As a football junkie, there are two things other than the action on the field that get me excited to watch the Super Bowl. The Commercials (duh) and the musical performances! This year, not only do I get to watch my favorite team the Philadelphia Eagles do battle with the New England Patriots, but I get to watch one of my all-time favorite performers do what he does best at halftime. That of course is the one and only Justin Timberlake.
That got me thinking…who has delivered some of the most memorable Super Bowl performances of all time? How would we give these iconic artists a standing ‘O’ in classic Sigstr fashion? By creating their hypothetical email signatures, of course. If you haven’t seen us do this for Star Wars or Game of Thrones, then you’re in for a treat! Sit back and enjoy as we celebrate some of our favorite Super Bowl super stars.
Let’s start with the halftime show that changed everything. In 1993, Super Bowl XXVI featured a Garth Brooks National Anthem, an OJ Simpson coin-toss (hindsight is 20/20) and the moonwalker himself, Michael Jackson. He delivered a halftime show that would go down in history as the first to get higher TV ratings than the actual game. The performance included smash hits “Jam”, “Black & White”, and 3,500 Los Angeles area kids helping him seal the deal with the epic humanitarian ballad, “Heal the World”. Who else could’ve pulled that off but the undisputed King of Pop?
If Michael Jackson’s halftime show was the one that changed everything, his little sister’s 2004 performance was the one that made everything stop. With an assist from this year’s headliner, JT, we can’t recall a more TiVo’d moment in history. In fact, this “incident” became the most searched event in internet history, birthed the phrase “wardrobe malfunction” and set us on a path that would eventually give us (wait for it) YouTube!
For every king there is a queen and, as the reigning Queen of Pop, Madonna rode in on her golden throne and delivered one of the most memorable Super Bowl performances of all time right down the street from the Sigstr offices at Lucas Oil Stadium. Madge “Party Rock”ed with LMFAO and managed to overcome a poorly delivered ‘’We’re #1’’ sign from M.I.A. before teaming up with Mr. FU himself, Cee-Lo. She then closed the show with a spirited rendition of “Like A Prayer”. Super Bowl XLVI in 2012 had everything you’d want including an NFC East team, the New York Giants, triumphing over the New England Patriots. Eagles fans can only hope this year’s contest yields the same result.
Two words: Queen Bey. Is anyone else picking up on the royal theme here? Dressed like a superhero in all black leather, accompanied by her fellow children of destiny Kelly Roland and Michelle Williams, and backed by her all-female band, dancers, and horn section, Beyoncé unequivocally answered the question who “Run The World”? For those of you who haven’t been paying attention, it’s girls (shout out to @GirlsWhoCode). This 2013 show was, in a word, fierce, drawing overwhelming praise from the entertainment community and prompting Rolling Stone Magazine to ask a different question: Why would you ever have a Super Bowl without Beyoncé? We couldn’t agree more.
Rounding out the royal family in the best way possible is the unmistakable falsetto of Prince. Some argue the 2007 halftime show was the best of all time. Why? Picture this…70,000 football fans packed into Miami’s Dolphin Stadium with actual rain falling from the sky as Prince delivers a master class in stage presence and chord stroking. Now imagine every one of those rain-soaked fans belting out the end of “Purple Rain” in unison. “Oooooo Oooooo Ooo Ooo! Oooooo Oooooo Ooo Ooo!”. Need we say more? *Tosses guitar into the crowd* “Game blouses!”
U2’s 2002 halftime show was a special moment in American sports history. Super Bowl XXXVI was the first major sports event held in the United States after 9/11 and the New England Patriots made the most unlikely run to get there. It started one month before when a no-name, 6th round draft pick out of Michigan took over at quarterback for an injured Drew Bledsoe. U2 delivered an emotional tribute to everyone who lost their lives that day, scrolling their names behind them as they played “The Streets Have No Name”. Bono even opened his jacket to proudly reveal the bars and stars. The Patriots, led by that fiery, 6th round back-up we now know as Tom Brady, would kick a field goal as time expired to win their first Super Bowl. Hollywood couldn’t have written a better script!
Alright folks, trivia time. What was the first hip-hop single to be a Billboard Hot 100 Top 5 hit?
Answer: The epic rock-rap collaboration “Walk This Way” by Run D.M.C. and Aerosmith.
In stark contrast to U2’s poignant post-9/11 tribute, this 2001 performance showcased just how much fun we were having in America pre 9/11. JT and his former bae Britney joined the rest of N’Sync and stood alongside Nelly and Steven Tyler to deliver the MTV version of “Walk This Way”. Maybe Justin knew his big day would come soon as he brought home the chorus of N’Sync’s hit “It’s Gonna Be Me.” We may never know. What we do know is this, those little headset microphones can’t possibly still be cool. Can they?
Katy Perry rode into the 2015 halftime show on a 16 foot tall, 26 foot long, 1,600 pound golden lion. That’s right…a golden lion. Take that mother of dragons! If Super Bowl halftime shows were the Olympics, Katy’s effort would’ve earned her a gold medal. The California Gurl’s performance began with a “Roar”, ended with “Fireworks” and somewhere in-between, she was able pull off multiple 10-second wardrobe changes. She even made one half of a dancing shark duo an internet sensation. Her motto: sing like nobody’s listening. Love like you’ve never been hurt. Dance like #LeftShark.
Lady Gaga saw Katy Perry’s Super Bowl XLIX entrance and thought, “I bet I can top that!” How you ask? By singing “God Bless America” and “This Land Is Your Land” from the roof of Houston’s NRG Stadium as a patriotic red, white, and blue, 300-drone light show ensued behind her. The opening reached its crescendo following the closing lines of the “Pledge of Allegiance” as Gaga lept into the stadium. To be honest, anything she did after that was just icing on the cake. The entrance alone puts Gaga’s 2017 performance in the Top 5 for greatest halftime shows ever. Little Monsters everywhere rejoice. Paws up!
While Whitney Houston’s heart-pounding rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” wasn’t technically at halftime, it was so good we just HAD to include it in our list of top Super Bowl performances. In 1991, just 10 days into the Persian Gulf War, Super Bowl XXV was the first to be broadcast worldwide (reaching 750 million viewers). This was her moment and boy did she deliver. If that many people witnessed “The Voice” singing this song, imagine the number of goosebumps and tears that followed. Especially when she raised one fist into the air, and then two, while holding that final patriotic note.
What does Justin Timberlake’s performance have in store for us? Will he find a way to top Lady Gaga’s entrance? Will there be moments we’ve never seen before? Tell us what you think (@SigstrApp) and let us know if the self-proclaimed “Man of the Woods” is worthy of his own email signature. Now, as the Batman to his Robin, Timbaland would say, “Mr. JT, what you got for me?”