The Best Super Bowl Halftime Performances

A list of the leading shows at the championship games

(Image: File)
(Image: File)

Be honest. Some of us only tune in to Super Bowl Sunday just for the halftime show performances. And, each year, seems to be better than ever. Here is a list of the best Super Bowl shows along with the financial gains for each celebrity.

From Beyonce’s calculated tour announcement to rock star Bruce Springsteen’s album promotion. While other heavy-hitters simply watched their records double or music singles rise to the Billboard charts, after performances. Look at our list of the best Super Bowl shows and significant money makers for the entertainers:

Michael Jackson (1993)

The King of Pop stood on the Super Bowl stage like a museum statue for over a minute, then he sung and performed his signature dance moves for the viewers. During the epic show, Jackson lip-synced tunes from his 1991 album “Dangerous” and his 1982 song “Billie Jean.” According to The Hollywood Reporter, sales of “Dangerous” ballooned in the week of the show as well in the following weeks. His eighth studio album “Dangerous” also sold in excess of 50,000 for the next six straight weeks, reported THR. In fact, the National Football League’s ratings increased 8.6 percent over the previous year, stated

Diana Ross (1996)
For the Superbowl’s 30th anniversary, the glamorous Ross was the guest performer. She danced on the stage in a loud red mini-dress with matching heels and lipstick. She even strategically closed the show with two new recordings, a personal interpretation of Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” and an original piece, “Take Me Higher.” She exited the show by climbing onto a white helicopter and lifting off like a larger-than-life diva as she waved and blew air kisses. Her decision to pull songs from her then-current album “Take Me Higher” that was released by Motown, a year prior, paid off. The week after her impeccable Super Bowl show sales for her album went up 74 percent, reported She sold an additional 3,000 in the following weeks.That year, Super Bowl advertisements cost around $1.1 million for 30 seconds compared with the reportedly $4 million for the 2014 game, according to an article on

U2 (2002)
America was still recovering. Just a few months after Sept. 11, U2 made a powerful tribute to the victims who died in the tragic attacks. The Irish group opened with their moving single “Beautiful Day” and a subdued interpretation of “Where the Streets Have No Name,” performed while the names of 9/11 victims scrolled on a large video screen at the 50-yard-line. After the Feb. 3 performance, the most earning Grammy group in history witness sales for three of the crew’s pivotal albums, “All That You Can’t Leave Behind,” up 142; percent “Best of 1980-1990,” up 154%; “The Joshua Tree,” up 144%, reported

Janet Jackson & Justin Timberlake (2004)
Damita Jo’s energized performance had everyone mouthing her “All For You,” “Rhythm Nation” and “Rock Your Body” lyrics at the Super Bowl. The crowd erupted after singer Justin Timberlake joined her onstage and the notorious “wardrobe malfunction” happened. The controversy didn’t stop viewers or fans from purchasing her records. Billboard reported three of Jackson’s albums tripled in the week after the show, while Timberlake’s CDs increased as well.

Prince (2007)
Prince dominated through his own famous classics like “Let’s Go Crazy,” “Proud Mary,” and “All Along the Watchtower.” But his crowd-pleaser was a fiery performance of “Purple Rain,” that had the audience screaming like teenagers. The talented star’s excellent show was a money-making success. The following week, his albums more than doubled in sales, at 31,000, reported The Hollywood Reporter. Even his digital downloads doubled with SoundScan posting a total of 102,000 paid tracks for Prince, compared to 59,000 the week before the game, according to THR.

Bruce Springsteen and E Street Band (2009)
Though Springsteen declined several prior invitations to perform at the Super Bowl, the rock star gave viewers and fans at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., an unforgettable show. The instant he slammed his crotch into a NBC cameraman during his song, “10th Avenue Freeze Out.” The business savvy musician also used the halftime show to promote his then-new album, “Working On a Dream.” The record sold 224,000 through the week, and landed No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Beyonce (2013)
She shut the Super Bowl down, literally! Queen Bey powered through some of her popular tunes and even surprised the audience with a short electrifying performance with Destiny’s Child onstage. The Grammy-winning vocalist had audience members in awe as she stomped through various dance routines in sparkling outfits. The show was seen by an estimated 104 million viewers in the United States, according to The championship game was the year’s highest-watched program, earning over 108 million viewers, according to Nielsen. A calculated Bey announced dates for her Mrs. Carter Show World Tour, hours after her mesmerizing show. Smart move because she later pocketed $66.4 million in ticket sales from the “Mrs. Carter Show” world tour. Even her brief reunion onstage with her former Destiny’s Child bandmates inspired fans to download songs (a combined 280,00 downloads up 68% for the week ending Feb. 10.), according to That week Beyonce’s albums sold 15,000. Some of the singles she performed at the Superdome soared as well. For example, her intimate tune “Halo” (32,00; up 68%), woman’s anthem “Single Ladies” (22,000; up 81%) and romantic melody “Love On Top” (18,000; up 94%), according to


3 Responses to The Best Super Bowl Halftime Performances

  1. H.P. Stanly says:

    Hands down, Bruna Mars & the Red Hot Chili Peppers last years.

  2. Pingback: Super Bowl Ad Space Still Available, But For a Hefty Price

  3. Pingback: Super Bowl Ad Space Still Available, But For a Hefty Price

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