A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA

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A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA

SACMedia

A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA

SACMedia

Will Usher’s Super Bowl halftime performance be Top 10?

Will this SB Halftime Show have the Las Vegas crowd screaming “Yeah” and “OMG?”
All+fans+will+have+to+watch+this+Super+Bowl+performance+and+see+if+Usher+will+kick+off+his+Las+Vegas+residency+with+a+noteworthy+Halftime+performance.
Anthony Solorzano
All fans will have to watch this Super Bowl performance and see if Usher will kick off his Las Vegas residency with a noteworthy Halftime performance.

Get your second serving of wings, refill your beverages, grab extra slices of pizza and get ready to enjoy one of the biggest entertainment spectacles of the year.

Feb. 11 will mark the 32nd modern rendition of the Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show, featuring the 8-time Grammy award-winning artist, Usher.

Debuting in 1967, the halftime performances were not a main attraction or as big of an entertainment draw with traditional marching bands, orchestras and dancer groups alternating to entertain the crowd for 20 minutes while the NFC and AFC representatives prepared for the second half of the biggest game in North America.

It wasn’t until 1993 that the halftime performance became not only an offering of live music and entertainment for football fans waiting patiently for the third quarter to start but also a badge of honor for the artists invited to perform.

With each performance trying to top the previous, the Super Bowl has been center stage for some of the best music entertainment events in North America.

Will Usher dance his way into the pantheon of memorable and entertaining Super Bowl Halftime Shows?

Before his performance and Las Vegas residency begin, let’s countdown the Top 10 Super Bowl Halftime Shows.

Spoiler alert – Rihanna did not make the list and no pass was given, pregnancy or not.

This list is based on the overall live entertainment, guest appearances, utilization of their music catalogs, total viewership and significance to the host city.

Honorable Mention: Bruno Mars featuring the Red Hot Chili Peppers (2014)

Bruno Mars Superbowl Halftime Show 2014 featuring Red Hot Chili Peppers

 

The highlight of Bruno Mars’ career at the time was his performance at Super Bowl XLVIII in New York City’s first-ever Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium. Many doubted the Hawaiian native would have enough of a catalog for such an honor, but he outdid himself.

His stardom performance started with small children holding hands in front of American flags and ended with soldiers dedicating “Just the Way You Are” to their families. The lighthearted and fun performance even featured the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and a drum solo from Mars himself.

Although it was a legendary guest performance, many fans found it random and the music styles clashed with his performance. Because of that factor, it ranks lower than if it were a solo act from Mars.

No. 10: Justin Timberlake brings “SexyBack” to Minneapolis (2018)

Justin Timberlake 2018 Pepsi Super Bowl LII Halftime Show

Don’t be so quick to say JT doesn’t belong in the Top 10. Timberlake’s performance began with him walking through the Minneapolis crowd as he made his way to the walkway leading to the main stage.

With over 106.6 million viewers according to Billboard Magazine, Timberlake’s performance ranks No. 9 overall as the most watched Halftime Show in the game’s history. Justin also debuted an exclusive 1-of-1 Air Jordan III made for his performance.

The pop icon’s performance included most of his popular catalog including “SexyBack,” “Cry Me a River,” “Can’t Stop the Feeling” and “I Would Die for You.” Timberlake also paid homage to the late great Minneapolis native and icon Prince as he had passed away over a year before his city hosted the Super Bowl.

No. 9: Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction (2004)

Janet Jackson 2004 Super Bowl Halftime Show featuring Justin Timberlake, P. Diddy, Nelly, Kid Rock and Jessica Simpson

 

Ah, yes – the infamous “wardrobe malfunction” that made Justin Timberlake in many viewers’ eyes a bad guy. Janet Jackson’s performance was overshadowed by an accidental ripping of her outfit as Timberlake exposed a nipple.

The pair were performing Timberlake’s hit “Rock Your Body,” and at the lyric “Bet I’ll have you naked by the end of this song,” he was to rip Jackson’s top to reveal a red bustier beneath. Other guest appearances included P. Diddy, Nelly, Kid Rock and Jessica Simpson.

