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Unforgettable Super Bowl Halftime Shows: My Top Picks

Every year, I excitedly join millions of viewers around the world to catch the Super Bowl Halftime show. Yes, I know, it's all about football but I mean, who can blame me? The performances are what really stick in my memory. If I'm being totally honest, I might not remember every detail of the game, but I can recall every artist who took the stage. (Shh, don't tell my brother I said that!)

This past Super Bowl, Usher took the stage with many surprise guests and while I thought it was a good performance, it was not what I was expecting. I was so upset that he missed his chance to start with his infamous song, “OMG”. I did, although, love his roller skating bit and the stunning Alicia Keys.

As I reflect on the countless iconic performances that have graced the stage over the years, I can't help but reminisce about my personal favorites. While opinions may vary, here are my top five most memorable performances!

1. Katy Perry? She's the definition of "the moment"! Every year, I find myself wondering if anyone can top the sheer theatrics she brought to the Super Bowl halftime show. I mean, come on – we had sharks, beach balls and a giant lion she rode in on like a boss! And get this, that lion was a whopping 26 feet long and 16 feet high, weighing nearly 1,600 pounds. Talk about making an entrance! Seriously, good luck to anyone trying to outdo that level of epicness. Click here to watch this show-stopping performance.

2. Securing spot number two in my 20-year-old mind is none other than Rihanna! Her performance at the 2023 Super Bowl was nothing short of spectacular, taking the stage to new heights—literally! With her mesmerizing pop dance moves, stunning outfits and jaw-dropping stage lifts, she had me completely mesmerized from start to finish. On top of everything she was also three months postpartum. While I wish she sang “Pon De Replay”, she played every one of my other favorites including “BBHMM”, “Pour It Up” and my go-to cardio song “All of the Lights”. Other than that, I couldn't find a single critique—she was simply amazing! Here is a look at the fabulous performance from RiRi herself!

3. Snagging the bronze medal in my rankings is the epic 2016 showdown featuring Coldplay, Beyoncé and Bruno Mars. Talk about a powerhouse trio! The energy pulsating from the crowd was absolutely electric, setting the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable performance. I'll never forget the sheer excitement radiating from the audience—it was like fuel for the performers, propelling them to be even greater. And when Bruno hit the stage with "Uptown Funk," it was like the universe hit the reset button on us! That all-leather fit Bruno Mars had on was just fire as well! THEN, Beyoncé comes out with a bang! All performances can’t be perfect but even when Bey tripped, she made it look flawless. This trio was the cherry on top of an already amazing year, proving once and for all why 2016 reigns supreme in Super Bowl halftime history. Go check out this performance if you wanna dance wherever you are right now!

4. From the moment Madonna made her grand entrance atop a golden throne, surrounded by a legion of Roman soldiers, it was clear that this would be a Super Bowl performance to remember. 2012 was proved to be the year of music when she was joined by an all-star lineup including, Nicki Minaj, M.I.A., CeeLo Green and LMFAO, each adding their own flair to the show. The stadium lit up as the crowd cheered and celebrated what ended up being history being made by these superstars. We can’t forget the most impeccable part of the performance; Madonna cartwheeling on her bleacher stage. My favorite parts have to include the energetic dance routines, dazzling costume changes and larger-than-life set pieces that brought Madonna's vision to life. Definitely one for the books, here's a look!

5. For my final reveal, the one and only Lady Gaga! In case you missed it (but seriously, how could you?), Gaga took the stage by storm with a show that was nothing short of legendary. From the moment she descended from the heavens like a glorifying superhero, I knew the performance was going to be spectacular. Her energy was infectious, her vocals flawless and her stage presence out of this world. One of my favorite parts is always the fashion and Lady Gaga's sky-high platforms paired with her bedazzled bodysuit is something I dream of owning one day. I definitely would not wear it out of my house but a girl has got to dream. When she sat down at the piano for a heartfelt rendition of "Million Reasons", there wasn't a dry eye in the house. It was a reminder that, underneath all the crazy costumes and glamorous makeup, Gaga is a true artist with a voice that can move mountains. As I danced and sang in my living room that night, I will always remember that she truly is one of a kind. Check out her performance here!

As I wrap up my top five Super Bowl halftime performances, I can't help but feel a rush of excitement for what the future holds. I know I could not include all of the most iconic performances but these definitely will be hard to top in the future. From Prince's iconic rain-soaked performance to Lady Gaga's gravity-defying show, each one has left an indelible mark on my memory. But amidst all the incredible moments, there's one thing missing – a Justin Bieber halftime show! That's right, I've got my fingers crossed for a future Super Bowl featuring the Biebs himself, bringing his infectious energy and chart-topping hits to the grandest stage of them all. Until then, I'll be eagerly awaiting the next halftime extravaganza, ready to dance, sing and celebrate the magic of music with the world.


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