Sports play a huge part in popular culture and provide enjoyment to billions of people all around the world. This is certainly true in the US, where top sports such as basketball, hockey and baseball remain enduringly popular. Football is arguably the biggest game around though and reaches its climax each year with the Super Bowl. 

This final game of the NFL season always draws a large audience, who tune in to see which team will emerge as champions. Interestingly, it is not just the on-field action that people flock to the Super Bowl for. 

In states where betting is legal, people also enjoy betting on this game and adding another layer of interest to the proceedings by backing one team to win. 

People also love catching the Super Bowl for the legendary halftime performances from some of the biggest names in music. So, which have been some of the most memorable halftime shows ever? 

Rihanna – 2023 

It seems fitting to begin with the most recent Super Bowl show which caused a stir. Pop superstar Rihanna put on a 15-minute performance that will live long in the memory and was filled with some of her biggest hits. It was also a huge event in showbiz because it marked the singer’s return to the stage after a six-year break to focus on other things.

The crowd watching live and at home were treated to 12 of her greatest tunes and were in awe of the mesmerizing show she put on. To make it even more riveting, Rihanna did all this while looking amazing and sporting a baby bump! It was such an iconic moment in Super Bowl history, that one commentator noted Rihanna’s performance was a spectacular event interrupted by a football game. 

Snoop, Dre, Eminem, 50 Cent, Kendrick Lamar and Mary J. Blige – 2022 

When it comes to top Super Bowl halftime shows, this one has to be included. It just seemed so fitting to have artists like Dre and Snoop performing when the game was held in California. This connection seemed to give the show an extra edge and an air of celebration. 

Although there had been some decent enough concerts in the preceding years, many fans thought this was the best one for a long time. This is not a surprise when you consider the sheer amount of talent on display and the massive hits they performed. All the artists were on fire that day and brought their usual showmanship to the stage. This show made such an impression that it picked up an Emmy for Outstanding Variety Special (Live)! 

Beyonce and Destiny’s Child – 2013 

While considering who the NFL coaches under the most pressure are or looking forward to the NFL Draft is always fun, looking back at the top Super Bowl halftime shows ever is also entertaining. But which other shows rate highly? 

Until the above show from Dre, Snoop et al, many people pick this spectacle from 2013 as the best in recent years. This occurred at Super Bowl XL VII in New Orleans and reunited Destiny’s Child for the gig. This alone made it a truly iconic moment and it was magical to see Beyonce team up with Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams once more. 

From hits like ‘Bootylicious’ to ‘Single Ladies’, ‘Baby Boy’ and more, this was a concert filled with crowd-pleasing moments. As you would expect, the performance levels were off the chart and Beyonce in particular was at her imperious best. This show was so electrifying that it caused some of the stadium lights to blackout afterwards! 

Michael Jackson – 1993 

While we might have focused on some of the more recent shows so far, our list must include the concert which kicked the whole thing off. Prior to MJ performing, halftime at the Super Bowl was all marching bands and did not include top artists wowing fans. 

This all changed in 1993 though, when Jackson put on a show so awe-inspiring that we still discuss it today. Although he might not have played as many of his hits as other artists afterwards did, seeing him moonwalk to Billie Jean across the stage was a memorable occasion. 

Super Bowl halftime shows add to the fun 

Any fan of football knows that the Super Bowl is a great spectacle and always delivers plenty of on-field excitement. It is not just about what happens in the game itself though and has expanded as an event over the years to offer much more than that. The legendary halftime show is a great example of this and has included some truly iconic performances over the years.