Super Bowl Performances: All Halftime Shows Ranked

Super Bowl Performances - All Halftime Shows Ranked
Wikimedia Commons

What are the best Super Bowl performances ever? Check out our ultimate ranking of the greatest Super Bowl halftime shows, from I to LIV.

The Super Bowl is undoubtedly the most anticipated NFL game of the season. 

Regardless of team performances, the National Anthem rendition, the coin toss, the halftime shows, and other peripheral displays are even more exciting. 

The Super Bowl LV is drawing ever closer, and we look forward to seeing The Weekend on the halftime performance stage.

For the time being, let’s consider all 54 Super Bowl performances ever played. Highlights include the teams, performers, and theme, as the case may be.

Super Bowl Performances: Ranking Every Super Bowl Halftime Shows

54. Super Bowl XXV

  • Teams: New York Giants vs. Buffalo Bills
  • Performers: New Kids on the Block

Two teams evenly matched finished by a one-goal margin in the Giants’ favor. However, the New Kids on the Block seemed to ruin the event at halftime, performing Disney songs. 

The band, lip-syncing, and choices of songs were all unsatisfactory.

53. Super Bowl XXXIV

  • Teams: St. Louis Rams, Tennessee Titans
  • Performers: Phil Collins, Toni Braxton, Christina Aguilera, Enrique Iglesias, with narration by Edward James Olmos
  • Theme: Tapestry of Nations parade

Disney extended their unsatisfactory record of terrible Super Bowl halftime shows with another theme promotion, which bottoms many Super Bowl halftime show rankings.

52. Super Bowl XXIX

  • Teams: San Francisco 49ers vs. San Diego Chargers
  • Performers: Tony Bennett, Patti LaBelle, Arturo Sandoval, and Miami Sound Machine
  • Theme: Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye

The 49ers’ defense was most inspiring as they claimed the Super Bowl title, absolutely contrasting the halftime show. 

It seems Disney used the Super Bowl to promote Disneyland’s new Indiana Jones ride, which was released a year later. The show was tagged an utter jumble in the end.

51. Super Bowl I

  • Teams: Green Bay Packers vs. Kansas City Chiefs
  • Performers: the University of Arizona and University of Michigan Marching Bands and the Rocket Men

The Green Bay Packers packed 35 points from 45 in the inaugural Super Bowl event, which seems to be the game’s most significant highlight, considering the entertainment and performance monotony. 

Nevertheless, the performance was enlivened with two guys flying around the stadium in jetpacks.

50. Super Bowl II

  • Teams: Green Bay Packers vs. Oakland Raiders
  • Performers: Grambling State University Marching Band

Two teams battling for the most significant NFL title could have been packed with much more writhe and fun. Contrastingly, the Green Bay Packers became unmatched winners following a 33-14 thrashing of the Oakland Raiders on January 14, 1968, Super Bowl. 

As uninspiring as the game could be, the performance wasn’t anything better. Louisiana’s Grambling State University Marching Band presented a march-past rendition and the national anthem.

49. Super Bowl V

  • Teams: Dallas Cowboys vs. Baltimore Colts
  • Performers: Southeast Missouri State College Marching Brand and Anita Bryant

The Super Bowl V became the first modern-era NFL Super Bowl event. The Dallas Cowboys were looking to see off the game with a 7-point lead by the third quarter, but the Baltimore Colts claimed victory in the end. 

The Southeast Missouri State College rendered an entertaining performance before the game, and Tommy Ly trumpeted the national anthem. 

The exhibits seemed to be going smoothly until the first-planned jet fly-by arrived five minutes after the national anthem (definitely not as planned).

48. Super Bowl XXXVIII

  • Teams: New England Patriots vs. Carolina Panthers
  • Performers: Jessica Simpson, Ocean of Soul, Spirit of Houston, Nelly, Kid Rock, P. Diddy, Justin Timberlake, and Janet Jackson

Needless to say that the Patriots’ narrow victory was not the Bowl XXXVIII’s highlight; the halftime show had been the talking point ever since. 

Jessica Simpson, Nelly, Kid Rock, P. Diddy hadn’t been so spectacular, but Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson ruined it all. 

As Justin Timberlake was performing “Rock Your Body,” he unintentionally removed Janet Jackson’s breast costume and exposed her right nipple. The incident earned the term “Nipplegate” and has become one of the most significant wardrobe malfunction at an event.

47. Super Bowl XLIV

  • Teams: New Orleans Saints vs. Indianapolis Colts
  • Performer: The Who

The Who were one of the hottest rock bands in the ’60s and ’70s, but hiring them in 2010 was a bad idea; they couldn’t connect to the audience and looked quite overwhelmed with the crowd in-sight. 

