License article

NFL 2016 Super Bowl 50: Seven half-time performances to remember

The Panthers may be the bookies' favourites for Monday's Super Bowl but as always attention is on the half-time show which has transformed from hokey cheerleaders and marching bands into Emmy award winning spectacles. Here's some of the noteworthy performances of the modern gridiron arena:

Prince, 2007

Prince's explosive show is regarded at the best Super Bowl half-time performance. Ever. A downpour gave Prince's performance of "Purple Rain" a particular superlative quality, and, boy, did he play that funny looking guitar of his.

Michael Jackson, 1993


The King of Pop's performance marked the transformation of the Super Bowl half-time show from college marching bands to marquee acts. In the gaming changing show Jackson sang and gyrated his way through "Billie Jean", "Black or White" and a rendition of "We Are the World", during which the crowd turned over cards revealing drawings by children of Los Angeles.

U2, 2002

U2 took the stage in 2002 while the tragedy of 9/11 attacks were still fresh in the world's mind. Truly touching was the Irish band's tribute to the victims, scrolling their names on stadium screens while playing softly "Where the Streets Have No Name". Not a dry eye in the house.

Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake​, Nelly, P. Diddy and Kid Rock, 2004

Janet Jackson's infamous wardrobe malfunction that exposed her right breast during her 2004 Super Bowl duet of "Rock Your Body" with Justin Timberlake didn't revive her career but it did overshadow the New England Patriots' defeat of the Carolina Panthers. 

Madonna, Nicki Minaj and M.I.A., 2012

Madonna, the first female Super Bowl half-time headliner since Nipplegate, as Jackson's slip became known, entered Indianapolis' Lucas Oil Stadium on a golden throne carried by muscled gladiators. Look closely when Nicky Minaj and M.I.A. joins her on stage. M.I.A. gives the middle finger to the cameras and later tries to explain it away as a yogic meditation sign. 

Katy Perry, Lenny Kravitz​ and Missy Elliott, 2015

Not to be outdone by Madonna, Katy Perry upped the razzle dazzle factor, singing "Roar" while riding on the back of a gigantic animatronic lion. The talking point was Perry's four costume changes including a playsuit striped like a beach ball. The klutzy moves of a dancing shark which flanked Perry during a staged beach scene became a social media sensation. The half-time show attracted 118.5 million viewers, the largest audience in the history of the Super Bowl. It also won two Emmys.

Beyoncé​ and Destiny's Child, 2013

Beyonce revived her former group Destiny's Child for her first Super Bowl performance. So good was she, Beyonce has been invited back to collaborate with the British supergroup Coldplay on their hit song, "Hymn for the Weekend" for the 2016 Super Bowl.

The 50th Super Bowl takes place Monday February 8, Sydney time. The Carolina Panthers will play the Denver Broncos at Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, in California.