The 10 Best Super Bowl Halftime Shows, Ranked

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Every single year, the Super Bowl plays host to one of the most-watched musical performances of the year.

Due to my own taste in music, I will not include artists like Lady Gaga, U2, and Bruce Springsteen on my own personal top-10 list. However, there have been plenty of memorable performances (and the most famous wardrobe malfunction of all time) in the Super Bowl’s 57-year history to keep everybody happy.

10. Rihanna (2023)

Rihanna at Super Bowl Halftime Show
Image: NFL

While Rihanna is Rihanna, she was quite underwhelming on stage, which was no surprise given that she was pregnant (a surprise!) and hadn’t performed in over five years.

Nevertheless, that wasn’t going to stop her loyal fanbase from tuning in and making it the most-watched Super Bowl halftime show in history. While the choreography was great, as expected, the performance has widely been forgotten a year later.

9. Aerosmith & NSYNC (2001)

We’re including this halftime show because of the pure ridiculousness of the entire spectacle that somehow encapsulates life in 2001 before 9/11.

The show made little-to-no sense as a whole, with surprise halftime show performers Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige, and Nelly all participating in a wild rendition of “Walk This Way.” There was an even weirder pre-recorded intro sketch starring Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Aerosmith, and NSYNC that was somehow perfect given what transpired afterward.

8. The Rolling Stones (2006)

Two years after Nipplegate and a year after the stunning success of their “A Bigger Bang” album, the Rolling Stones graced the Super Bowl on a stage that looked like their iconic logo.

The Stones kept it classic: no gimmicks, no wardrobe changes, no surprise guests, just plain rock and roll. They played three songs back to back in their entirety: “Start Me Up,” “Rough Justice” and of course, “Satisfaction.”

7. Katy Perry (2015)

Katy Perry at Super Bowl Halftime Show
Image: NFL

If anything, Katy Perry’s Super Bowl halftime show is fondly remembered for a dancing shark (Left Shark) who forgot their choreography during “Teenage Dream” and became a viral sensation.

As for the performance itself, Lenny Kravitz dazzled on the guitar and Missy Elliot shocked viewers with a surprise appearance that included three of her hits. The special effects, lights, and set changes were stunning given how much they had to fit in just a 12-minute span.

6. Janet Jackson & Justin Timberlake (2004)

Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake were two of the most famous artists in the world and were joined on stage by Diddy, Nelly, and Kid Rock. The show in itself was phenomenal but very few people actually remember the music.

That’s because of the world-famous Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction (aka Nipplegate) at the very end of the show, which provoked the NFL to go with aging male artists for the next six years.

5. Shakira & Jennifer Lopez (2020)

I just so happened to be in Shakira’s home country of Colombia during Super Bowl LIV, the first time the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers did battle. Every bar was packed to the brim for the first half and went crazy for the halftime show, only to empty out as soon as the performance was over.

Shakira brought champeta and mapalé, two traditional Colombian dances, to the masses while J. Lo stunned with an unforgettable and somewhat controversial pole dance (for Karens, anyways).

4. Beyoncé & Destiny’s Child (2013)

Beyoncé + Destiny's Child - Super Bowl Halftime Show
Image: NFL

Without a doubt, the shock reunion of Destiny’s Child is one of the most memorable moments in Super Bowl halftime show history.

Beyoncé was the world’s biggest star and put on a 12-minute show that encapsulated her greatness without the need for a million wardrobe changes or other musical guests.

She took over the night and, at the time, it was the most-tweeted moment in Twitter history with 268,000 tweets per minute.

3. Michael Jackson (1993)

Before Michael Jackson came along, Super Bowl halftime shows ranked extremely low on everyone’s list of things to look forward to during the big game. He was the first superstar to ever perform at halftime following an era of marching bands and dreadful gimmicks like 1992’s Winter Magic display.

The world’s greatest pop star delivered a memorable performance, forever changing the way the NFL approached its halftime intermissions.

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

Super Bowl Halftime Show 2022
Image: NFL

For us 30-somethings who grew up with late 90s and early 2000s hip-hop, this was a show that was desperately needed. The hype leading up to the game was real and it was a sensational performance that over-delivered in every possible way.

It was a true joy to be in my favorite bar in my hometown with everybody rapping every lyric to every song.

1. Prince (2007)

Prince - Super Bowl Halftime Show
Image: NFL

The Prince Super Bowl halftime show is widely regarded as the best Super Bowl halftime show of all-time. While organizers in Miami were terrified about how the pouring rain could affect the show, Prince put on one of the most memorable performances in music history.

On a neon stage in the shape of his famous Prince symbol, with his custom purple guitar, he delivered perhaps his most iconic rendition of Purple Rain ever.

Prop Bets for Usher’s Super Bowl LVIII Halftime Show

Usher is performing at Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas this year and the expectations for an iconic spectacle couldn’t be higher.

With the Super Bowl comes a long list of prop bets and the halftime show is no different. One of the most popular prop bets is betting on the surprise halftime show performers.

Currently, Alicia Keys and Ludacris are huge favorites to appear on stage with Usher during the big game.

You can place some of these Super Bowl halftime show prop bets on BetOnline, our recommended online sportsbook. You can place wagers on the color of Usher’s first shirt, the style of his necklace, whether he will have an exposed nipple of his own, or even if he gives Taylor Swift a shoutout.

These are just a few of the prop bets available on BetOnline or at any of your other favorite NFL sportsbooks, which can provide a bit of fun and make the show more entertaining, even if you’re not a fan of his.

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Blaise Bourgeois
Poker and Gambling Expert
Blaise Bourgeois
Poker and Gambling Expert

Blaise is an Expert Gambling Writer and a professional poker player in Brazil. He has played and traveled throughout Latin America for the last four-and-a-half years and recently won his first WSOP Circuit ring! He received his Master's in Sport Management and Sports Analytics from St. John's University. Blaise also holds a Mathematics and Computer Science degree from SUNY Purchase, where he still holds the school's Men's Soccer record for goals in a season. Blaise has worked for Catena Media, OddsSeeker, WSOP, PokerNews, and Poker.Org in various capacities. He has a passion for extensive research and aims to provide accurate…