The Five Best Super Bowl Halftime Shows in History

The Super Bowl halftime show is one of the biggest spectacles in all of entertainment. Performing in front of millions worldwide, it's a huge accomplishment for any musician's career.

Over the years there have been many memorable shows, but below are five that I believe are the best of the bunch.

U2 - Super Bowl XXXVI (2002)

It was only four months after 9/11, and America was in serious need of a patriotic boost. A band from Dublin, Ireland, wouldn't seem to be the right selection for the moment but it turned out to be one of the most memorable halftime shows ever. U2 started off with "A Beautiful Day," followed by "MLK." However, it was during the poignant "Where the Streets Have No Name" where the show really made its mark. As the band played, the names of those killed on 9/11 were displayed on a list that was scrolled behind them on a screen. By the end of the show, there wasn't a dry eye in the house.

Prince - Super Bowl XLI (2007)

In the years following the infamous "costume malfunction" of the Janet Jackson halftime show, Super Bowl organizers played it safe in selecting older, less controversial groups. In the midst of a series of (mostly) boring shows, one choice stood out: Prince. The iconic singer performed an energetic, dynamic show that included old favorites such as "1999," "Let's Go Crazy," as well as covers of songs such as "All Along the Watchtower."

Michael Jackson - Super Bowl XXVII (1993)

This might have been the last large non-controversial worldwide moment for the King of Pop before it all started to go wrong with allegations of child molestation later that year. Jackson starts the show by being shot up onto the stage and freezing in his trademark poses for well over a minute while the crowd goes crazy. His performance included hits such as "Billie Jean" and "Black Or White."

Aerosmith/NSYNC/Brittney Spears/Mary J Blige/Nelly - Super Bowl XXXV (2001)

This quick-paced halftime show was exactly the kind of spectacle that the Super Bowl aims to be. NSYNC and Aerosmith headlined the performance with a medley of their most popular songs. The finale was everything a Super Bowl halftime show should be, with pyrotechnics and multiple guest singers to raise the excitement level.

Diana Ross - Super Bowl XXX (1996)

It was an old-school performance by one of Motown's greats, and it was a fantastic show for its time. Ross sang a medley of old favorites such as "Why Do Fools Fall In Love," "Baby Love," and "Take Me Higher," among many others. In perhaps the greatest exit ever from a halftime show, Ross boarded a helicopter and was flown out of the stadium with the music still playing.