While FCC fines were assessed and eventually appealed in court, the J&J performance was very entertaining. Jackson performed “All for You,” “Rhythm Nation” and a brief excerpt of “The Knowledge.” It’s a shame that what most people remember is just the last two seconds known now as “Nipplegate.”

No. 8: Katy Perry ROARs the crowd in the desert (2015)

Katy Perry Super Bowl Halftime Show 2015 featuring Missy Elliot and Lenny Kravitz

With nearly 121 million viewers tuned in, Katy Perry’s Super Bowl performance ranks second behind Bad Girl RiRi for the most viewed Halftime Show.

Does anyone remember the left shark memes? The California Gurl rocked the University of Phoenix Stadium and brought out special guests Lenny Kravitz, Missy Elliot and the Arizona State University Sun Devil Marching Band. Perry was deep in her bag performing hits like “California Gurls” and “Firework” and rode in on a giant gold tiger while singing “Roar.”

Although the overall aesthetics and theatrics can make an argument to be higher on the list, the vocal performance was slightly underwhelming for how grand of an entrance and stage performance she made.

No. 7: Madonna’s “Vouge” captivates the 2012 Halftime Show

Madonna Super Bowl Halftime Show 2012 featuring LMFAO, CeeLo Green, M.I.A. and Nicki Minaj

The queen of pop graced the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN with her performance. With over 114 million eyes glued to the screen, Madonna did not even perform her most-known and popular hits and still managed to slay and put on an iconic show.

Riding off the wave of her then latest album “MDNA,” Amid Roman soldiers, the queen of pop entered the field on a golden throne to belt out longtime favorite “Vogue” before guest appearances from LMFAO, Nicki Minaj, M.I.A. and CeeLo Green joined her. LMFAO performed their staple hits “Party Rock Anthem” and “Sexy And I Know It” making it much more memorable and entertaining than Katy Perry’s halftime performance.

No. 6: Beyoné shuts down the Mercedes Benz Superdome… literally (2013)

Beyoncé Super Bowl Halftime Show 2013 featuring Destiny's Child

Beyoncé sure knew how to make an entrance. After a silhouette of her was set on fire, she emerged from a cloud of smoke and began igniting the New Orleans crowd performing “Crazy in Love” and “Love on Top” and “Halo.”

To make things even better, the long-awaited and much-anticipated reunion of Destiny’s Child members Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams shot out from under the stage like pistons to join Bey for “Bootylicious,” “Independent Women” and “Single Ladies.”

The 2013 XLVII halftime show garnered 110.8 million viewers, ranking seventh all-time in viewership according to Billboard. After her performance, and minutes before the second-half kickoff, the Mercedes Benz Superdome experienced a power outage postponing play for over 20 minutes. Queen B’s performance utilized so much electricity that it literally shut the building down.

Although some natives from the Big Easy believe the Super Bowl was to help the San Francisco 49ers attempt a comeback on the eventual champion Baltimore Ravens, others are not surprised some bad juju happened in a city known for black magic and voodoo.

No. 5: J-Lo and Shakira “Get Right” in MIA (2020)

J. Lo and Shakira Super Bowl Halftime Show 2020 featuring J. Balvin and Bad Bunny

 

For the first time since Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine headlined the Super Bowl Halftime Show, two female powerhouse Latin artists in Jennifer Lopez and Shakira took turns turning Miami up at the Hard Rock Stadium.

J-Lo and Shakira took turns performing their hits, like Lopez’s “Jenny From the Block,” “Get Right” and “Waiting for Tonight” and Shakira’s “She Wolf” and “Hips Don’t Lie.” We all remember when Shakira did the tongue wag, making it one of the most meme-able moments in Super Bowl history.

Latin male stars J. Balvin and Bad Bunny also made appearances to add to the already electric hip-shaking Latin entertainment ensemble. Although Lopez faced backlash for voicing displeasure for co-headlining with Shakira, it truly was a unique, culturally energetic entertainment compilation to behold.

No. 4: Lady Gaga’s comeback performance foreshadowed another legendary comeback (2017)

Lady Gaga Pepsi Zero Sugar Super Bowl Halftime Show 2017

“I wanna hold ‘em like they do in Texas please!” The Mother Monster rocked NRG Stadium from start to finish. From literally descending from the ceiling and performing acrobatics while suspending in mid-air had all of Houston rocking.

