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Ranking the 12 Best Super Bowl halftime Shows of All Time

Gone are the days when the Super Bowl halftime shows were just college marching bands with some random hit song of the time. For more than last two decades, it has turned out to be compulsory to feature a popular stars who performs a 12-minute stadium concert before the audience. The best and most-watched Super Bowl halftime shows have occurred and been witnessed in the last two decades with big stars on the stage. In the last Super Bowl 57, Rihanna did the honors and Apple Music took over the sponsorship from Pepsi. This year, at Super Bowl 58, it will be Usher doing the honors. This article will discuss some of the best Super Bowl halftime performers by year.

Part 1. 12 Best Super Bowl Halftime Shows of All Time

The halftime shows have been an essential part for the football fans for years now. In honor of this year’s performer (Usher) being announced, we would like you to know some of the unforgettable performance in the last two decades. This section talks about some of the best Super Bowl halftime songs and shows of all time.

1. Michael Jackson (Super Bowl XXVII - 1993):

When it comes to Michael Jackson, it is obvious that he will deliver the best halftime show of all time. Well, he mesmerized over 90 million people with only a tiny part of his catalog, comprising Billie Jean, Black or White, and We Are The World. Jackson began his performance by being at the top of the two jumbotrons of the stadium using body doubles. He then came on the center stage, where he stood still for almost 2 minutes. Jackson delivered the show’s message: to heal the world and make it a better place. This sure makes for this list.

super bowl halftime performers by year

2. Prince (Super Bowl XLI - 2007):

One of the best Super Bowl halftime show and performances occurred at Super Bowl XLI post the 2006 season. That year Prince did the honor. On the other hand, what really made the performance amazing was the songs he performed. Even though only half of the songs were his original, he covered the rest with beloved classic rock songs in his own style. The songs he performed included Purple Rain and Let's Go Crazy, the former of which acted as his finale. Other songs he sang were Creedence Clearwater Revival's Proud Mary, Queen's We Will Rock You, Foo Fighter's Best of You, and Bob Dylan's All Among The Watchtower.

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3. Beyoncé, Coldplay, Bruno Mars (Super Bowl 50 - 2016):

In the 2016 halftime show playlist, Coldplay was the main attraction, but the band turned their show into a tribute to all the halftimes performances that were performed before. Bruno returned under his belt with Uptown Funk, while Beyonce started her act of 2016 with a tribute to the Black Panthers. In the meanwhile, Coldplay performed Viva La Vida with a colorful crowd card stunt and a kid orchestra helmed by maestro Gustavo Dudamel.

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4. U2 (Super Bowl XXXVI - 2002):

U2 performed a tribute to the 9/11 terrorist attacks’ victims just five months after one of the nation’s worst tragedies. The Irish band started with one of their signature tracks, Beautiful Day, but the ending is why this performance is claimed as one of the best. During their last two tracks, a huge backdrop had the names of the 9-11 victims. It is truly one of the most beautiful things viewers will ever witness.

Super Bowl halftime show playlist

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5. Katy Perry (Super Bowl XLIX - 2015):

Katy Perry’s 2015 performance at Super Bowl XLIX, , With 121 million views, is one the most-watched Super Bowl halftime shows. The meme-creating performance featured Missy Elliot, Lenny Kravitz, and the Arizona State University Sun Devil Marching Band as Perry performed on songs such as California Gurls, Roar, and Firework.

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6. Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake (Super Bowl XXXVIII - 2004):

Not the best halftime show of all time, but this surely was the memorable one. Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction incident was the main reason for this halftime performance to gain popularity. Before, the performance contained popular acts. The leading backlash against Jackson was so egregious that they are still making documentaries about it.

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7. Madonna (Super Bowl XLVI - 2012):

Madonna was part some of the best Super Bowl halftime songs and shows of all time a couple generations after their pop-culture primes. However, some acts came through a rote recitation of their classic hits. At this time, Madonna decided to stage a complete over-the-top extravaganza of spectacular dance numbers and garish costumes. Additionally, M.I.A. flipped off the camera, making it one of the best shows of all time.

