It may be the one of biggest night in sports, but the Super Bowl has grown far bigger than football. It’s a night when the biggest names in music come together to put on some of the best performances of their career for the Halftime Show. In no particular order, we rounded up the best halftime shows in the last 20 years from Lady Gaga, Madonna, Beyoncé, Prince, and more.
Shakira & J. Lo LIV 2020
Shakira and J. Lo teamed up for one of the most energetic and Latin-infused Superbowl performances of all-time. Shakira started off the show with a plethora of back-up dancers, a guest appearance from Bad Bunny, and of course her signature belly dancing moves. J. Lo kept the energy high with glittery ensembles, a pole dancing moment a la Hustlers, and a crazy-good duet with J Balvin. The two superstars really brought the heat to Miami that year.
Lady Gaga LI 2017
While this may be one of the few halftime shows without special guests, Lady Gaga proves that she commands a stage all her own. In true Gaga fashion, she starts off by dropping down from the sky onto a futuristic stage, and the performance kicks into high gear. Overall you’re left feeling like you just saw a glimpse into a Lady Gaga concert while frantically googling her next tour.
Katy Perry, Lenny Kravitz, and Missy Elliott XLIX 2015
A nice mix of pop, rock ‘n’ roll, and hip-hop for this Super Bowl show headlined by Katy Perry. She kicked things off with a mechanical tiger, Lenny Kravitz joined her with his guitar, and Missy Elliot brought the moves to match her lyrics for their duet. Overall, each performer was in top form.
Beyoncé XLVII 2013
There’s a reason Beyoncé is called Queen Bey and her Super Bowl performance did not disappoint. From the dancing and costumes to the song selection and delivery—everything was jaw-dropping as always. For all the Destiny Child fans out there, this performance was a must-see for their brief but iconic reunion.
Madonna, Nicki Minaj, M.I.A, LMFAO, and Cee Lo Green XLVI 2012
One of the most theatrical halftime performances, the Queen of Pop switched up the energy and set for each song without missing a beat. Madonna entered as a Greek Goddess followed by a rave moment with LMFAO, a cheerleading squad with Nicki Minaj and M.I.A, and a choir-filled duet with Cee Lo Green to close out the show.
Prince XLI 2007
A Super Bowl performance by the legend that is Prince—need we say more? He powered through his classics, but the stand-out moment of this show was when he performed “Purple Rain” just as it starting pouring in Miami. It was a magical moment and one that goes down in Super Bowl history.
Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson XXXVIII 2004
This was the last halftime show produced by MTV due to the controversial nip-slip that took over headlines and overshadowed the whole performance. In true MTV form, the show had an early 2000s hip-hop and r&b theme with guest appearances by P. Diddy, Nelly, and Kid Rock. The finale by Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake was no doubt the highlight of the show.
Paul McCartney XXXIX 2005
Spooked by the controversial show the year prior, the NFL chose Paul McCartney for this year’s gig. He brought a low-key performance of his best hits.