Even if you're not a huge football fan, you're going to want to tune in to Super Bowl XLVIII this year. As one of the most watched TV events in North America, the Super Bowl is an iconic sporting event and for some, it's because of the halftime show.
The Super Bowl halftime stage has been graced by some of the most popular and influential names in the music industry. Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, Michael Jackson, The Rolling Stones, Beyoncé and now, Bruno Mars will be added to that list. Announced earlier in September, the Grammy award-winning singer will take to the stage on February 2 to headline the Super Bowl XLVIII halftime show at New Jersey's MetLife Stadium.
It's a huge honour for a singer to be awarded with this opportunity, as just last year Beyoncé's performance drew an audience of over 10-million viewers. But what is it about the Super Bowl halftime show that makes it so different from any other sporting event? Well, looking back at the 10 best Super Bowl halftime show moments, it's clear that the history and stories of this event are what make it so infamously viewed today.
#10 - Rock, Pop, R&B Blend
In 2001, the halftime show saw the best attempt at a melting pot of each genre of music with Aerosmith, N'Sync, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige, and Nelly taking to the stage. The show opened with N'Sync's "Bye, Bye, Bye" and finished with the group's rendition of the classic rock tune "Walk This Way." The collaboration was talked about for weeks after the show.
#9 - The Safe Choice
Since 2005 was the year after the infamous wardrobe malfunction -- a Super Bowl moment that tops our chart below -- every viewer dubbed this show as "the safe choice." The NFL brought music icon Paul McCartney to the stage with hopes of a routine performance, but it turned out to be anything but that. McCartney put on a flawless show, which ended with the classic tune "Hey Jude," during which all 84,000 fans in the stadium joined in on, creating one of the most memorable Super Bowl halftime show moments.
#8 - 9/11 Tribute
In 2002, just a few short months after the tragic events of 9/11, U2 took to the Super Bowl stage with a touching performance. Singing upon a heart shaped stage lit with candles, there wasn't a dry eye in sight as the performance wrapped up with "Where the Streets Have No Name." A scrolling background featured the names of all the victims from the attack and Bono sent out a strong message as he ripped open his jacket, revealing the stars and stripes in its lining.
#7 - The Uncomfortable Close-up
The NFL had wanted Bruce Springsteen for the halftime show for years when its wish finally came true in 2009. Unfortunately, everyone got more than they bargained for as Springsteen slid across the stage and collided into a TV camera, giving thousands of viewers an extreme close-up of his crotch.
#6 - The King of Pop
Michael Jackson put on a memorable halftime show in 1993 with his performance of "We Are the World," during which audience members turned over cards with drawings by the children of L.A. He then wrapped up by singing "Heal the World" while surrounded by thousands of children and an enormously large blow-up globe on the 50-yard line.
#5 - One Grand Exit
Diana Ross takes the cake for most outrageous exit from the Super Bowl stage after calling a helicopter to the field in 1996. She exclaimed, "My ride is here!" before hopping on the helicopter and exiting the stadium, all the while singing, "Take Me Higher."
#4 - Rolling Stone Censor
Ever since Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction (#1 will explain that Super Bowl moment), the NFL has opted for a five-second tape delay while broadcasting the halftime show. This delay became publicly known to the world in 2006 when The Rolling Stones took to the stage. Performing on a stage set to look like the iconic Stones' lips logo, classic tunes "Rough Justice" and "Start Me Up" were muted and censored due to explicit sexuality.
#3 - Material Girl & co.
Madonna wowed the crowd at the 2012 halftime show by bringing her most famous tunes to the stage, as well as some of her most famous friends. LMFAO, Nicki Minaj, M.I.A., and Cee Lo Green all came to perform hits such as "Vogue," "Party Rock Anthem" and more. However, it was the finale that had everyone talking. Madonna performed "Like a Prayer" alongside Cee Lo Green and a 500-person choir who were all dressed in magnificent robes.
#2 - Queen B
The 2013 halftime show performed by Beyoncé was one of the best in years. Moments after she wowed the crowd with her out-of-this-world vocals and dance moves, the entire stadium lost power. Headlines read for weeks that she single-handedly blew the power in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome that night. But nothing could beat the guests that Queen B brought out during her performance. To everyone's surprise, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams came out and the trio reunited as Destiny's Child for the first time in seven years. Her performance broke the record and became the most tweeted about event in Twitter history.
#1 - Janet and Justin
Despite all of the above performances, it was Janet Jackson's stint with Justin Timberlake that was the most talked about Super Bowl halftime show. Resulting in what was dubbed as a "wardrobe malfunction," this performance stirred up media headlines and changed the way the Super Bowl would be broadcast for years to come. After an exceptional performance, Justin Timberlake "accidentally" tore off Janet Jackson's shirt, revealing her bedazzled right breast. The wardrobe malfunction led to FCC fining CBS over $50,000 and multiple other fines, which are still in court to this day.
So, what can we expect to see from Bruno Mars at the Super Bowl XLVIII halftime show this year? Whether it's helicopter exits, stadium blackouts, or surprise guest performers, one thing is for sure, the halftime show is always a spectacle that you won't want to miss!
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