Lastly, Cee Lo Green came out fully clad in robes, a full on gospel choir joined the stage, and Madonna transitioned into her 80s hit, the true gem, “Like a Prayer.” If that didn’t make you shed a tear at the end, I don’t know what did. Cue heavenly music and lights and then the words “World Peace” written on the stadium floor. Boom. That’s the way to end a show.


  • Janet Jackson (with Justin Timberlake) – 2004



I really only featured this on my list for Justin Timberlake, but alas, I will touch a little on Janet Jackson. I’m really kickin’ it old school on this one here. More than 10 years ago, we were all graced with Nelly’s performance of “Hot in Herre,” P. Diddy’s “Mo Money Mo Problems,” and of course the famous Janet nip-slip “accident,” induced by JT’s somehow ferocious shirt-rip at the end; no one really knows how that happened, or if was staged for that matter. Janet opened with “All for You,” really channeling the early 2000s pop sound, and coming out dressed in a pirate-like costume with an odd, ruffled, skirt-thing. My favorite moment would probably be when pre-“Suit and Tie” Justin came out, gracing us with “Rock Your Body,” and dancing with Janet in ways that resulted in the following nip-slip. The 2004 Super Bowl was clearly a hodge-podge of many artists, but it really epitomizes what the early 2000s were like- an indecisive jumble of pop/rap/rock/whatever else they could think of. I tip my hat to you.

So that concludes my list of Super Bowl performances. You may not agree with my order, or even any of the names on the list at all, but I bet you looked up half of the performances out of curiosity. You’re welcome.

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