The Best Super Bowl Halftime Performances of All Time

View of the stage during the Super Bowl LI halftime show with Lady Gaga performing the song "Just Dance".

ICYMI, the Kansas City Chiefs won Super Bowl LVII. But if you were more interested in the halftime show (and we don’t blame you if this is what you came for), then you might already know that Rihanna slayed her performance. In the past few decades, however, we’ve seen a lot of amazing halftime shows. Even if we're not ranking them, nobody can deny that it’s getting harder to decide which one is the best Super Bowl Halftime performance of all time — because there sure are a handful of memorable ones!

Some of the Best Super Bowl Halftime Performances:


Don’t worry! This list isn’t ranked from best to worst. So there isn’t really a reason why we think Rihanna should be mentioned first — besides the fact that she was the most recent Super Bowl halftime performer…and that she revealed that she’s pregnant with her second child with A$AP Rocky! This means Rihanna is the first pregnant halftime performer to grace the football stadium.

Besides the fact that Rihanna was able to put on a stellar Super Bowl halftime show even while baby #2 is on the way, the Bajan Badgal couldn’t fit all of her chart-topping hits in 30 minutes — that’s how many hits she produced as a singer!

Jennifer Lopez and Shakira

2020 wasn’t everyone’s best year — but it sure made a lot of the Arabic and Latinx community happy when their culture was represented in the Super Bowl. Jennifer Lopez and Shakira both performed some of their Spanish songs in the stadium. Shakira’s “tongue thing” (according to the meme-makers) was also a nod to her Lebanese heritage — the trill she did during her Hips Don’t Lie performance has a deep cultural significance. It’s called the “zaghrouta.”


Most of us can expect that Beyoncé will always give her 100% every time she performs. And last 2013? Boy, did she deliver! Not only did she “do the Naomi Campbell walk” at the start of her performance (with Crazy in Love as her first song), she also reunited with her old Destiny’s Child pals Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams.

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

Super Bowl 2022 was held in Inglewood — and what better way to “welcome everybody to the wild, Wild West” than by having Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg show the viewers some California love? But the Compton and Long Beach natives’ Super Bowl halftime performances exceeded everyone’s expectations because they brought their just-as-legendary friends with them! — Eminem, 50 Cent, Mary J. Blige, and Kendrick Lamar also performed some of their best hits. We also saw a lot of California representation — khaki shorts, low-riders, and cruiser bikes.

Janet Jackson

Super Bowl halftime shows weren’t as big as they are now. However, some believe that it was Janet Jackson’s performance that made halftime shows worthy of discussing — even Tom Brady thinks her performance was “a good thing for the NFL.” Janet Jackson, just like her brother (who also performed at the Super Bowl halftime show years prior), Michael Jackson, also put on an impressive show. But what got everyone talking about it was the infamous scandal that happened — the incident that many now call the “nipplegate.”

During Janet Jackson’s 2004 Super Bowl halftime performance in Houston, she revealed a surprise guest to perform alongside her — Justin Timberlake. They then sang and danced (suggestively) to the former N’SYNC member’s Rock Your Body. However, as soon as JT sang the line “gonna have you naked by the end of this song,” he tore off Janet Jackson’s top clothing — which revealed the songstress’ right breast that had a nipple piercing. Because of this incident, many believed it was a publicity stunt.

Final Whistle

The NFL is a part of American culture. However, at this point, there are more viewers who watch the Super Bowl because of the halftime show than the actual game itself. But nobody’s blaming anybody! Every year, we anticipate who will perform next because we get to witness the best Super Bowl halftime performances that might possibly go down in history.