The 15 greatest Super Bowl halftime show performances ever, ranked

The Super Bowl continues to be one of the world’s biggest events, whether you’re into American Football or not.

One of the highlights of each Super Bowl is the extravagant halftime show, featuring some of the world’s biggest pop superstars.

In case you need a refresher of who has performed the huge gig in the past – with Rihanna taking to the stage in 2023 – we’ve ranked the very best halftime shows over the years:

Stevie Wonder and Gloria Estefan (1999)

This was quite a strange halftime show featuring everyone from Gloria Estefan to ET (yes, really), but the highlight was Stevie Wonder entering the arena driving a car while singing ‘Sir Duke’. Legend.

Sting, Shania Twain and No Doubt (2003)

Another mixed bag, as Sting appeared alongside Shania Twain and No Doubt, because why not?

Here, he belts out ‘Message in a Bottle’, though we kinda wish it was a reunion with The Police instead.

Madonna (2012)

It made total sense that the Queen of Pop performed at the Super Bowl in 2012.

However, the song choices were a bit rogue (new song ‘Give Me All Your Luvvin’), and the team-ups are quite dated now (Cee Lo Green and LMFAO).

The Who (2010)

Like McCartney and the Stones before them, The Who showed the kids how it’s done with the first set of the 2010s.

The legendary band performed a medley of their biggest crowd pleasers to get the crowd fired up.

The Rolling Stones (2006)

With former Beatle Paul McCartney performing the year before, it was only fair that Mick Jagger and co appeared in 2006.

The only thing that let this performance down was that it was only three songs!

Tom Petty (2008)

A stellar and strong set from the late, great Tom Petty, as he and his band belted out classics from ‘I Won’t Back Down’ to ‘Free Fallin’.

He did just what everyone wanted – played the hits, put on a great show, and back to the game.

Coldplay, Bruno Mars and Beyoncé (2016)

Coldplay proved why they are one of the world’s greatest bands by putting on a fantastic show in 2016.

The surprise of bringing on two other former Super Bowl performers was a massive bonus.

Diana Ross (1996)

To celebrate 30 years of the Super Bowl, the Queen of Motown Diana Ross appeared for a huge setlist of classics, ranging from ‘Baby Love’ to ‘Chain Reaction’.

Sadly no Supremes reunion, though.

Bruce Springsteen (2009)

Trust The Boss to put on an amazing show.

“I want you to put the chicken fingers down and turn your television all the way up!,” he shouted as he played ‘Born to Run’ among others. 12 minutes wasn’t enough!

Lady Gaga (2017)

2017’s performance was a highly professional and entertaining affair from Lady Gaga, kicked off with what looked like to be a very daring leap of the actual stadium roof. Incredible.

Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J Blige, 50 Cent and Kendrick Lamar

This was the ultimate tribute to old-school hip-hop and R&B, with some of the genre’s greatest ever icons teaming up for a nostalgic and brilliant performance that left you wanting more.

Paul McCartney (2005)

After the huge controversy the year before with Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake and ‘nipple-gate’, they went safe by booking the legendary Beatle.

And Sir Paul proved he was worth it, playing some absolute classics such as ‘Hey Jude’ and ‘Live and Let Die’.

Beyoncé and Destiny’s Child (2013)

Beyoncé showed just why she is arguably the greatest modern popstar with this performance, reuniting her former girl group as she went.

It was so good that the power ended up going out in the second half of the game.

Michael Jackson (1993)

Before Michael Jackson appeared in 1993, the Super Bowl Halftime Show wasn’t even ‘a thing’.

Instead, it was rather strange shows including Disney celebrations and New Kids on the Block. After this amazing daytime performance, the Super Bowl was never the same again.

Prince (2007)

Despite tipping it down with rain, Prince put on a stellar performance, and showed just why he was one of the greatest entertainers of all time.

‘Purple Rain’ in the actual rain was a sight to behold, that will be hard to beat.