After the great fiasco of 2004, Justin Timberlake returned to the stage for the 2018 halftime show. He was introduced by Jimmy Fallon and backed up by the University of Minnesota Marching Band, and the show was quite good. Timberlake performed his greatest hits, including “My Love,” “Senorita,” “Cry Me a River”, and even the controversial “Rock Your Body,” which he performed with Janet Jackson back in the day.
The golden moment was when Timberlake performed a tribute to Prince by playing “I Would Die 4 U” on a grand white piano. Also, after taking a selfie with a random kid, Timberlake was called to appear on Ellen.
Best: M.I.A., Nicki Minaj, 2013
The 2013 Super Bowl halftime show is worth mentioning twice because each performer stood out. Madonna put on a great show, as always, but M.I.A. and Nicki Minaj were also spectacular. They came out dressed in Egyptian costumes and danced with pom-poms on stage.
Despite the show being a complete success, M.I.A. pulled off a stunt that cost her a lot of criticism and money. While performing with Madonna, M.I.A. pulled the middle finger straight into the camera, which ended up with Madonna being very upset and the NFL suing M.I.A. for $16 million. Fortunately, the artist settled with the NFL two years later for an undisclosed amount, which the NFL donated to charity. Supposedly.
Best: Tribute to Louis Armstrong, 1972
Back in the 70s, the Super Bowl halftime shows weren’t a spectacle in and of themselves but more of a bathroom break. However, some of them are worth mentioning, like the 1972 halftime show. In a tribute to legendary jazz musician Louis Armstrong, the great Ella Fitzgerald and trumpeter Al Hirt performed a beautiful rendition of “Mack the Knife.”
The U.S. Marine Corps Drill Team and famous singer Carol Channing performed alongside the jazz greats, making the event one of the most memorable of the decade. Another thing that made this halftime show historic is that Ella Fitzgerald was the first African American woman to ever perform at the Super Bowl.
Best: Shakira and Jennifer Lopez, 2020
The 2020 Super Bowl halftime show had producers scrambling for artists to perform since many turned the offer down due to Colin Kaepernick’s NFL ban. Fortunately, things turned out better than expected, with Latina divas Shakira and Jennifer Lopez giving out a stellar performances.
JLo appeared on stage on a stripper pole while Shakira played guitar hero and sook her hips to “She Wolf.” It was a very energetic spectacle with everybody cheering, and with JLo’s daughter Emme taking the stage to sing Springsteen’s “Born in the USA,” the show was a huge success. Few remembered that J Balvin and Bad Bunny performed too!
Best: Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar, Eminem, 2022
The 2022 Super Bowl halftime show was epic. The west coast legend Dr. Dre led a killer set that included some of the most legendary hip-hop artists of the last half a century. Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre started off with “California Love” and “The Next Episode”, then 50 Cent stunned fans with an upside-down performance of “In Da Club.”
Following was the legendary Mary J. Blige, dazzling crowds with her hits “No More Drama” and “Family Affair.” Let’s not forget Kendrick Lamar’s amazing performance with his backup dancers, and finally, Eminem performed “Lose Yourself.”