Halftime History

The Super Bowl halftime performances have become their own game with artists in the spotlight. Over the decades, these shows have created some iconic performances.

One memorable moment in halftime history was Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake’s controversial performance in 2004. Timberlake had torn off a piece of Jackson’s clothing exposing her breast in front of millions of people. After receiving widespread criticism throughout all platforms, he claimed it was a “wardrobe malfunction” which led both performers to apologize. Stricter regulations against the broadcasting of indecent material were put in place for all future halftime shows.

In 2007, Prince took the stage at Super Bowl halftime creating a medley of some of his songs including “Purple Rain,” “Let’s Go Crazy,” “Baby I’m a Star” and “1999.” The Florida A&M University marching band performed as well as Shelby J, a back up singer, who received a spotlight singing with Prince during his version of “Proud Mary,” originally by Tina Turner.

Jennifer Lopez and Shakira took the stage in 2020 creating a halftime performance filled with some of their hits like “Let’s Get Loud,” “On the Floor,” “Jenny From the Block” and “Hips Don’t Lie” with appearances from J Balvin and Bad Bunny.

“I feel like Shakira and Jennifer Lopez are just an iconic duo,” said sophomore Kaleigh Porcu. “I would have to say that over the years Jennifer and Shakira have gotten more hype and I feel that more people started listening to their music.”

In 2022, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar, 50 Cent, and Eminem created

a halftime performance blending all of their diverse talents. They performed some of their hits including “Alright,” “Family Affair,” “Still D.R.E.” and “Lose Yourself.”

“I thought that the performance was really good and I liked how there were so many different artists performing,” said sophomore Allegra Simon. “I feel like it benefited social media because it showed how hip-hop can bring everyone together as a whole.”

In 2023, Rihanna took the stage at the Super Bowl in a bright red cargo jumpsuit highlighting her belly bump.

“Rihanna’s performance sticks out to me the most because her pregnancy announcement was iconic and I feel like so many people recreated the performance on different social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok,” said sophomore Anna Zambuto.

While performing, Rihanna even touched up her makeup as a way to soft launch her new Fenty makeup product.

According to AP News, “The halftime festivities have transformed from a family- oriented show with patriotic tunes into entertainment’s biggest stage with top-tier performers, pyrotechnics and superb backup dancers.”

“Rihanna has to be my favorite halftime performance but Usher’s performance will probably change that,” said Zambuto.

Usher took the stage at Super Bowl LVIII this year by opening the show with “Caught Up.” Alicia Keys was Usher’s first guest, followed by other guest performances from H.E.R, Jermaine Dupri, Lil Jon, and Ludacris. With only 13-minutes to perform, Usher told AP News, “The hardest part is trying to figure out how to squeeze it all in when you actually have a large catalog, or a lot of records people celebrate and love.”

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