The Super Bowl has now also developed into a musically significant event. With spectacular performances by international artists, the halftime show is as eagerly awaited every year as the American football game itself.
Since the band New Kids on the Block performed at halftime of the Super Bowl in 1991, gigs by the most famous singers have followed every year in the stadiums of the National Football League (NFL). This year (Sunday, February 11th) US singer Usher (45) will appear as the main act at the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. For the music stars, the event offers the world's largest stage - and thus another career boost.
Of the many halftime shows, some are still remembered today - and not (just) because of the music. These were the five most defining music moments at the Super Bowl.
After New Kids on the Block and Gloria Estefan (66), Michael Jackson (1998-2009) was the third major artist to be on stage during halftime of the Super Bowl. His performance on January 31, 1993 at the Rose Bowl Stadium made the between-game shows the spectacle they are today. With elaborate choreography, pyrotechnics and a choir of over 3,000 children, the King of Pop took the Super Bowl halftime shows to the next level. After the singer's performance, for the first time in history, ratings increased from the first to the second half of the sporting event.
On February 3, 2002, the band U2 around frontman Bono (63) performed in the Louisiana Superdome. It was the first Super Bowl after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 in the USA. The Irish rockers used their time on stage to remember those who died. As they sang, all the names of the victims of the attack appeared on a screen behind them. At the end of the emotional performance, Bono opened his jacket and revealed an American flag inside.
This halftime show performance made headlines: Janet Jackson (57) and Justin Timberlake (43) appeared on stage together on February 1, 2004 at what was then ALLTEL Stadium, now TIAA Bank Field. As they sing the last line of Timberlake's song "Rock Your Body," Timberlake rips off part of Janet Jackson's costume. He exposed one of her breasts in front of the audience of millions. The scandal went down in Super Bowl history as the Nipplegate affair. In a documentary on the US channel A
In the run-up to the 2019 Super Bowl, the legendary halftime show caused a sensation. Numerous artists boycotted a performance at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta in solidarity for Colin Kaepernick (36). The former quarterback lost his job in 2017 after he criticized the country's policies towards black people with anthem protests in the NFL. When it was announced that the band Maroon 5 would be the main act at the 2019 Super Bowl, thousands of people started a petition. In it they called on singer Adam Levine (44) and Co. to cancel the show. The concert on February 4th was also not convincing in the media reports afterwards. “Variety” described the performance as “disappointing” and “joyless,” among other things.
During her performance at halftime of the Super Bowl on February 13, 2023, Rihanna (35) delivered an impressive stage show for the first time after a seven-year break. She also used the screening at State Farm Stadium to announce her new pregnancy to the world: without words and only in a red jumpsuit that was open to the belly button and in which her baby bump was clearly visible. In an interview with “Access Hollywood,” the “Umbrella” interpreter later revealed that she unintentionally dropped the baby bomb. It was only shortly before the show for the final of the professional American football league that it became clear that the zipper on her jumper could not be closed.