in tune

From the King of Pop to Katy Perry - The best Super Bowl half-time shows in history

How will Lady Gaga stand up against the talent that has preceded her?

SUPER BOWL WEEKEND is upon us and while the focus will be on what’s happening in the game in Houston, we’ll have one eye on what to expect in the half-time show as well.

Lady Gaga is taking to the stage this year. The controversial recording artist previously sang the National Anthem at last year’s Super Bowl with a polished performance of the ‘Star-Spangled Banner.’

But as the chosen act for this year’s half-time show, she has a string of impressive performances to follow.

Let’s take a look back at some of the most entertaining Superbowl half-time shows in history.

Michael Jackson – Super Bowl 27

In 1993, the ‘King Of Pop’ stunned the Super Bowl crowd with a typically engrossing performance of some of his classic hits.

After leaping up through the stage, Jackson stands stationary for over a minute while the stadium hums with anticipation.

After flicking his gaze in the other direction, MJ removes his shades before breaking into ‘Billie Jean.’

‘Black Or White’ was the next anthem on the playlist that night followed by ‘We Are The World’ and ‘Heal The World.’

Katy Perry/Missy Elliot – Super Bowl 49

For her entrance, Katy Perry rode in on a mechanical lion (as you do) while belting out her single ‘Roar.’

Some bizarrely dressed dancers then joined her for a performance of ‘Dark Horse’ while an impressive lighting show from the stage floor played tricks with your eyes.

Lenny Kravitz helped her with a few bars of ‘I Kissed A Girl,’ before pop sensation Missy Elliott stormed the stage for a roaring rendition of ‘Get Ur Freak On,’ ‘Work It’ and ‘Lose Control.’

There was also the famous beach-themed stage setting complete with shark costumes for ‘Teenage Dream’ and ‘California Gurls.’ She later signed off with some fireworks for ‘Firework.’

U2 – Super Bowl 36

They’re coming back to Ireland this year, and in 2002, U2 rocked it out at the Super Bowl half-time show.

The 9/11 terrorist attacks had taken place just the previous September, and to commemorate that, they sang ‘MLK’ and ‘Where The Streets Have No Name’ in memory of those who died.

During the performance, a display containing all the names of the victims of the attacks, was rolled out before the crowd.

Aerosmith/NSYNC/Britney Spears and others – Super Bowl 35

Rock group Aerosmith allied with NSYNC for the Super Bowl half-time show in 2001. The latter took the stage first with ‘Bye Bye Bye.’

That was nothing more than an appetizer of course, as ‘Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing’ effortlessly drowned it out.

Both bands traded songs thereafter, before converging on the stage together to duet for ‘Walk This Way’ along with featured guests Britney Spears, Nelly and Mary J Blige.

Bruce Springsteen – Super Bowl 43

In the 2009 Super Bowl half-time show, ‘The Boss’ slid all the way across the stage where he crashed into a camera man.

That tells you everything you need to know about the kind of energy he poured into that performance.

Some of his classics got an airing that night, including ‘Born To Run,’  ’Working On A Dream,’ and ‘Glory Days.’

Beyonce – Super Bowl 47

It was Beyonce’s turn to get behind the mic at the 2013 Super Bowl.

It was another stunning exhibition of Queen Bae’s vocal range, complimented by an impressive display of pyrotechnics.

The crowd were treated to a selection of her famous tracks, including ‘Crazy In Love’ and ‘Baby Boy,’ along with a rare performance from her former group Destiny’s Child.

Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams joined Beyonce on stage, where the gang brought us back through time to enjoy ‘Bootylicious,’ and Independent Woman.’

Madonna – Super Bowl 46

For Madonna’s Super Bowl half-time show five years ago, the Queen of Pop chose an Ancient Egyptian theme, and sang ‘Vogue’ while being carried on stage by dancers posing as slaves.

(Strike a pose, get it?)

Various artists joined Madonna on stage for the rest of the segment that night, including LMFAO (remember those guys?), Niki Minaj, and Ceelo Green who offered some backing vocals for the closing song ‘Like A Prayer.’

Paul McCartney – Super Bowl 39

If you can’t have all four members of The Beatles on stage, well one is still enough.

In Super Bowl ’05, Paul McCartney performed some of the most iconic songs from The Beatles songbook and even today, they still sound fresh.

Fittingly, he closed the performance with arguably the band’s most famous tune ‘Hey Jude.’

Rolling Stones – Super Bowl 40

Using a stage assuming the shape of their famous tongue label, the Rolling Stones showed no signs of ageing at the Superbowl in 2006.

‘Start Me Up’ and ‘Can’t Get No Satisfaction’ got a spin that evening, but it’s understood that the NFL took issue with some of the lyrics from the former song.

Given the controversy that derived from Janet Jackson’s closet malfunction a few years previously, the NFL couldn’t afford to take any chances with the sexual references in ‘Start Me Up.’

Front-man Mick Jagger agreed to have his the volume of his microphone adjusted during those portions of the song.

Prince – Super Bowl 41

A decade on from the night he delivered arguably the best Super Bowl half-time show of all-time, we’ll be celebrating the first anniversary of Prince’s death this year.

The Pop icon left his mark on Super Bowl history in 2007 with a deluge of classic anthems, including ‘Let’s Go Crazy’ and ‘Purple Rain.’

He also smashed out some incredible covers of  Jimi Hendrix ‘All Along The Watchtower’ and ‘Best Of You’ by the Foo Fighters.

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