Super Bowl Sunday is about so much more than two teams tossing the pigskin. We’re talking heart-wrenching commercials, mouthwatering snacks and those OMG halftime performances. Because let’s be honest, sometimes what goes on in between halves is more entertaining than the game itself (2001, what a snoozefest). Here, nine of the best Super Bowl halftime performances to date.
Coldplay, Beyoncé and Bruno Mars (2016)
For the Super Bowl’s 50th birthday, Coldplay enlisted the help of some very cool friends who essentially stole the show (which is fine by us). The best moment? A dance-off between Bruno Mars and Beyoncé (who won? Queen Bey, natch).
Diana Ross (1996)
No offense to Mariah or anything but this performance was the ultimate in diva fabulousness. Case in point: Miss Ross finished her performance by saying, “Oh my, here comes my ride” and exiting on a helicopter.
This touching tribute to 9/11 victims, just a few months after the attack, will give you all the feels.
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band (2009)
“I want you to step away from the guacamole dip! I want you to put the chicken wings down and turn your television all the way up!” said The Boss to the audience as he started the show. Turns out his incredible four-song set totally was worth leaving the snack table for. Extra rock ‘n roll props for his killer knee slide to camera.
Michael Jackson (1993)
Only the King of Pop could pull off starting a Super Bowl halftime performance by standing still for 90 seconds. Not only that, but MJ didn’t even start singing until about four minutes into the show when he ran through two of his greatest hits (Billie Jean and Black and White) before capping it all off with a moving performance of Heal the World.
The whole set was fantastic—but Prince singing Purple Rain in the actual pouring rain still gives us chills.
Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake (2004)
When JT sang, “Gonna have you naked by the end of this song,” no one had a clue it was a foreshadowing (the jury’s still out on whether Nipplegate was intentional or not). How big of a deal was this performance? It’s where the term “wardrobe malfunction” comes from, so, you know, pretty big.
Of course Queen Bey made the list twice. This year featured fire, smoke and a Destiny’s Child reunion. Totally flawless.
Katy Perry (2015)
She brought down the house with her fierce entrance (on the back of a giant lion puppet while singing “Roar”), fabulous costume changes (there were three) and guest star (Missy Elliott). Equally wonderful? Left shark. (So many memes.)