The worst of it all is that Pete Townshend’s stomach was noticeable for the most part.

46. Super Bowl XXXII

  • Teams: Denver Broncos vs. Green Bay Packers
  • Performer: The Temptations, Smoky Robinson, Martha Reeves, and the Vandellas, Queen Latifah, and Boyz II Men
  • Theme: A Tribute to Motown’s 40th Anniversary

The tribute was exciting, but Martha Reeves’s shaky voice and some slothful performances let it down. Besides that, it wasn’t so disappointing.

45. Super Bowl LIII

  • Teams: New England Patriots vs. Los Angeles Rams
  • Performer: Maroon 5, Travis Scott, and Big Boi

Both the team performance and the show were expected to be bangers. Contrastingly, they were quite disappointing. 

Sixteen points recorded became the lowest-scoring Super Bowl, and a trio of twenty-first-century elite musicians ended in a safely-played unexciting display.

44. Super Bowl XXXIX

  • Teams: New England Patriots vs. Philadelphia Eagles
  • Performer: Paul McCartney

Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction had ruined the preceding event, Paul McCartney’s choice to play it safe was understandable. 

Nevertheless, it wasn’t the cutting-edge performance expected at such an event.

43. Super Bowl XLVI

  • Teams: New York Giants vs. New England Patriots
  • Performers: Madonna, LMFAO, M.I.A, Nicki Minaj and Cee Lo Green

The combo of these artists looks good on paper, but the performance was a run-on-the-mill. Maybe people’s expectation was more than what they could ever deliver.

42. Super Bowl IX

  • Teams: Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Minnesota Vikings
  • Performer: Grambling State University Marching Band

The Band performed the pre-game festivities, national anthem, and halftime show but managed to present distinctive displays. 

At halftime, they performed a salute to late jazz composer Duke Ellington. The GSU Tiger Marching Band’s unique formation was quite impressive.

41. Super Bowl III

  • Teams: New York Jets vs. Baltimore Colts
  • Performer: Florida A&M Marching Band

A great prospect and stunning turn-up in a redeemed league of professional football saw the Jets finish in a nine-point victory over the Colts. Besides the team performance, one of the United States novel bands ran the Super Bowl III halftime show.

40. Super Bowl XXVI

  • Teams: Dallas Cowboys vs. Buffalo Bills
  • Performers: Gloria Estefan, Brian Boitano, Dorothy Hamill and the University of Minnesota Marching Band

The Buffalo Bills can find solace in Gloria Estefan’s performance in an unproductive Super Bowl participation they’ll want to forget. 

Brian Boitano and Dorothy Hamill presented some exciting ice skating performances, while the University of Minnesota Marching Band played their part to enliven the show.

39. Super Bowl XLIII

  • Teams: Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Arizona Cardinals
  • Performers: The E Street Band and Bruce Springsteen

Ups and downs, but the Steelers managed to claim the victory after the Cardinals recovered from a 20:7 point-deficit to lead 23-20 with two minutes left on the clock. 

Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band performance is equally as memorable.

38. Super Bowl VI

  • Teams: Dallas Cowboys vs. Miami Dolphins
  • Performers: Ella Fitzgerald, Carol Channing, Al Hirt, and the U.S. Marine Corps Drill Team
  • Theme: Salute to Louis Armstrong

New Olean trumpeter Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong had died six months before the Super Bowl but earned a grand tribute at the 1972 Super Bowl. 

Jazz musician Ella Fitzgerald, Carol Channing, Al Hirt, and the U.S. Marine Corps Drill Team performed in his honor.

37. Super Bowl VIII

  • Teams: Miami Dolphins vs. Minnesota Vikings
  • Performer: University of Texas Longhorn Marching Band and Charley Pride

The Super Bowl’s eighth edition was another one-sided game as the Vikings lost 7:24 to the Dolphins in their second Super Bowl appearance. 

University of Texas Longhorn Marching Band performed the national anthem before the game, but Charley Pride stole the show, presenting America the Beautiful.

36. Super Bowl XII

  • Teams: Dallas Cowboys vs. Denver Broncos
  • Performers: Tyler Junior College Apache Belles and Al Hirt and Pete Fountain

The Dallas Cowboys prevailed over Denver Broncos 27:10 in the Super Bowl XII, but the halftime show was much improved than many preceding events. 

The Tyler Junior College Apache Belles, Al Hirt, and Pete Fountain presented “From Paris to Paris of America;” considering Tyler Junior College Apache Belles’ average age, they deserve some credit.

