Watch: Awesome Super Bowl Halftime Shows!

The Super Bowl: it’s a pretty big deal. It’s a big deal for the two teams on the field, for sports fans watching, for the advertisers shelling out crazy amounts of cash for a 30 second spot. And for about 13 minutes, it’s a big deal for music.

Performing during the Super Bowl halftime show is an honor for any musician. This year, Bruno Mars has been given that honor, and he chose to share it with the Red Hot Chili Peppers (!!!!). Will they make history together? Or will they make America want to change the channel?


While you’re waiting to see how this year’s show unfolds, relive some of the best halftime performances in Super Bowl (recent) history. (The “history” that I, a 23 year old, can recall.)

Aerosmith and *NSYNC with Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige, and Nelly (2001)

*NSYNC and Aerosmith played two hits each before jointly performing “Walk This Way” with cameos from the oh-so-toned Britney Spears, R&B’s queen Mary J. Blige, and “Ride Wit Me” rapper Nelly. Cue ’90s nostalgia.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (2008)

No bells. No whistles. Just a good, old-fashioned rock and roll show.

Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band (2009)

The Boss and the ever-legendary E Street Band demanded everyone watching at home “put the chicken fingers down” and turn the TV up just before rocking the stadium with an energetic set of all-time fan favorites, including “10th Avenue Freeze Out” and “Born To Run.” (This performance was also before the passing of the Big Man, Clarence Clemons. Rest in peace, Big Man.)

Madonna (2012)

Riding into the arena on a golden throne, Madge opened strong with “Vogue,” a surefire crowd-pleaser. She wobbled a bit while dancing during “Music” (alongside LMFAO), but that little slip was all but forgotten as soon as the robed choir (and a sparkly Cee Lo Green) joined her on stage for the breathtaking “Like A Prayer” finale.

Beyoncé (2013)

Fire! Smoke! Amazing choreography! Digital Beyoncé clones! A brief Destiny’s Child reunion! Beyoncé’s stunning performance was a spectacle unlike any other. Regarding the cause of the 34-minute Superdome blackout that followed, Jay Z has his own theory: it was his wife’s show-stopping performance.

Honorable Mention: Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson (2004). Wardrobe malfunction aside, the “Rock Your Body” duet was gold. (Video unavailable for obvious reasons.)

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