Greatest Super Bowl halftime shows
Published January 31, 2013 10:20 am
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Ranking the greatest halftime shows in Super Bowl history, with video.
Storified by Digital First Media· Wed, Jan 30 2013 07:08:40
When Beyonce takes the world stage on Sunday for the second time in as many weeks, the R&B superstar will surely do more than just "sing." That is, if she sings at all. The Internet is drowning in speculation as to whether Beyonce's Super Bowl XLVII halftime performance will find the star lip-synching as was the case during President Barack Obama's inauguration on Jan. . But the key word in that sentence is, of course, "performance."More than a display of vocal prowess, the Super Bowl halftime show is a multi-faceted explosion of postmodern culture. There's the major corporate presenting sponsor (this year, Pepsi), the multi-layered, multimedia stage, the myriad camera angles, and, in recent years, surprise guests that can make or break the whole thing. It's a far cry from the various marching bands that entertained spectators during halftime at Super Bowls I through IX. Those early shows slowly evolved to include artists like Carol Channing ( 970, '7 ), Ella Fitzgerald ( 97 ), Andy Williams ( 97 ) and, for a whopping five times, Up With People, until taking on a more traditional pop format in 99 with the erstwhile relevant New Kids On The Block.In advance of Beyonce's big moment, here's a look back at five particularly memorable halftime shows in Super Bowl history.
5. Chubby Checker, the Rockettes, grand pianos, two collegiate marching bands, 9 In many ways, 9 's "Something Grand" production during Super Bowl XXII was an allegory for the excess of the 9 0s. More than 00 individual performers overtook the field. Eighty-eight grand pianos were played in unison, arranged in an artful formation to create two mega-pianos from a bird's eye view. For even more symmetry, Rockettes tap danced on oversized piano keys. Chubby Checker sang "Let's Twist Again" in a glitter shirt, then another song about twisting, of course with Super Bowl lyrics peppered in. It was nothing but ear-to-ear grins for minutes and change, both on-screen and off.
Time machine - Super Bowl Half-time Show "Something Grand" / The Rockettes (Jan 31,1988)
4. Prince and the Florida A&M marching band, 007Between 005 and 0 0, Super Bowl halftime producers avoided any and all sense of surprise. Many critics contend that this was a conscious move in response to Janet Jackson's infamous wardrobe malfunction in 004 (see below). Indeed, a single, partially-exposed breast likely begat years of canonical yet unimaginative geezer rock: Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Bruce Springsteen and the Who all performed during this span. But sandwiched within this hearty loaf of white bread came Prince an artistic, outside-the-box choice in 007. Prince performed an expert medley in which his dazzling guitar skills took center stage no gimmicks necessary to make this one pop. And with a few choice covers like "We Will Rock You," "Proud Mary" and "All Along The Watchtower," it was a refreshing break from years of style rather than substance.
(Purple Rain)Superbowl Halftime Performance - PrinceSuperbowl Halftime Performance - Prince
. Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake, P. Diddy, Nelly, Kid Rock, 004The name "Janet Jackson" and the phrase "halftime show" became forever linked after a fateful night nine years ago. The moment seemed too shocking to be staged; too choreographed to be accidental. When Justin Timberlake exposed Jackson's breast in the final seconds of the final song during halftime at Super Bowl XXXVIII, the world let out a collective gasp. The split-second shot drew even more attention than the legendary game, itself (the Patriots topped the Panthers - 9 on a last-minute field goal). It sparked outcry and returned antiquated American ideals like "family values" and "decency" to the forefront of the conversation in this late-MTV era. (The performance, fittingly, was produced by MTV.) Here's a question: Does anybody even remember seeing P. Diddy, Nelly and Kid Rock on that stage?
Janet Jackson - Super Bowl halftime 2004 (VIDEO LIVE).
. U , 00 In the months immediately following Sept. , 00 , nearly all facets of the entertainment industry and music, in particular held a distinctly reverent tone. This period began with Bruce Springsteen's aching performance of "My City of Ruins" at the first 9/ telethon in mid-September and reached its apex with U 's Super Bowl halftime performance some five months later. The names of ,000 American victims streamed behind the band and crawled up the Superdome, symbolically ascending toward heaven. U offered a trifecta of "Beautiful Day," "MLK" and "Where The Streets Have No Name" on a heart-shaped stage from the band's Elevation Tour. At the end, Bono proudly flashed an American flag print on the inside of his leather jacket, the camera zoomed in close, and chills were felt in living rooms far and wide.
U2 at XXXVI Superbowl 2002 (Full halftime show)
. Michael Jackson, 99 When Michael Jackson magically appeared in the center of the Rose Bowl amidst a hail of sparks and smoke on a quintessential Southern California evening in 99 , it was the moment. Jackson famously held his stance for almost two minutes hours in TV airtime before dramatically removing his sunglasses and launching into "Jam." He moonwalked his way through a few bars of "Billie Jean." He stood atop air tunnels during "Black and White" (while dressed head-to-toe in black and white). Jackson's choreography would be replicated for decades to come from *NSYNC in 00 , to his own sister in 004, and likely, to Beyonce this week, whose stage moves have been heavily Jacksonian since the start of her career. Jackson did not perfect the art of the halftime show so much as he set the gold standard for what can be accomplished in a matter of minutes, on a quickly assembled stage, when a statement like "the world is watching" has never felt more real. This was Jackson as an American entertainer at the height of his popularity (his first allegations of child sex abuse would come months later), and this was the definition of American entertainment.
Michael Jackson - Super Bowl (Complete Version) (HQ)
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