Where will Usher land among most popular halftime shows?


Some would argue that the real show on Super Bowl LVIII Sunday starts when the NFC and AFC champions break at the game’s midway point — also known as the time for the Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show.

Nothing brings people together quite like music. This year, Usher is set to take the NFL’s biggest stage.

He follows up Rihanna, who revealed she was pregnant with her second child and rolled out a slew of hits in last year’s 17-minute performance.

After a highly acclaimed residency in Las Vegas, the eight-time Grammy Award-winner who was a guest at the Super Bowl XLV halftime show, will headline his own performance 20 years after he ascended into superstardom with his album “Confessions.”

That got us thinking of memorable Super Bowl performances from the last two decades. While Prince’s performance of “Purple Rain” during some timely precipitation in South Florida and Katy Perry’s showing with “Left Shark” may come to mind as fan favorite moments, they didn’t make the cut.

Here are the most searched halftime performances since 2004, according to Google Trends:

1. Super Bowl LVI (2022)

Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar, 50 Cent

SoFi Stadium (Inglewood, California)

Songs performed: “Next Episode.” “California Love,” “In Da Club” “Family Affair,” “M.A.A.D City,” “Alright,” “Forgot About Dre,” “Lose Yourself,” “I Ain’t Mad at Cha” (instrumental), “Still D.R.E.”

Notable moment(s): Blige’s reflective leopard print bodysuit and matching signature thigh-high boots set the tone for her section of the show. As the only woman in a performance that featured seven artists, she provided some much-needed feminine energy.

Her show-stopping performance of “No More Drama” concluded with a dramatic collapse that went viral on social media.

Throughout his portion of the program, Lamar, clad in an all-black Michael Jackson-inspired outfit, was surrounded by dancers in a tight formation. The dancers frequently marched around Lamar, and the broadcast used aerial shots that emphasized their motion on top of the aforementioned map of Lamar’s hometown, Compton.

Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg ended the show with “Still D.R.E.,” which was released in 1999. They were joined by Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar, 50 Cent and Eminem (along with Anderson .Paak on drums) on the stage’s roof with classic lowrider cars and a myriad of dancers on top of an LED-lit map of Compton, California. It was also the first Super Bowl halftime show to win the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Variety Special (Live).

2. Super Bowl XLVII (2013)

Mercedes-Benz Superdome (New Orleans)

Songs performed: “Run the World (Instrumental),” “Love on Top,” “Crazy in Love,” “End of Time,” “Baby Boy,” “Bootylicious,” “Independent Women Part I,” “Single Ladies,” “Halo”

Notable moment: Midway through the performance, Beyoncé was joined by fellow former members of Destiny’s Child, Michelle Williams and Kelly Rowland. The trio took the stage for an ultra-memorable three-song reunion.

3. Super Bowl LIV (2020)

Shakira, Jennifer Lopez

Hard Rock Stadium (Miami Gardens, Florida)

Songs performed: “She Wolf,” “Empire” “Ojos Asi/Whenever, Wherever,” “I Like It” (with Bad Bunny) “Chantaje,” “Hips Don’t Lie,” “Waka Waka” (with Lopez), “Jenny From The Block,” “Ain’t It Funny,” “Get Right,” “Waiting For Tonight,” “Love Don’t Cost A Thing”https://www.espn.com/” Mi Gente” (with J Balvin), “Booty/Que Calor” with (J Balvin), “On The Floor,” “Let’s Get Loud”https://www.espn.com/”Born in the U.S.A.” (with Jennifer Lopez and Emme Muñiz)

Notable moment: Shakira started off the performance by doing a little bit of everything. As expected, she showcased her vocal and dancing abilities, which included ululation and belly dancing. But her crowd-surfing and drumming were added bonuses.

Towards the end of the show Lopez capped off an electric melody of her hit song “Let’s Get Loud” with Bruce Springsteen’s classic “Born in the U.S.A” while wearing a cape that depicted the Puerto Rican flag on one side and the U.S. flag on the other.

With over 300 million views, it is by far the most watched Super Bowl halftime performance on YouTube.

4. Super Bowl LV (2021)

The Weeknd

Raymond James Stadium (Tampa, Florida)

Songs performed: “Call Out My Name,” “Starboy,” “The Hills, ” “Can’t Feel My Face,” “I Feel It Coming,” “Save Your Tears,” “Earned It, ” “House of Balloons,” “Blinding Lights”

Notable moment: The Weeknd performed “Can’t Feel My Face” while walking unsteadily through a maze of mirrors. The camerawork followed his jerky movements and he was joined by several dancers wearing outfits identical to the singer, but with fully bandaged faces.

