The 5 best and worst Super Bowl halftime shows
There's no bigger musical spectacle than the Super Bowl halftime show.
Through the years, there's been some remarkable performances, but there's also been a fair share of stinkers.
This year's edition, which features the odd tag team of Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, has the makings of the latter, especially after Beyonce (literally) turned the lights out with her spectacular 12-minute set last year that included Crazy in Love and a reunion with Destiny's Child.
With this in mind, here's our five best and five worst halftime shows of all time:
1. U2, Super Bowl XXXVI (2002)
The Irish rockers were called on to perform at the first Super Bowl halftime show after the tragedy of 9/11, and they rose to the occasion. With Bono emerging from the crowd, the band sizzled through a moving set, capped off with a powerful rendition of Where the Streets Have No Name, while the names of the victims were highlighted on the stage backdrop. Poignant, powerful and moving.
2. Paul McCartney, Super Bowl XXXIX (2005)
Macca busted out a medley of Beatles songs and popular solo work, highlighted by 80,000 voices helping him sing the last refrain of Hey Jude. "Na-na-na-na-na-na," a Beatles fan's dream.
3. Prince, Super Bowl XLI (2007)
The tiny sex machine from Minnesota went back into the vault and ripped through Let's Go Crazy, covers of Proud Mary, All Along the Watchtower, and even the Foo Fighters' Best of You. It ended, ironically enough, with Purple Rain as the skies opened up.
4. Michael Jackson, Super Bowl XXVII (1993)
The King of Pop knew how to put on a big show worthy of his nickname. His over-the-top costumes, slick dance moves, flashy pyrotechnics and string of hits added up to an unforgettable performance. It also paved the way for bigger halftime productions in the future. So what if he lip-synched?
5. Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake, Super Bowl XXXVIII (2004)
It became widely known as Nipplegate, and it also coined the popular term “wardrobe malfunction.” But before the infamous nipple slip, Janet Jackson was performing a stellar set, throwing in a little old-school Rhythm Nation for good measure. Does anyone remember who won the game?
1. Presto the Magician, Super Bowl XXIII (1989)
To get real perspective on how far halftime shows have come, look no further than this abomination. Someone actually got paid to come up with the idea of having a Elvis impersonator/magician doing an audience-wide card trick. Were people really this easily amused in 1989?
2. Black Eyed Peas, Super Bowl XLV (2011)
Feel like torturing your ears? Just listen to this 12-minute vocal mess -- it made everyone wish that Fergie and wil.i.am lip-synched the whole darn thing. Even guest guitarist Slash looks like he'd rather be somewhere else. These Peas were definitely hard to swallow.
3. Aerosmith, Britney Spears,‘N Sync et al, Super Bowl XXV (2001)
The power-pop royalty of the moment joined together with Aerosmith to mangle their classic rock/rap song Walk This Way. Somewhere, the Run-DMC guys were weeping.
4. A Salute to Motown and the '60s featuring …Up With People, Super Bowl XVI (1982)
A salute to Motown featuring a lot of unknown white people singing big hits that were anything but soulful. Was Olivia Newton-John not available?
5. New Kids on the Block, Super Bowl XXV (1991)
Ten-year-old girls were extremely disappointed: the New Kids (paired with Mickey Mouse) were pre-empted by Operation Desert Storm updates. If you weren’t a 10-year-old girl back in 1991 – this was a relief. Mickey chimes in at the end, saying "Thanks to our armed forces everywhere!" Surreal and painful.
Five acts we'd like to see perform at the big show:
Led Zeppelin: What better way to make a triumphant comeback than on the world's biggest stage?
AC/DC: They are well past their due date, but everyone from jocks to fairweather football fans love them -- and they never disappoint.
Jack White/Black Keys: There's no love lost between the two acts, but what better way to settle your differences than to pair up and have a guitar-crunching good time?
Jay-Z/Kanye West: Want to add some edge? Book these two hip-hop heavyweights together and they'd bring the house down.
Guns 'n' Roses (original lineup): Leave Buckethead on the hat rack and put the the animosity aside for 15 minutes.