35. Super Bowl XIII

  • Teams: Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Dallas Cowboys
  • Performer: Bob Jani Production
  • Theme: Carnival: A Salute to the Caribbean

It was the Pittsburgh Steelers who stole the victory with a 3-point lead at full time. 

Nevertheless, entertainment and pre-game festivities were as exciting as the game, featuring the Cowboys Cheerleaders and numerous military performances before the match and a Bob Jani presentation at halftime. 

Bob Jani Production performed Carnival: A Salute to the Caribbean, which featured several Caribbean bands.

34. Super Bowl XV

  • Teams: Oakland Raiders vs. Philadelphia Eagles
  • Performer: Jim Skinner Productions 
  • Theme: Mardi Gras Festival

The Raiders raided the Eagles to claim the 1981 Super Bowl title, while Jim Skinner Productions raided the halftime show with the Mardi Gras Festival, featuring singers and dancers on stage.

33. Super Bowl XIV

  • Teams: Los Angeles Rams vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Performer: Up with People
  • Theme: A Salute to the Big Band Era

Up with People returned to the Super Bowl stage after four years with a “Salute to the Big Band Era,” and it’s everything worth liking.

32. Super Bowl XVI

  • Teams: San Francisco 49ers vs. Cincinnati Bengals
  • Performer: Up with People
  • Theme: A Salute to the 1960 and Motown

Up with People’s performances had been so good the first two times that they performed again in the first Super Bowl to be held in the midwest. 

31. Super Bowl LII

  • Teams: Philadelphia Eagles vs. New England Patriots
  • Performer: Justin Timberlake

Justin Timberlake had an opportunity to redeem himself following his involvement in the 2004 Janet Jackson “Nipplegate” mishap. 

He was quite creative but lacked the amount of energy the audience required. Anyway, he played safe, and his main goal was achieved.

30. Super Bowl XX

  • Teams: Chicago Bears vs. New England Patriots
  • Performer: Up with People
  • Theme: Beat of the Future

Up with People broke the record for most Super Bowl halftime shows appearances in the 20th Super Bowl, performing “Beat of the Future.” 

Such a feat would not have been achieved if they had put up terrible performances.

29. Super Bowl XXVIII

  • Teams: Dallas Cowboys vs. Buffalo Bills
  • Performers: Travis Tritt, Clint Black, Tanya Tucker, and The Judds

The Super Bowl XXVIII became the first Super Bowl event to be played in Atlanta. It surpassed expectations, reuniting The Judds. 

Stevie Wonder also appeared at the show, performing “Love Can Build a Bridge.”

28. Super Bowl XL

  • Teams: Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Seattle Seahawks
  • Performer: The Rolling Stones

The performance was good overall, but playing a new song at an event like the Super Bowl just sucks up all the energy. Besides, a game held in Detroit without any black artists was quite a sloppy choice by the NFL.

27. Super Bowl X

  • Teams: Dallas Cowboys vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Performer: Up with People
  • Theme: 200 Years and Just a Baby

Up with People, as they’ve been known for, brought everyone together through service and music, performing 200 Years and Just a Baby, the latter being a tribute to America’s Bicentennial. 

The dancers depicted several amazing American chronological figures.

26. Super Bowl XVII

  • Teams: Washington Redskins vs. Miami Dolphins
  • Performer: Bob Jani Productions
  • Theme: KaleidoSUPERScope

The Super Bowl XVII was held in 1993, featuring the Washington Redskins and Miami Dolphins in a bout that ended 27:17 in the Redskins’ favor. 

However, event producer Bob Jani Productions returned hotter to the halftime stage after four years, performing KaleidoSUPERScope. 

A little confusion caused by the similar design of the coin’s head and tails puts the event’s pre-game festivities among the funniest ever.

25. Super Bowl XI

  • Teams: Oakland Raiders vs. Minnesota Vikings
  • Performer: Disney
  • Theme: It’s a Small World

This Super Bowl must have been a joy to watch for the Raiders’ fans as their team finished with an 18-point victory over the Vikings. 

The halftime show featured a Disney production, “It’s a Small World.” It featured the Mickey Mouse Club members and became the first Super Bowl with crowd participation during the halftime show, certainly one of the best Disney Super Bowl performances.

24. Super Bowl XIX

  • Teams: San Francisco 49ers vs. Miami Dolphins
  • Performer: United States Air Force
  • Theme: World of Children’s Dreams

Following the surprising participation of President Ronald Reagan at the pre-game festivities, the US Air Force displayed how much peace the military fights for with the “World of Children’s Dreams” halftime show. 

