In recent times, the Super Bowl has transcended football to become a cultural phenomenon. As such, ahead of the Kansas City Chiefs’ clash with the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, all eyes are not only on the players but also the halftime performers.
The event at Allegiant Stadium is not only a celebration of football, it has also become a mecca of sorts for the country’s biggest musical artists. For many, the Super Bowl ends up becoming the biggest spectacle of their career because of the astronomical viewing figures it attracts.
Accordingly, let’s take a look at the 10 most-watched Super Bowl halftime shows of all time and understand what this year’s breakout performer Usher is facing.
10. Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, 2020 (104.1 million viewers)
The NFL played an absolutely blind role in bringing not one but two Latin pop queens to Super Bowl LIV in Miami. Jennifer Lopez and Shakira teamed up to showcase their infectious Latin energy, performing 16 songs in less than 15 minutes.
Bad Bunny, J Balvin and Lopez’s daughter Emme Muñiz all joined them on stage as guests to make the outing a memorable celebration of Latin music and culture.
9. Justin Timberlake, 2018 (106.6 million)
The decision to bring back Justin Timberlake to lead another Super Bowl halftime show after the 2004 “Nipplegate” scandal was certainly controversial.
However, the Prince of Pop justified his decision by shaking up the Minnesota crowd and millions at home, with hits like Sexy back And I can’t stop the feeling!.
8. Black Eyed Peas, 2011 (110.2 million)
Perhaps the organizers of the Super Bowl XLV halftime show I have a feeling that the night was it’s going to be a good, good night with black-eyed peas; They were right – and more.
More than 110 million viewers watched the musical group spread their magic in Texas through renditions of Boom Boom Pow, where is the love? and of course, I gotta Feeling.
7. Beyoncé, 2013 (110.8 million)
Beyoncé, her smoldering 15 meter tall figure, and of course, a medley of songs, including Rule the world And Halo, were enough to leave the New Orleans crowd stunned.
However, the Beyoncé craze exploded after Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams joined her on stage to mark the Destiny’s Child reunion.
6. Madonna, 2012 (114 million)
The Queen of Pop took the stage at Super Bowl XLVI and performed hits like Vogue And Music. She was later joined by Nicki Minaj and MIA for Give me all your love.
Madonna’s presence was enough to attract millions of eyes, but MIA decided to grab more headlines by bringing down the biggest halftime audience at the time.
5. Bruno Mars, 2014 (115.3 million)
There are very few artists today capable of engaging audiences as well as Bruno Mars. THE Locked out of the sky That’s exactly what the star did at MetLife Stadium by joining forces with his band The Hooligans.
An appearance by the Red Hot Chili Peppers further raised the temperature and made the 15-minute stint a memorable experience for everyone involved.
4. Coldplay, 2016 (115.5 million)
The NFL pulled out all the stops to celebrate Super Bowl 50, bringing in Coldplay, Beyoncé, Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson for the halftime show.
The band’s anthems and the experience of playing in front of sold-out stadiums pair perfectly with the festive backdrop of Santa Clara, as the entire crowd lends their voices for the iconic Live life.
3. Lady Gaga, 2017 (118 million)
Lady Gaga opened her performance from the roof of Houston’s NRG Stadium before landing on stage to get the party started with hits like Poker Face, born like this, And Paparazzi, among others.
She then grabbed a soccer ball, much to everyone’s delight, to bring the curtain down on her performance. The perfect recipe for breathtaking audiences!
2. Katy Perry, 2015 (121 million)
The growing popularity of Katy Perry, the timeless aura of Lenny Kravitz and the energy of Missy Elliott. Get your monster performance combined with Left Shark’s (a backup dancer) viral moves to break the internet.
The Super Bowl XLIX halftime performance highlighted the true power of newsworthy moments, as it not only played a role in the show setting a new viewership record, but also helped the performance of Perry to remain in the headlines for weeks.
1. Rihanna, 2023 (121.017 million)
Prior to the high-profile show in Arizona, Rihanna hadn’t performed live since the 2018 Grammys. Yet her presence was enough to draw millions to their screens.
The bold and beautiful RiRi descended on a floating iPhone and kept everyone glued to their screens singing classics like Bitch, you better have my money, we found love, rude boy, work and much more. The success of his show was rightly reflected in the viewing figures, as more people watched the show live than ever before in Super Bowl history.