Updated Ranking of Greatest Super Bowl Halftime Shows

After getting in a Facebook debate a few years back regarding just how wretched the Justin Timberlake Super Bowl halftime show, I reviewed all 52 of the Super Bowl halftime shows and ranked them from best to worst.  I have now updated that list to include all Super Bowl halftime shows, including Rihanna’s performance on Sunday.   The best I can tell is that there is not another list this comprehensive on the web anywhere.  Several websites rank the modern concert-type shows (post 1991), but I couldn’t find any that rank all of them.  Feel free to comment or debate and come back to the blog tomorrow to see my updated ranking of the greatest Super Bowl games of all-time.

Greatest Super Bowl Halftimes in NFL HistoryComment
1Super Bowl XXVII- Michael Jacksonone of MJ’s greatest concerts ever
2Super Bowl XLII- Tom Petty & the HeartbreakersSo good from start to finish
3Super Bowl XLIX- Katy Perry, Lenny Kravitz, Missy Elliottfun from start to finish
4Super Bowl XXXVI- U2 (9/11 Tribute)Really good and Poignant; wish they had done a 3rd song tho
5Super Bowl LI- Lady Gagaextremely entertaining
6Super Bowl LVI- Dr Dre, Eminem, Snoop Dog, Mary J Blige, Kendrick LamarFun but wish there were more collaborative efforts
7Super Bowl LIV- Jennifer Lopez and ShakiraOld ladies still rocked it
8Super Bowl XXXIX- Paul McCartneyHey Jude was awesome
9Super Bowl XXXVIII- Jessica Simpson, Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Kid Rockwardrobe malfunction
10Super Bowl XLVI- Madonna. LMFAO, Nicky Minaj, Cee Lo Green“LIke a Dream” at end is awesome
11Super Bowl 50- Coldplay, Beyonce, Bruno MarsColdplay really good and Tribute montage at end is awesome; Beyone and Bruno not so much
12Super Bowl XLIII- Bruce Springsteen and the E Street BandBad first song but good rest of the way
13Super Bowl XLI- Prince, FAMU Marching BandPurple rain was good, everything else was just ok
14Super Bowl XXXIV- Phil Collins, Christina Aguilera, Enrique Iglesias, Toni Braxtongood mix of music
15Super Bowl LVII- RihannaLimited movement due to her post partum status but she still had a plethora of good hits mixed with good effects. Really could have used a secondary act to change it up a bit.
16Super Bowl XLIV- The Whostarts off good and then tapers off
17Super Bowl XL- The Rolling Stonesstarts off well and then tapers off
18Super Bowl XXII- Chubby Checker, The Rockettes (Something Grand)Not too bad; Checker put on a nice performance
19Super Bowl XXIV- Pete Fountain, Doug Kershaw (Salute to New Orleans)actually pretty good music
20Super Bowl XVI- Up With People (Salute to the 1960s and Motown)actually pretty good music
21Super Bowl XXXVII- Shania Twain, No Doubt, StingBad start with shania but then gets better after that
22Super Bowl XXXI- Blues Brothers and ZZ Toppretty good
23Super Bowl I- University of Arizona and Grambling Marching BandsSound of Music, Liberty Bell march (good), Western themes (bad)
24Super Bowl VI- Ella Fitzgerald “Mack the Knife” (Salute to Louis Armstrong)No footage apparently exists
25Super Bowl XVII- LA Drill Team (Kaleido superscope)No footage apparently exists
26Super Bowl VII- Michigan Marching Band “This Land Is Your Land”Andy Williams performance bad
27Super Bowl IV- Southern Marching Band “When Saints Go Marching In” (Mardi Gras)No footage apparently exists
28Super Bowl III- Florida A & M Marching Band (America Thanks)No footage apparently exists
29Super Bowl V- Southeast Missouri St. Marching Band with Anita BryantNo footage apparently exists
30Super Bowl XXI- Walt Disnery (Salute to Hollywood’s 100th Anniversary)decent mix of pop hits and Disney classics
31Super Bowl XXVI- Gloria Estefan (Salute to the 1992 Winter Olympics)mediocre
32Super Bowl XVIII- Walt Disney (Salute to Superstars of Silver Screen)kinda cheesy but 80’s music was good
33Super Bowl XXX- Diana Rossmediocre
34Super Bowl LIII- Maroon 5 and OutkastOutkast- good, everything else was mediorce
35Super Bowl XXXII- Boyz II Men, The Temptations, Queen Latifahsome performances better than others
36Super Bowl XXXV- Aerosmith, N’Sync, Brittany Spears, Mary J. Blige, NellyN’Sync ruins this otherwise good halftime show
37Super Bowl XLV- The Black Eyed Peas, Usherlast song was only good part
38Super Bowl XV- Southern Marching Band (Mardi Gras Festival)No footage apparently exists
39Super Bowl II- Grambling State Marching BandNo footage apparently exists
40Super Bowl VIII- Texas Marching Band (A Musical America)No footage exists
41Super Bowl LV- The Weekendone good song with covid restrictions
42Super Bowl XII- Apache Band (From Paris to Paris of America)No footage exists
43Super Bowl XXXIII- Gloria Estefan and Stevie Wonderone good song
44Super Bowl XX- Up with People (Beat of the Future)the worst of the 80’s personified but a couple of good 80’s jams saved it
45Super Bowl XLVII- Beyonce, Destiny’s Childnot very good
46Super Bowl X- Up With People (Bicentennial)really cheesy but Country Roads at ends saves it
47Super Bowl IX- Grambling State Marching Band (Tribute to Duke Ellington)Not very good
48Super Bowl XIX- Tops In Blue (World of Children’s Dreams)Really bad but saved by “We are the Champions”
49Super Bowl XLVIII- Bruno Mars, Red Hot Chili PeppersBad from the start but military tribute saves it
50Super Bowl XIV- Up With People, Grambling Marching Band (Big Band Era)terrible beginning; even has Conga line; Johnny B. Goode at end was good though
51Super Bowl XXVIII- Clint Black, Tanya Tucker, Travis Tritthonky tonk country at its worst
52Super Bowl LII- Justin Timberlakedidn’t even attempt to lip sync
53Super Bowl XIII- Ken Hamilton (Salute to Caribbean)Mexican restaurant from hell
54Super Bowl XI- Walt Disney “It’s a Small World”Mickey Mouse Club from Hell
55Super Bowl XXIII- Elvis Presto (1950’s Rock and Roll)Absolutely awful: terrible card trick mixed with a bad Elvis personator
56Super Bowl XXV- New Kids on the Block (Small World Tribute)really bad but patrotism keeps it from being all-time worst
57Super Bowl XXIX- Patti Labelle, Tony Bennett (Indiana Jones)the worst thing I’ve ever seen


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