The show featured Tops in Blue, the circus, pirate ships, and a space shuttle. Ronald Reagan became the first US President to be involved in the coin-toss ceremony.

23. Super Bowl VII

  • Teams: Miami Dolphins vs. Washington Redskins
  • Performers: Andy Williams, Woody Herman, and the University of Michigan Marching Band

Twenty-one points were recorded as the Dolphins emerged victors with two-third of it. Nevertheless, the pre-game, a tribute to Apollo 17, was exciting. 

Apollo 17 crew members and the University of Michigan Marching Band delivered a mouth-watering performance, wrapping it up with Andy Williams’ and Woody Herman’s “Happiness is” performance.

22. Super Bowl XXIII

  • Teams: San Francisco 49ers vs. Cincinnati Bengals
  • Performer: South Florida Dancers and Performers, Elvis Presto
  • Theme: Be Bop Bamboozled

At halftime, the South Florida Dancers and Performers performed “Be Bop Bamboozled” in 3D, featuring computer-generated 3D images. 

Elvis Presto also performed his songs and displayed some card tricks. The game ended at full time 20:16 in the 49ers’ favor.

21. Super Bowl XXI

  • Teams: New York Giants vs. Denver Broncos
  • Performer: Disney 

The Giants secured another Super Bowl victory with a 19-point win over the Broncos; they also invented the Gatorade shower, a practice involving players dumping coolers full of liquid over their coach’s head. 

The Giants’ championship victory was a big celebration, but the halftime show was equally spectacular. 

Disney performed a Salute to Hollywood’s 100th Anniversary, beginning with a beautiful introduction by George Burns, nine years younger than Hollywood.

20. Super Bowl IV

  • Teams: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Minnesota Vikings
  • Performer: Carol Channing, Marguerite Piazza, and the Southern University Marching Band

The fourth edition of the Super Bowl was held in the Tulane Stadium, New Orleans, where the Kansas City Chiefs claimed victory over the Vikings. 

Carol Channing, Marguerite Piazza, and the Southern University Marching Band performed an exciting tribute to New Orleans; however, the play based on the “Battle of New Orleans” was entirely pointless.

19. Super Bowl XXXVII

  • Teams: Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Oakland Raiders
  • Performers: Shania Twain, No Doubt and Sting

Shania Twain performed her best hits “Man! I Feel Like a Woman” and “Up!,” while No Doubt sang “Just a Girl,” but Gwen Stefani and Sting stole the show, performing “Message in a Bottle.”

18. Super Bowl XXIV

  • Teams: San Francisco 49ers vs. Denver Broncos
  • Performers: Southern University band, Irma Thomas, Pete Fountain, and Doug Kershaw
  • Theme: Peanuts’ 40th Anniversary

Another exciting Super Bowl victory for the 49ers, claiming 45 points from the 55 recorded as former head coach Bill Walsh had predicted. 

However, the halftime show was just as exciting a performance as the 49ers victory, featuring Southern University Band, Irma Thomas, Pete Fountain, and Doug Kershaw performing the Peanuts’ 40th Anniversary.

17. Super Bowl XLII

  • Teams: New York Giants vs. New England Patriots
  • Performers: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

The game is one of the biggest upsets in the NFL’s history, and the show was impressive. It was real and natural, no lip-syncing. The exhibition was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2009.

16. Super Bowl XXX

  • Teams: Dallas Cowboys vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Performers: Diana Ross

NFL’s greatest rivals, Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers met for the Super Bowl title at Sun Devil Stadium, and Diana Ross’ fueled the audience with her exciting performance. 

The most significant highlight was Ross exiting the stadium in a helicopter.

15. Super Bowl XLV

  • Teams: Green Bay Packers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Performers: The Black Eyed Peas, Slash, and Usher

The presentation brought the required vibes despite some technical glitches and The Black Eyed Peas’ weird costumes. Nevertheless, it was so much fun.

14. Super Bowl XVIII

  • Teams: Los Angeles Raiders 38, Washington Redskins 9
  • Performer: Disney

The Raiders finished this game with the largest victory-margin, 29 points in a 38:9 win over the Redskins. Disney also performed their best-ever Super Bowl halftime show, saluting Stars of the Silver Screen

13. Super Bowl XXXIII

  • Teams: Denver Broncos vs. Atlanta Falcons
  • Performers: Stevie Wonder, Savion Glover, Gloria Estefan, and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

The Super Bowl XXXIII was held in the Pro Player Stadium, Miami Gardens, and a Miami signature tune at halftime seemed to be the perfect match. 

