The Best Super Bowl Halftime Shows of All Time

Check out the 16 best Super Bowl Halftime shows, ranked. The artist The Weeknd is set to headline the 2021 Super Bowl LV, which sees the Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on the Kansas City Chiefs.

By Corinne Heller, Meg Swertlow Feb 05, 2021 11:00 AMTags
Watch: The Weeknd to Perform at 2021 Super Bowl Halftime Show

It's almost time for the biggest musical sports event: The Super Bowl Halftime Show.

The Weeknd is headlining the 2021 Super Bowl LV Halftime Show, set to take place this Sunday at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, led by NFL championship veteran Tom Brady, will face off against returning champions the Kansas City Chiefs, led by Patrick Mahomes.

""We've been really focusing on dialing in on the fans at home and making performances a cinematic experience, and we want to do that with the Super Bowl," The Weekend, told Billboard last month.

The singer's manager told the outlet that while organizers covering all production costs, as usual, The Weeknd spent $7 million of his own money on the Super Bowl Halftime Show to make it "be what he envisioned."

The Canadian crooner follows in the footsteps of past performers such as Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, who co-headlined last year's event, Justin Timberlake, who famously stirred controversy with the Nipplegate incident with Janet Jackson in 2004 and later returned for a solo performance in 2018, the late Prince and Michael Jackson, Madonna and Beyoncé.

Super Bowl 2020: Star Sightings

Here are the top 16 best Super Bowl halftime shows of all time:

20. Bruno Mars and Red Hot Chili Peppers (2014)

Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers brought the heat to their 2014 Super Bowl performance! Mars kick-started the show with a powerful drum solo before launching into a medley of hits, including "Locked Out of Heaven," "Runaway Baby" and "Treasure," before being joined on stage by the iconic rock and roll band for a high-octane performance of "Give It Away" that had everyone jumping.  

19. Coldplay, Beyoncé, and Bruno Mars (2016)

As Coldplay's Chris Martin sang to open up the 2016 Super Bowl halftime show, "Look at the stars!" The star-studded performance saw the rock band joined by both Beyoncé and Bruno Mars to perform a collection of their hits, including "Viva La Vida," "Uptown Funk" and "Formation."

18. Paul McCartney (2005)

At the 2005 Super Bowl halftime show, Paul McCartney showed that classic rock will never go out of style. The iconic singer-songwriter floated from hit after hit, performing "Drive My Car," "Get Back," "Live and Let Die," before culminating his performance with a feel-good performance of "Hey Jude" that got the whole crowd singing along. 

17. The Weeknd (2021)

It was hard not to be dazzled by the blinding lights of The Weeknd's flawless 2021 Super Bowl halftime performance. The "Starboy" singer brought down the house all by himself as he ran through an impressive list of songs including "The Hills," "Earned It," "Save Your Tears," "I Can't Feel My Face" and "I Feel It Coming" amongst others. 

16. Black Eyed Peas, Usher, and Slash (2011)

"Boom Boom Pow!" This Super Bowl Halftime Show packed a serious punch with knockout performances from the Black Eyed Peas, Usher, and Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash, but many viewers questioned the sound quality at times.

15. Katy Perry, Lenny Kravitz and Missy Elliott (2015)

We only need two words to explain why this Halftime Show went viral: Left Shark.

14. The Who (2010)

Who were the band who played back in 2010? One of the most-celebrated rock bands of all time, The Who, of course! The band performed a medley of their hits on the Super Bowl stage, including "Pinball Wizard," "Who Are You," "Won't Get Fooled Again" and "Baba O'Riley."

13. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (2008)

His performance has been underrated because it's obviously not as flashy as some of the others, but Petty's set was filled with rock-solid hits like "American Girl," "Won't Back Down," "Free Fallin'" and "Running Down a Dream." 10 years ago, he came, he delivered, he smiled. May he RIP.

12. Justin Timberlake (2018)

While there were no nipples in this one, reviews about Timberlake's solo performance back in 2018 were mixed.

11. Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band (2009)

"I want you to step back from the guacamole dip, I want you to put the chicken fingers down and turn your television all the way up," the singer said onstage. And who are we to deny the Boss?

10. The Rolling Stones (2006)

No matter when or where The Stones have performed, Mick Jagger and his unruly lads have brought it for more than 50 years and that was certainly the case when they started up the NFL crowd with tunes like "Rough Justice" and "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction."

9. Aerosmith, Britney Spears, 'NSYNC, Nelly and Mary J. Blige (2001)

Basically every single person in the music industry was on this Super Bowl stage. It was pandemonium. The show was during the height of boy bands, popstars and bubblegum tunes and remains one of the most iconic performances to this day. 

8. Madonna, CeeLo Green, and LMFAO (2012)

It was a spectacular spectacle, complete with a Cleopatra costume, a gospel choir and some sort of cheerleader outfit-type thingy. We felt it. You felt it. Football felt it. And nothing will truly ever be the same.

7. Sting, Shania Twain and No Doubt (2003)

In his first play (or song rather), Sting stung the audience with an update on his classic, "Message in a Bottle." Gwen Stefani came out to the crowd rocking her washboard abs, baggy pants and glittering bustier. The whole thing was a blast and the crowd loved every second.

6. Jennifer Lopez and Shakira (2020)

The two Latin Pop stars turned up the heat for the Super Bowl LV Halftime Show in 2020, both delighting audiences and making others clutch their pearls with their electric performances. J Balvin and Bad Bunny joined in, while J.Lo's daughter Emmy showcased her singing chops onstage as well!

5. Diana Ross (1996)

The former Supremes singer was nothing short of supreme when she rocked the house at the Halftime Show. The queen did an amazing four costume changes in just 12 minutes. The timeless entertainer belted "You Keep Me Hanging on," "Baby Love" and "I Will Survive" before heading out on a helicopter, as one does when you're Diana Ross.

4. Beyoncé (2013)

After lip-syncing the national anthem at Obama's second inauguration the month before, Bey knew she had to bring her A game to the Super Bowl—and that's just what she did. Jay-Z's lady love made it clear as day that she was singing live at the Superdome in New Orleans, killing her vocals and wowing the crowd. Midway through she practically gave fans a heart attack when Michelle Williams and Kelly Rowland joined her onstage for a Destiny's Child reunion. Slay, Bey, slaaaaaaaay!

3. Lady Gaga (2017)

Lady G didn't raise the roof, she sang "God Bless America" and then she literally jumped off it. Well, sort of. After that high-flying start, the superstar singer broke into "Poker Face." It was thrilling; it was over the top; it was all Gaga all the time and fans went gaga for it. There was no meat dress, no blood, no giant glowing egg—just an action-packed performance that made you think that the "Bad Romance" singer was born to be on the 50-yard line. 

2. Michael Jackson (1993)

In a masterful move that only the King of Pop could have the audacity to pull off, MJ stood on stage for a full 90 seconds (remember you only get 13 minutes max) without moving. The smooth criminal had the audience in the palm of his hand when he busted into "Jam." The master performer then broke into "Billie Jean" and "Black or White." There were fedoras, crotch grabs, leg spins (and kicks) and oh-so-much entertainment. The pop star then used the entire audience in Rose Bowl to create giant portraits of children as he closed with "Heal the World."

1. Prince (2007)

The artist formerly known as The Artist Formerly Known as Prince perfected the Super Bowl Halftime show when he performed a musical montage of "We Will Rock You," "Let's Go Crazy," "Baby I'm a Star," "Proud Mary," "All Along the Watchtower," "Best of You" and, of course, "Purple Rain"—during a downpour!

The 2021 Super Bowl LV airs live on Fox on Sunday, Feb. 7 at 6:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 p.m. PT.

Ahead of big game, catch Super Bowl champion Victor Cruz taking over E! News' Instagram Sunday, Feb. 7 starting at 3 p.m ET / 12 p.m. PT.

Don't miss the 2022 Super Bowl on Sunday, Feb. 13 with kick-off starting at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT on NBC and Peacock.