A Timeline to 2022 – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
Halftime shows have been a national trademark for decades. Since the first Super Bowl in 1967, being offered to headline the event has always been one of the highest honors.
While early halftime shows may not have featured chart-topping artists, over time and as the Super Bowl itself evolved, halftime shows became exclusively performed by the best of the best.
Beginning with just marching bands and instrumentalists, the halftime show has grown to spotlight rock bands like The Rolling Stones, solo singers like Diana Ross, and pop dance sensations like Jennifer Lopez and Bruno. March.
Here’s a look at why halftime shows started and how they’ve evolved over the years.
What is the purpose of the Super Bowl halftime show?
The Super Bowl halftime show serves as an intermission for players, coaches and spectators, who jump into the experience. A full football match takes around three hours in total, so it’s natural to need some sort of break in between.
And since the start of the Super Bowl in 1967, this intermission has been a platform for entertainment. More now than ever, the show is one of the most entertaining parts of the Super Bowl experience, as bookers choose headliners that will keep a crowd captivated and invested throughout the program.
What were other halftime shows like in the past?
Super Bowl halftime shows have always been some of the most captivating performances expected by audiences across the country. The performers leave it all on stage, as they represent the United States in full for about 15 minutes between halves of the biggest game of the year.
Halftime shows are glitzy and glamorous, filled with smoke, fireworks and performances galore, but they’re also captivated by star-studded talent. The chosen headliners are undoubtedly some of the most accomplished and influential musicians in the industry, and this year the trend continues with five rap and R&B legends on stage.
Let’s take a look at some notable halftime performances from the past:
- The Weeknd – Super Bowl LV (2021)
- Shakira and Jennifer Lopez – with Bad Bunny, J Balvin and Emme Muñiz – Super Bowl LIV (2020)
- Maroon 5 – with Travis Scott and Big Boi – Super Bowl LIII (2019)
- Justin Timberlake – Super Bowl LII (2018)
- Lady Gaga – Super Bowl LI (2017)
- Coldplay – with Beyoncé, Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson – Super Bowl 50 (2016)
- Katy Perry – with Lenny Kravitz and Missy Elliott – Super Bowl XLIX (2015)
- Bruno Mars – with the Red Hot Chili Peppers – Super Bowl XLVIII (2014)
- Beyoncé – with Destiny’s Child – Super Bowl XLVII (2013)
- Madonna – with Nicki Minaj, LMFAO, Cee Lo Green, Andy Lewis and MIA – Super Bowl XLVI (2012)
And that was only in the last 10 years.
Going even deeper into the history books, we had the pleasure of seeing these popular headliners put on the show of a lifetime: Bruce Springsteen (2009), Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (2008), Prince (2007 ), The Rolling Stones (2006), Paul McCartney (2005), Aerosmith and NSYNC (2001), Diana Ross (1996), Michael Jackson (1993) and many others.
Which halftime show was the most memorable?
It’s safe to say that Janet Jackson’s Super Bowl halftime show received one of the most residual post-performance traffic. Yes, the performance was one of the best held on the halftime stage, but Jackson is remembered for more than just her voice.
The outrageous incident dubbed “Janetgate” or “Nipplegate” occurred during Jackson and Justin Timberlake’s Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime performance, which took place on February 1, 2004. Jackson’s chest was exposed by Timberlake for 9/16ths of a second during their performance and although the slip was deemed a “wardrobe malfunction”, the pair received quite a bit of backlash following Super Bowl 38.
In fact, Super Bowl XXXVIII has been named one of the most memorable broadcast events in NFL history. Jackson’s career even took a downward spiral when the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) began investigating the incident, eventually leading to the creation of a documentary highlighting the night’s provocative spectacle. Jodi Gomes’ film “Malfunction: The Dressing Down of Janet Jackson” became popular, and Jackson’s career never heard of it.
Timberlake’s career clearly didn’t suffer as badly, as he headlined the Super Bowl LII halftime show 14 years later in 2018. And unsurprisingly, the “Suit & Tie” singer “dominated this scene.
How have Super Bowl halftime shows changed over the years?
While always entertaining, halftime shows weren’t always as memorable as they are today.
The first Super Bowl halftime show featured the University of Arizona Symphony Marching Band, the Grambling State University Marching Band, trumpeter Al Hirt and the Ana-Hi-Steppers drill crew from Anaheim High School and Flag Girls. The performance included 300 pigeons and a Bell Rocket Air Men jetpack demonstration. It was called “Super Sights and Sounds” and was held at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
In 1967, halftime shows valued instruments and simplicity rather than performance art. A few decades later, halftime shows are exploding with flashy dancers, fireworks, glitz and glamour.
In 2020, Shakira and Jennifer Lopez dominated the halftime show with their mix of Latin pride, alongside an array of talented dancers dressed in white to light up the stage. “Each segment—first Shakira, then Lopez, then together—was a kaleidoscope of beats, a demonstration of how Latin (and Afro-Latin) music contributes to American pop,” The New York Times said.
What will the Super Bowl halftime show look like this year?
Super Bowl LVI headliners will include Mary J. Blige, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem and Kendrick Lamar.
Mary J. Blige performed on the halftime stage in 2001 alongside Britney Spears and Nelly as special guests for headliners Aerosmith and NSYNC. She is not a rookie on stage. However, it will be an introductory day for rap and R&B legends Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem and Lamar, as this is their first time playing a Super Bowl halftime show.
With a total of 21 Billboard No. 1 albums and 43 Grammys across the stacked lineup, this show will be one to remember.