5. Super Bowl 50 (2016) Coldplay, Beyoncé and Bruno Mars

Levi’s Stadium (Santa Clara, California)

Songs performed: “Yellow,” “Viva la Vida,” “Paradise,” “Adventure of a Lifetime,” “Uptown Funk”https://www.espn.com/”Formation,” “Fix You”https://www.espn.com/”Up&Up”

Notable moment:In their second Super Bowl appearances, Beyoncé and Mars were special guests for the headliner, Coldplay. Beyoncé’s outfit paid homage to Michael Jackson, and the dance break with Mars is one of the most memorable displays in modern Super Bowl halftime history.

6. Super Bowl LIII (2019)

Maroon 5

Mercedes-Benz Stadium (Atlanta, Georgia)

Songs performed: “Harder to Breathe,” “This Love” Trumpet fanfare (SpongeBob SquarePants), “Sicko Mode” (Travis Scott), “Girls Like You,” “She Will Be Loved,” “Kryptonite,” “The Way You Move,” “Sugar,” “Moves like Jagger”

Notable moment: Maroon 5 was joined by Travis Scott and Atlanta native, Big Boi, but they were outshined by animated stars that sort of took the stage. After the death of Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of “SpongeBob SquarePants” creator, a petition went viral for a tribute to Hillenburg to be played during halftime. It was a successful effort as a clip from the episode titled “Band Geeks” introduced Scott’s portion of the show.

7. Super Bowl LII (2018)

Justin Timberlake

U.S. Bank Stadium (Minneapolis, Minnesota)

Songs performed: “Filthy,” “Rock Your Body,” “Señorita,” “SexyBack,” “My Love,” “Cry Me a River,” “Suit & Tie,” “Until the End of Time,” “I Would Die 4 U,” “Mirrors,” “Can’t Stop the Feeling”

Notable moment: Timberlake’s first Super Bowl appearance, alongside Janet Jackson, was marred by the controversial wardrobe malfunction that occurred after he ripped off a portion of Jackson’s top.

His second showing was a headliner in 2018, where he included a tribute to late Minneapolis native Prince. He sang “Until the End of Time” while playing a white grand piano, transitioning into “I Would Die 4 U,” with a video of Prince performing it, being projected onto a large sheet with purple lights tinting Timberlake’s piano.

An aerial shot then showed downtown Minneapolis covered in purple lights patterned after Prince’s trademarked “Love Symbol,” with the stadium in the middle.

8. Super Bowl XLVIII (2014)

Bruno Mars

MetLife Stadium (East Rutherford, New Jersey)

Songs performed: “Billionaire” (sung by a children’s choir), “Locked Out of Heaven,” “Treasure,” “Runaway Baby,” “Give It Away” (with the Red Hot Chili Peppers), “Just the Way You Are”

Notable moment: After the show opened with a children’s choir singing a cover of Bruno Mars’ song “Billionaire,” he kicked off his performance with a drum solo and paid tribute to his late mother by putting her name across a heart on the drum kit.

Mars closed the performance by singing “Just the Way You Are” with what was the biggest fireworks display in Super Bowl history at the time overhead.

9. Lady Gaga, Super Bowl LI (2017)

NRG Stadium (Houston, Texas)

Songs performed: “God Bless America”https://www.espn.com/”This Land Is Your Land,” “Poker Face,” “Born This Way,” “Telephone,” “Just Dance,” “Million Reasons,” “Bad Romance”

Notable moment: Everything’s bigger in Texas — and Lady Gaga didn’t waste any time exemplifying that sentiment. She started the performance by singing “God Bless America” and “This Land Is Your Land” on the roof of the stadium with red, white and blue drones flying behind her. But here’s the big part: Gaga ended the medley by reciting the last line of the Pledge of Allegiance, then jumped (attached to a harness) off the roof, landing on a pillar placed on the field.

10. Madonna, Super Bowl XLVI (2012)

Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis)

Songs performed: “Vogue,” “Music” (with LMFAO for mixes of “Party Rock Anthem” and “Sexy and I Know It”), “Give Me All Your Luvin” (with Nicki Minaj and M.I.A.), “Open Your Heart” (with CeeLo Green), “Express Yourself,” “Like A Prayer” (with CeeLo Green)

Notable moment: The show opened with just an instrumental of the “Vogue” intro playing while tens of male dancers, dressed as gladiators, pulled an enormous object that was covered by large feathered banners. Just over 30 seconds into the performance, the song’s opening line of “What are you looking at?” played just as the banners were raised to reveal Madonna sitting on a gold throne while wearing an ensemble of the same color.

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