The show featured Stevie Wonder’s biggest hits and Savion Glover’s tap dancing; Estefan’s performance is also worth mention.

12. Super Bowl 50

  • Teams: Carolina Panthers vs. Denver Broncos
  • Performers: Coldplay, Beyoncé, Bruno Mars, Mark Ronson, Gustavo Dudamel, University of California Marching Band, and Youth Orchestra LA.

A Jubilee year of the Super Bowl, and music stars, Beyoncé and Bruno Mars made their second appearances at the halftime show, while Coldplay headlined. 

All the performances were impressive, but Beyoncé’s “Say what!” was the best hit.

11. Super Bowl XXXI

  • Teams: Green Bay Packers vs. New England Patriots
  • Performers: The Blues Brothers, James Brown, and ZZ Top

The Blues Brothers headlined the show, while soul music legend James Brown was featured, and it was all fun. Energy levels, 100%, and it managed not to be extreme. 

10. Super Bowl XLVIII

  • Teams: Seattle Seahawks vs. Denver Broncos
  • Performers: The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Bruno Mars

Sometimes, simplicity is spectacular. Needless to say that this is one of the most talent-based halftime shows in Super Bowl history. 

Bruno Mars’ performance was an excellent fit for the broad, age-diverse Super Bowl audience.

9. Super Bowl XLI

  • Teams: Indianapolis Colts vs. Chicago Bears
  • Performer: Prince and the Florida A&M Marching Band

Prince’s “Purple Rain” performance in the rain is arguably the most creative Super Bowl halftime show in history.

8. Super Bowl XXII

  • Teams: Washington Redskins vs. Denver Broncos
  • Performers: Chubby Checker and The Rockettes

The Broncos threw a 10:0 lead in the first quarter to end in a 32-point deficit. However, their fans can find solace in one of the best old school Super Bowl performances that featured eighty-eight grand pianos.

7. Super Bowl XXXV

  • Teams: Baltimore Ravens vs. New York Giants
  • Performers: NSYNC, Aerosmith, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige, and Nelly

Nothing less could be expected from a show produced by MTV. An outstanding overall performance rewarded their unlikely pairing of performers.

6. Super Bowl XXXVI

  • Teams: New England Patriots vs. St. Louis Rams
  • Performer: U2

Janet Jackson was initially scheduled to perform at the 2002 Super Bowl but allowed the U2 band instead. Their performance was emotional, comforting people from the Twin Tower Attack in 2001. 

5. Super Bowl LI

  • Teams: New England Patriots vs. Atlanta Falcons
  • Performer: Lady Gaga

After 50 years of Super Bowl events, one finally gets into overtime, but the Patriots managed to secure another Super Bowl victory. However, Lady Gaga’s performance was outstanding.

4. Super Bowl XLVII

  • Teams: Baltimore Ravens vs. San Francisco 49ers
  • Performers: Beyoncé, Kelly Rowland, and Michelle Williams
Destiny Child Super Bowl XLVII Halftime Performance
Wikimedia Commons

Beyoncé commanded the stage in a way many performers haven’t. Her intro was Vince Lombardi’s quote on excellence, and her performance was incredible.

3. Super Bowl LIV

  • Teams: Kansas City Chiefs vs. San Francisco 49ers
  • Performers: Jennifer Lopez and Shakira

Jennifer Lopez and Shakira were the leading performers, but Bad Bunny, J Balvin, and Lopez’s daughter, Emme Muniz, made guest appearances. 

The guitars, drums, body surfing, and children’s choirs generated sufficient energy. The Super Bowl LIV remains one of the best halftime shows in Super Bowl history.

2. Super Bowl XXVII

King of Pop, Michael Jackson, presented an unparalleled performance at the 1993 Super Bowl. With his Houdini-esque halftime show, his show became a more significant highlight than the game itself.

1. Super Bowl XLIX

  • Teams: New England Patriots vs. Seattle Seahawks
  • Performers: Katy Perry, Lenny Kravitz, Missy Elliott, and the Arizona State University Marching Band.
Katty Perry at Super Bowl XLIX Halftime Show
Wikimedia Commons

The game may sneak its way to Super Bowl thrillers’ list with two evenly matched teams and a shocking twist, and the performance complemented it perfectly.

Headliner Katy Perry’s performance was very creative, her costume befitting, and the overwhelming energy she generated.

Lenny Kravitz, Missy Elliott, and the Arizona State University Marching Band gave their bits, and the results were what they could have dreamed of. 

With an estimated TV audience of about 120 million, it remains the most-watched halftime show ever.

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