Fans are gearing up for a big night of football, entertainment and music as Super Bowl LVIII game day is here.
Although many viewers will have their eyes glued to their screens for the big game, many fans also clamor for the Super Bowl’s big entertainment spectacle – the halftime show. The Super Bowl halftime show has seen massive stars over the years, and Usher will be the last headliner in 2024.
With over 50 years of Super Bowl halftime shows, many star-studded performances have shocked and upset fans. Headlining performances by Prince, Michael Jackson, Madonna and collaborative performances between Shakira and Jennifer Lopez are often considered some of the best over the years.
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Take a look back at the five most-watched halftime shows, according to Billboard.
- Rihanna, 2023
- Katy Perry, 2015
- Lady Gaga, 2017
- Coldplay, 2016
- Bruno Mars, 2014
1. Rihanna, 2023
Rihanna performed at Super Bowl LVII where the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles faced off for the Lombardi Trophy. Her performance at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona drew 121.017 million viewers.
During the performance, Rihanna played hits including “Only Girl (in the World), “We Found Love” and “Work”.
It’s common for headliners to bring in surprise guests during their show. It was shocking that Rihanna made the decision not to bring a guest. However, her performance was not lacking in surprises.
Rihanna performed in an outfit that showed off her baby bump, revealing her pregnancy with A$AP Rocky.
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2. Katy Perry, 2015
Katy Perry held the record for the most-watched halftime show for many years before Rihanna took the top spot after her performance in 2023.
Perry performed at Super Bowl XLIX, where 121 million viewers saw the singer. Her performance featured the Arizona State University marching band, with Lenny Kravitz and Missy Elliot joining Perry as surprise performers.
Perry’s shows are often filled with extravagant visual displays, props, dancers and eye-catching costumes. Her halftime performance was no different. From the start, Perry set a high standard for future halftime shows, riding a golden mechanical lion.
During the show, Perry sang fan favorites including “Roar,” “California Gurls,” “I Kissed A Girl” and “Firework.”
3. Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga performed at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas for the Super Bowl LI halftime show, with 117.5 million tuning in from home.
The show began with a pre-recorded clip of Gaga on the roof of the stadium, singing patriotic anthems such as “God Bless America” and “This Land Is Your Land,” with drones behind her forming the American flag.
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Poker Face, Born This Way, The Edge of Glory and Just Dance were all on the setlist for this performance.
This halftime performance did not include special guests, but featured Gaga flying around the stadium on cables.
4. Coldplay, 2016
Coldplay’s halftime performance garnered 115.5 million viewers.
The British band – fronted by Chris Martin – shared the spotlight with Beyoncé and Bruno Mars during the halftime extravaganza in 2016, which turned into a tribute to 50 years of Super Bowl performances.
5. Bruno Mars, 2014
Bruno Mars took the stage to headline Super Bowl XLVIII.
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Mars opened his set with “Millionaire” and continued with hits including “Locked Out of Heaven,” “Treasure” and “Just the Way You Are.”
The Red Hot Chilli Peppers joined Mars on stage to perform “Give It Away”.
In addition to being one of the most-watched halftime shows in history, Mars is also the youngest person ever to headline a Super Bowl performance.