Ranking The Top 10 Super Bowl Halftime Shows: Bruno Mars Deserves A Spot
Top 10 Super Bowl Halftime Shows
As a diehard New England Patriots fan, I loved watching the Seattle Seahawks destroy the Denver Broncos 43-8 in the Super Bowl on Sunday. Peyton Manning (although extremely classy after the game) is not the best quarterback ever contrary to what many believe. For starters, Tom Brady is better. To be the greatest of all time you need to win on the biggest stage. Brady has done that more than Manning throughout their careers and the numbers back it up. In my mind it is impossible to argue that Manning is better than Brady, but people still try all the time. Don’t get me wrong, I do not like dislike Peyton. He seems like a decent and classy guy, and he will be in the Hall of Fame one day. He’s just not the best of all time.
The Super Bowl had an average viewing audience of 111.5 million viewers, the largest in history, but if you didn’t have a rooting interest both the game (and commercials) were boring. Thank goodness for Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers! They both performed during halftime of the Super Bowl and put on a fantastic show for anyone who enjoys music.
There have been some great Super performances in the past (Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake/Janet Jackson come to mind) and some less than stellar performances (I’m looking at you Madonna and The Black Eyed Peas). Bruno was definitely one of the best, but where does his performance rank all time? I have it somewhere in the top 10—click on to see where Bruno ranks as well as the rest of my top 10.
10. Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band opened with "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out" when they rocked halftime of Super Bowl XLIII in 2009. Springsteen and the E Street Band also ripped through "Born To Run," "Glory Days" and "Working On A Dream" where a choir and the audience were able to assist. Springsteen brought a lot of energy to performance, including a powerful knee slide across the stage where he crashed into a cameraman.
9. Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney played at halftime of Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005. As far as "older" musicians being the Super Bowl halftime entertainment, McCartney brought a little cache -- he was an important member of the Beatles after all. McCartney used large runways to project video which I'm sure made for excellent viewing even in the nosebleed sections. McCartney sitting at the piano to play "Live and Let Die" was fantastic and a performance I thoroughly enjoyed since I happen to love that song. McCartney also got the entire crowd to join in on "Hey Jude" which was simply awesome.
8. Tom Petty
I personally didn't care for Super Bowl XLII since the New England Patriots lost to the New York Giants in heartbreaking fashion to finish the season 18-1 instead of 19-0 with no Lombardi Trophy. That being said, Tom Petty put on a heck of a halftime show. There wasn't a whole lot of visual stimulation, but Petty can command the stage. He did just that as Petty opened with "American Girl" and also played "I Won't Back Down" and my personal Petty favorite, "Free Fallin."
7. Beyonce Destiny's Child
Former Destiny's Child members Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams joined Beyonce on stage to perform during halftime of Super Bowl XLVII in 2013. They performed a medley of current and past hits like "Halo," "Love On Top" and "Single Ladies." The performance drew 104 million viewers and was highly entertaining even though I'm not really a fan of Beyonce or Destiny's Child.
Prince, or the artist formerly known as the artist formerly known as Prince, played halftime of Super Bowl XLI in 2007. Prince played "Let's Go Crazy" and some covers, including "Along The Watchtower" and "Proud Mary" which merged into the Foo Fighers' "Best Of You." In the middle of a downpour Prince launched into "Purple Rain." I'm not a huge Prince fan, but this was a highly entertaining Super Bowl performance. Some people had an issue with the phallic imagery. To those people I say relax.
5. Britney Spears and NSYNC
Britney Spears, NSYNC, Aerosmith, Mary J. Blige and Nelly performed at halftime of Super Bowl XXXV in 2001. Chris Rock, Adam Sandler and Ben Stiller even appeared, performing a funny skit at the beginning! I'll admit it; I've been a Britney fan for forever so I loved her being involved. And yes I liked NSYNC back in the day, and I still enjoy the music Justin Timberlake releases. Aerosmith is one of the greatest bands of all time and one of the best concerts I've ever been to. I love that they played halftime of a Super Bowl. I enjoyed the entire performance, and when they closed with a collaborative effort on "Walk This Way" that was awesome, as was Britney's outfit.
4. Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers
Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers performed at halftime of Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday night and absolutely nailed it, setting a record with 115.3 million viewers. Right from the start it was fantastic with Bruno on drums. I'm not a huge Bruno fan. I like some songs he's released ("Grenade" is my favorite) but the dude can perform. I'm a bigger fan of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but I'm not sure they were even needed. I did thoroughly enjoy when Bruno sang "Give It Away" with the Peppers. Bruno closed with his hit ballad "Just the Way You Are" which is not one of my favorite songs of his, but I still loved the performance.
3. Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson
Everyone remembers that Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson performed at halftime of Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004, but P. Diddy, Nelly and Kid Rock were also there. Everyone remembers Justin ripped part of Janet's outfit off at the end of his song, "Rock Your Body," which led to CBS being hit with a $500,000 fine and "safer" artists being selected to perform in subsequent years. I'm a huge fan of Justin Timberlake and I still don't get why the public blamed Janet and not Justin. They both deserved an equal share of whatever blame people thought was deserved. I'm not offended by much and this was no different. I enjoyed the performance, and I think it's absolutely ridiculous Justin has been banned from performing at the Super Bowl ever again. Justin puts on an incredible show, and I would love to see him perform at halftime of the Super Bowl again.
U2 performed at Super Bowl XXXVI in 2002 only months after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. I'm not a huge U2 fan, but they delivered a truly moving tribute to the United States and the victims of 9/11. U2 opened with "Beautiful Day" and also played a great rendition of "Where the Streets Have No Name." While The Edge played the guitar part, the 9/11 victim's names scrolled on a gigantic backdrop. Bono then opened his jacket at the end to reveal a stars-and-stripes lining, and the entire stadium went absolutely nuts. Like I sad, I'm not really a U2 fan, but that was an incredible performance.
1. Michael Jackson
The late Michael Jackson performed at halftime of Super Bowl XXVII in 1993, and in my mind it is still the best halftime show ever. I'm basing my decision solely on the performance and keeping Michael's personal life out of it. Michael performed a medley of hits including "Jam," "Billie Jean" and "Black or White." He closed his set surrounded by 3,500 local children (again I'm keeping his personal life out of it) for a fantastic and memorable performance of "Heal the World." I know it's 2014 now, but Michael's performance is still the benchmark for all halftime shows.