To start her comeback tour, her Super Bowl LI performance included many songs from her greatest hits catalog including “Poker Face,” “Born This Way,” “Paparazzi” and “Just Dance.”

On the heels of Donald Trump’s election, Gaga made a political statement supporting the LGBTQ+ community while performing “Born This Way” and emphasizing the lines “Don’t be a drag, just be a queen. Whether you’re broke or evergreen, you’re Black, white, beige, chola descent, you’re Lebanese, you’re Orient. Whether life’s disabilities left you outcast, bullied, or teased. Rejoice and love yourself today ’cause, baby, you were born this way,” with a camera closeup.

With several signature outfit changes, Gaga earns extra points for her performance while battling her fibromyalgia. No excuses. Just a helluva show.

No. 3: Michael Jackson… ‘nuff said (1993)

Michael Jackson Super Bowl Halftime Show 1993

This performance marked the start of the modern halftime show era and is still one of the highest-rated and viewed events in television history. The king of pop’s Super Bowl XXVII performance opened with his signature mannequin pose for 90 seconds before electrifying the Pasadena crowd.

For a 1993 halftime performance to be rated so highly in 2024 shows how before his time MJ’s performance was. While he didn’t go too deep into his enormous catalog, he did perform “We Are the World” with a children’s choir, then did “Heal the World” while an enormous globe inflated in the middle of the stage.

He also performed a medley of “Jam,” “Billie Jean” and “Black or White” while performing the iconic moonwalk across the stage. While the king of pop was the first star to perform at the Super Bowl — ending the marching band era as we know it — he is without a doubt one of the most memorable.

No. 2: Prince performs Purple Rain in the Miami rain (2017)

Prince Super Bowl Halftime Show 2007

No one knew how badly we needed to hear Prince backed by a brass marching band until he brought the house down at Super Bowl XLI, placing it as the greatest halftime show of all time.

As one of the first Super Bowl Halftime Shows this writer remembers vividly watching, it had to make its way into the Top 3 somehow.

The performance also became more iconic and popular after he passed in 2016. He did mashups of Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower,” Queen’s “We Will Rock You,” and Foo Fighters’ “Best of You” with his songs. He closed the performance with the most perfect rendition of Purple Rain which included an epic guitar solo in the rain.

No. 1: The West Coast is so fly at SoFi (2022)

Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar & 50 Cent Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show 2022

 

Dr. Dre. Snoop Dogg. Eminem. Kendrick Lamar. Mary J. Blige. With a surprise performance from 50 Cent. ‘Nuff said.

Call it West Coast bias all you want but it’s more than just the first time hip-hop and rap made their presence felt at the Super Bowl. These icons are indicative of what the ’90s and ‘00s hip-hop represented. The West Coast takeover of Los Angeles’s first Super Bowl since the Dallas Cowboys played in the Rose Bowl against the Buffalo Bills in 1993. Opening with “The Next Episode,” Snoop Dogg began rapping his iconic opening verse with Dr. Dre adlibbing in the background before he began playing the piano transitioning into “Still D.R.E.” Snoop Dogg Crip walked on stage for the entire world to see and yelled his set with blue pride.

Unbeknownst to the audience, 50 Cent descended from the top of one of the trailers and began rapping the opening verse to “In Da Club.” Mary J. Blige followed 50 Cent and performed her iconic “Family Affair.” The crowd went into a hush as Kendrick Lamar transitioned before the last performance as he opened with “good kid, m.A.A.d city” and later performed a verse of “Alright.” Last but not least, Slim Shady. Eminem cut his set time in half to allow 50 Cent the opportunity to perform at the Super Bowl. The Detroit native performed his hook to “Forgot About Dre” before closing the show out with “Lose Yourself.” League officials told Eminem before his performance not to kneel at any point during his performance. But the rebellious one did it anyway as the rest of his colleagues appeared behind him before taking their final bow.

Each artist was able to perform 2-3 songs from their iconic catalogs of hit records and top chart hits. Truly a sight to behold.

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About the Contributor
Robbie Doctor, Managing Editor
Robbie Doctor is the Managing Editor.

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