Ten memorable Super Bowl halftime shows

By Zhang Xingjian(chinadaily.com.cn)
Updated: 2017-02-06 14:26:19

Lady Gaga, Super Bowl 2017 [Photo/Weibo.com]

If you consider the Super Bowl simply as the annual championship game of the National Football League, you need to reconsider.

It is also one of the most significant portals for promoting pop culture.

The Super Bowl halftime show is a tradition during the competition, aimed at delighting the television audience and creating national and worldwide interest.

Before musical super stars took the stage, the halftime show focused on a theme, and featured university marching bands. In 1970, Carol Channing was the first celebrity to perform, which was during the 4th Super Bowl.

This year, the 51st Super Bowl invited American pop singer Lady Gaga to wow audiences for the biggest sporting event in the US.

For this occasion, we'll countdown the 10 most amazing Super Bowl halftime performances ever.

10. Lady Gaga, Super Bowl 2017

Renowned for her weird yet fashionable style, Lady Gaga amazed the world at the 51st Super Bowl.

The performance was notable in that it featured a coordinated swarm of hundreds of lit up drones that formed various shapes in the sky above Houston's NRG Stadium. It was the first time robotic aircrafts appeared in a Super Bowl program.

Paul McCartney, Super Bowl 2005 [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

9. Paul McCartney, Super Bowl 2005

Along with John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, he gained worldwide fame in the rock band the Beatles, largely considered the most popular and influential group in the history of pop music.

He participated in the National Football League's Super Bowl, performing "Freedom" during the pre-game show for Super Bowl XXXVI in 2002 and headlining the halftime show at Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005.

Diana Ross, Super Bowl 1996 [Photo/Weibo.com]

8. Diana Ross, Super Bowl 1996

On January 28, 1996, Diana Ross performed at the Super Bowl XXX halftime show.

Born and raised in Detroit, she rose to fame as a founding member and lead singer of the vocal group The Supremes. Ross was named the "Female Entertainer of the Century" by Billboard magazine.

Bruno Mars, Super Bowl 2014 [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

7. Bruno Mars, Super Bowl 2014

As one of the best-selling artists of all time, Bruno Mars performed at the Super Bowl XLVIII halftime show on Feb 2, 2014. During the performance he was joined on stage by Red Hot Chili Peppers as musical guests.

It was the first Super Bowl halftime show headlined by a performer under the age of 30 and of Puerto Rican descent. The show was the second most watched halftime show in the history of the Super Bowl, drawing a record rating of 115.3 million viewers, surpassed only by Katy Perry's halftime show which had 3.2 million more viewers.

The Rolling Stones, Super Bowl 2006 [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

6. The Rolling Stones, Super Bowl 2006

In February 2006, the Rolling Stones played the halftime show for Super Bowl XL in Detroit, Michigan.

The then 62-year-old lead vocal Mick Jagger sang a series of classic songs to the audiences, causing a wave of nostalgia.

Katy Perry, Super Bowl 2015 [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

5. Katy Perry, Super Bowl 2015

Katy Perry presented her musical power at the Super Bowl XLIX halftime show on Feb 1, 2015. Lenny Kravitz and Missy Elliott served as special guests for the show.

Two days after the halftime show, the Guinness World Records announced that Perry's performance garnered 118.5 million viewers in the United States, and became the most watched and highest rated show in Super Bowl history. The viewership was higher than the game itself, which was viewed by an audience of 114.4 million.

Beyoncé, Super Bowl 2013 [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

4. Beyoncé, Super Bowl 2013

Beyoncé performed at the Super Bowl XLVII halftime show, held at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

The performance at the time stood as the second most tweeted about moment in history at 268,000 tweets per minute.

Madonna, Super Bowl 2012 [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

3. Madonna, Super Bowl 2012

In February 2012, Madonna performed at the Super Bowl XLVI halftime show, visualized by Cirque Du Soleil and Jamie King which featured special guests LMFAO, Nicki Minaj, M.I.A. and Cee Lo Green.

At the time, it became the most-watched Super Bowl halftime show in history with 114 million viewers, more than the game itself.

Prince, Super Bowl 2007 [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

2. Prince, Super Bowl 2007

Prince performed at the Super Bowl XLI Halftime Show in Miami, Florida on February 4, 2007, on a large stage shaped like his trademark symbol.

The event was seen by 140 million television viewers, his biggest audience ever. In 2015, Billboard.com ranked the performance as the greatest Super Bowl performance ever.

Michael Jackson, Super Bowl 1993 [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

1.Michael Jackson, Super Bowl 1993

As the King of Pop, Michael Jackson performed at the Super Bowl XXVII halftime show in Pasadena, California.

Because of a dwindling interest during the halftime in the preceding years — a special live episode of In Living Color eroded the previous halftime show's audience by 10 rating points — the NFL decided to seek big-name talent that would improve ratings, with Jackson being selected for his universal appeal.

It was the first Super Bowl whose half-time performance drew greater audience numbers than the game itself.

The performance began with Jackson catapulting onto the stage as fireworks went off behind him, followed by four songs: Jam, Billie Jean, Black or White and Heal the World. Jackson's Dangerous album moved up 90 places on the album chart after the performance.

 

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