The Five Best and Five Worst Super Bowl Halftime Performances

best worst super bowl halftime shows

Does anyone even really watch the actual game during the Super Bowl anymore? It seems like the performance of the National Anthem, the myriad commercials, and the halftime show are what the Super Bowl is all about. Over the years, the half-time shows have offered some amazing performances as well as some real stinkers. Let’s take a look back and see the big hits and big misses.

Let’s check some of the worst first.

1991: 25 Year Tribute Halftime Show

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The “Small World Tribute to 25 Years of the Super Bowl” with The New Kids on the Block and the songs “This One’s for the Children” and “It’s a Small World (After All)” were not the most energetic choices for a Super Bowl halftime.

1994: Rockin’ Country Sunday Halftime Show

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“Rockin’ Country Sunday” sounds like a great theme, but it was anything but that. The Judds, Tanya Tucker, and Travis Tritt were more appropriate for a rodeo.

1995: Tony Bennett & Patti LaBelle Halftime Show

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Tony Bennett and Patti LaBelle were the headliners for “Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye”; and, although amazing artists, what they were given was really a marketing move by Disney for their new Indiana Jones adventure with a little Lion King thrown in for the kids.

1997: The Blues Brothers Halftime Show

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The “Blues Brothers Bash” was about 20 years too late. Jim Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, and John Goodman did their best to perform classics by Solomon Burke and James Brown.

2011: The Black Eyed Peas Halftime Show

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The Black Eyed Peas made an impressive entrance, but the off-note singing and moves made this one of the worst halftime performances ever. Maybe if they had had a theme?

Now for a few of the best:

1993: Michael Jackson Halftime Show

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Super Bowl 1993 didn’t even have a theme; it had Michael Jackson. Do we need to really say anything else? He may be the greatest performer of all times.

2001: Nsync & Aerosmith Halftime Show

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The “Kings of Rock and Pop” brought together N’Sync and Aerosmith, an unusual combination, but this one worked.

2004: Justin Timberlake & Janet Jackson Halftime Show

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“Choose or Lose” seems an apt theme with Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction that was talked about for months. But they wowed the audience with an unforgettable show.

2013: Beyonce Halftime Show

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Like Michael Jackson, Beyoncé didn’t need a theme. She showed more athleticism than the members of the teams who played in the Super Bowl while belting out her best. An amazing performance for sure.

2017: Lady Gaga Halftime Show

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Another performer needing no theme, Lady Gaga was spectacular last year; and she took some body-shaming comments. She started with “God Bless America,” jumped into the stadium, and continued with some of her best hits. Her high energy performance, wardrobe changes, backup dancers, and pyrotechnics really gave us something to cheer about.

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