In the most emotional halftime show in history, U2 gave an exceptional performance honoring the 9/11 victims. There were tears in the audience as Bono and his band sang “Where the Streets Have No Name” to a backdrop of all the names of the victims of the attacks. Bono was wearing a jacket lined with stars and stripes, to honor the American flag and its people.
Audiences loved the show, and it was a success all around, although it did get some negative reviews from critics. But it’s still considered one of the best halftimes shows ever.
Best: Beyoncé, 2013
Queen Bey has seen nothing but success since the start of her career, and the 2013 halftime show was no exception. The crowds saw a silhouette on fire, and suddenly Beyonce appeared from behind a cloud of smoke, belting out “Crazy in Love” and “Love on Top.” Now that’s an entrance.
Things got even wilder when Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams came on stage for a nostalgic Destiny’s Child reunion, singing “Single Ladies,” “Bootylicious,” and “Independent Women.” As usual, Beyonce was surrounded by band members and female dancers carrying out well-planned choreographies.
Best: Prince, 2007
The one and only Prince led the halftime show for the 2007 Super Bowl. The producers were nervous, considering Prince is known for his saucy lyrics and dance moves, but everything turned out great. Prince performed an amazing show and pleased the crowds with hits like “Let’s Go Crazy” and then covered Hendrix’s “All Along the Watchtower.”
To end things on a high note, Prince performed his classic song, “Purple Rain” under drops of rain fogging the stage lights since there was a storm in Florida. The performance couldn’t have been more perfect, nor the audience more excited.
Best: Bruce Springsteen, 2009
The 2009 Super Bowl was one of the most exciting games in the NFL’s history. It was a nail-biting game between the Cardinals and the Steelers, and the halftime show featured the great Bruce Springsteen. The Boss performed an unforgettable 15-minute set, rocking out hits like “Born to Run” and “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out”.
The show producers had been trying to get Springsteen to perform for the halftime show for years, but he had turned the offer down. So, in 2009, everybody was extremely happy to have him on stage, especially after that epic knee-slide straight into the camera.
Best: Aerosmith, Britney Spears, 'N Sync, Nelly, & Mary J. Blige, 2001
Now, this was a lineup that looked great on paper and ended up being even better on stage. For the 2001 halftime show, producers made sure to book the most famous music artists of the year, which back then were Britney Spears and NSYNC. The sheer fact of having Spears and Timberlake on stage was enough to drive the crowd wild.
Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way” was one of the craziest performances ever, and then Mary J. Blige entered the stage singing at the top of her lungs. The show was unstoppable and one of the best halftimes in Super Bowl history.