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The best Super Bowl Halftime Shows ranked ahead of the 2023 game

The best Super Bowl Halftime Shows ranked ahead of the 2023 game

Rihanna is about to write her name in the history books and there have been some outstanding performers before her.

The Super Bowl is upon us and while sports fans will be going wild, others will be tuning in specifically for the Halftime Show.

It’s that time of year when the two top NFL teams battle it out to win that mega-shiny Vince Lombardi Trophy.

However, aside from being one of the biggest sporting events of 2023, the Super Bowl Halftime Show has to be the most highly anticipated musical tradition on the books.

In celebration of the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs competing in what’s expected to be one of the closest games in championship history, let us count down to the best Super Bowl halftime performances before Rihanna hits the stage.

Who knows, she might just be on next year’s list.

5. Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake (2004)

It was here that we well and truly saw the term ‘wardrobe malfunction’ come to life.

No one can deny Jackson’s sheer star power and set of pipes when she took the stage almost two decades ago.

Abaca Press / Alamy Stock Photo

Throw in Timberlake and Janet's electrifying dance moves during ‘Rock Your Body’, and it's easy to see why this performance remains one of the all-time greats.

It's a controversial one to say the least as Jackson's breast was exposed in front of the world and sparked a lot of speculation about whether it was planned or if it was an accident.

4. Dr Dre, Snoop Dog, Mary J. Blige, Eminem, 50 Cent and Kendrick Lamar (2022)

Every '90s and early 2000s kid was drooling from the moment when Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg took the stage and kicked it off with ‘Next Episode’.

Throw in 50 Cent rapping upside down, Kendrick’s fire-cracking mashup and Eminem performing ‘Lose Yourself’ on top of a trailer; what more could you want?

Not to mention, Mary J Blige serving us a powerful rendition of ‘No More Drama’ before stoically collapsing on the ground most spectacularly.

3. Beyonce and Destiny's Child (2013)

This moment was glorious: all the girls reunited, and now I know how Thanos felt when he captured all six infinity stones.

While we knew that Queen Bey was the headline act, can you imagine the gasps from the audience when Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams popped up from underneath the stage?

UPI / Alamy Stock Photo

The set included a medley of ‘Bootylicious’ and ‘Independent Women’, before a ring of flames circled the trio and Bey belted out the 2008 hit ‘Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)’.

We left with our cup feeling very, very full.

2. Lady Gaga (2017)

While it’s no secret that Gaga is an absolute powerhouse live, the singer’s 2017 performance was impressive even by her standards.

The ‘Born This Way’ singer began covering Woody Guthrie’s anthemic ‘This Land Is Your Land’ before abseiling down from the roof and onto the stage for her live rendition of ‘Poker Face’.

Lionel Hahn/ABACAPRESS.COM/Alamy

This was one of the greatest openings that set the tone for the rest of the show as the singer went from strength to strength.

A highlight, you ask? Definitely, when Gaga slowed everything down as she sat down at the piano to sing ‘A Million Reasons’ and spotted her parents in the crowd.

1.Prince (2007)

Many often say that the singer’s performance set the golden standard for halftime shows.

Donning a turquoise suit while shredding an electric guitar, the crowd went absolutely ballistic as he stormed down the runway.

Prince gave the audience what they wanted and played some of his greatest hits, not to mention capping off the night with ‘Purple Rain’ as fireworks lit up the stage - he went out with a bang, nothing less.

Super Bowl 57 will air on Sunday, 12 Feb 2023, with kickoff starting at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

Featured Image Credit: Abaca Press / Alamy Stock Photo. WENN Rights Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: News, Super Bowl, Sport, NFL, Music