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8. Bruno Mars and Red Hot Chili Peppers (Super Bowl XLVIII - 2014):

Bruno Mars was an ideal fit for the Super Bowl halftime performance. He is used to playing stadium shows and he is very inoffensive. In addition to this, all his tracks sound like vague covers of classic tunes users cannot quite place. The late addition of the Red Hot Chili Peppers came from the fear that Bruno Mars was not enough of “superstar” in 2014, but in their performance of Give It Away, Red Hot Chili Peppers did not really add anything apart from their outsize shirtless energy.

super bowl halftime show playlist

9. Shakira and Jennifer Lopez (Super Bowl LIV - 2020):

In this performance, Shakira at 43 years old and J.Lo at 50 performed as though they did not know their age. They were fresh, sexy, exacting, and dynamic. Having listened to these two artists during their formative years, people knew every word to every song from the 2000s, and it was both comforting and exhilarating simultaneously. There is even a documentary about how J.Lo planned for this performance. It was definitely her propaganda, but it still left people in tears to see how hard she worked to be taken seriously as an artist and to maintain her rightful place in the spotlight.

super bowl halftime performers by year

10. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (Super Bowl XLII - 2008):

Being one of the country’s greatest underappreciated assets, Tom Petty’s American Girl, I Won’t Back Down, Free Fallin, and Runnin’ Down a Dream made the solid hit at the halftime performance.

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11. Rihanna (2023)

After almost being absent from music industry for seven year, Rihanna broke the web with her halftime performance at Super Bowl 57. Rihanna came in a banger filled set while floating from the sky. She started with her iconic song [Expletive] Better Have My Money, featuring her pregnant belly. Before carrying on the party the crew checked her makeup mid-set, and then she went on to sing more of her hits like Wild Thoughts, All of the Lights, and Run This Town.

best halftime show of all time

12. Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar & 50 Cent (2022)

It was in 2022 when hip-hop finally got the fame when Dr. Dre and his crew took over the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood. Earlier announced performers Mary J. Blige, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, and Kendrick Lamar were joined by surprise guests Anderson Paak and 50 Cent. From Dre playing the piano to play Still D.R.E. to Kendrick’s modern classic Alright to Snoop rapping to Blige’s Family Affair, the performance showed that hip-hop is more than ready for its moment at the Super Bowl Halftime Show.

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Part 2. How to Download Ranking Super Bowl halftime Shows from YouTube for Offline Watching

If this was not enough for you, we bring you one more surprise. We present you the ability to download your favorite superhit Super Bowl halftime performance from YouTube. How? Well, HitPaw Video Converter makes Super Bowl song download possible and easy. It also comes with many advanced features such as:

  • Download videos from YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, Facebook, and more
  • Download videos in different formats (MP4, FLV, MKV, etc.) for easy playback
  • Download multiple videos simultaneously or in a queue for saving time
  • Support for downloading subtitles along with the video
  • Intuitive and user-friendly interface design for easy navigation
  • Step 1:Download, install, and launch HitPaw Video Converter. Click the Download tab from the home screen. Open the streaming platform and copy the URL of the game.

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  • Step 2:Go to the Download tab and tap the Paste URL option to automatically paste the link.

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  • Step 3:Next, HitPaw will analyze the link and show information about video. You can download videos in up to 8K resolution with HitPaw.

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  • Step 4:Tap the Download option to begin downloading the video. Users can pause and resume saving as per their need.

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  • Step 5:The downloaded video can be accessed from the Finished tab.

    super bowl halftime performers by year


All in all, we just had a look at the best and most-watched Super Bowl halftime shows of all time. All these performances were pretty much solid to make it to the list. We are sure that you enjoyed all these performances and will definitely enjoy this year’s Super Bowl 58 halftime performance as well. Also, you can use HitPaw Video Converter to download your favorite superhit Super Bowl halftime performance from YouTube.

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