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Throwback Thursday: Super Bowl Halftime Shows

The 51st annual Super Bowl event with the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons is right around the corner, and that means we are in for a day filled with not just the game but highly anticipated commercials and a halftime show. For this week’s ‘Throwback Thursday’, let’s look back at some of the most talked about halftime shows. (These are in no particular order.)

Aerosmith, N’Sync, Britney Spears, Nelly, and Mary J. Blige (2001)

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXiUlnRJqps[/embedyt]

This show had pop’s boy band heartthrobs, N’Sync, trading songs with rock’s classic band, Aerosmith. It kicks off with “Bye Bye Bye” and then blends into “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.” N’Sync comes back with “It’s Gonna Be Me” which mixes into Aerosmith’s “Jaded”. The final song brought out a crazy blend of all things pop with Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige, and Nelly joining in for an impressive rendition of “Walk This Way.”

Beyonce, Kelly Rowland, and Michelle Williams (2013)

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdeyqChOSwk[/embedyt]

Beyonce’s high energy performance slayed with a montage of her greatest hits. She is definitely a force to be reckoned with on stage. However, the part that had me dancing up a storm was when she brought out Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams from Destiny’s Child! Fans had been waiting a long time for these three ‘angels’ to reunite and this was a perfect night to give viewers a performance to remember.

Madonna, LMFAO, Nicki Minaj, M.I.A., and Cee Lo Green (2012)

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W795W63n7mA[/embedyt]

Only Madonna could get away with such an elaborate Egyptian set for the start of her halftime show with her song “Vogue.” The theme then transforms into a funky club like smash up with LMFAO for “Music” and their song “Party Rock Anthem”/”Sexy And I Know It.” Next thing you know, it’s a squad of cheerleaders with Nicki Minaj and M.I.A.  She ends with a choir and Cee Lo Green for “Like A Prayer.” Madonna proved that she could still hang with the best of them and hold her own on stage.

U2 (2002)

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBzdittT3c4[/embedyt]

There is no denying that U2 knows how to get a crowd going. The show began with their song “Beautiful Day.” It then went into a beautiful tribute to the 9/11 victims. As the names of all the victims scrolled on a gigantic screen behind them, they entered into “Where The Streets Have No Name”.  Bono finished out the song by opening his jacket and revealing red, white and blue stripes and stars within the lining. They were able to bring love and compassion in a time when the country was still reeling from the events of 9/11. It was epic!

Prince (2007)

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_czx0hWPlI[/embedyt]

Despite the crazy stormy forecast that plagued this game, Prince powered through and played as if the rain was all part of the plan. In fact, his response to producers regarding the weather concerns was, “Can you make it rain harder?” In true Prince fashion, he rocked the stadium with not only his hits “1999” and “Let’s Go Crazy”, but also others classics such as “Proud Mary” and “All Along the Watchtower”. No one else could have pulled off a super cool performance drenched in water except for him. His grand finale “Purple Rain”, brought the house down for the finish. Re-watching this performance reminds us that we have lost an incredible artist!

Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake, P. Diddy, Nelly, Kid Rock, and Jessica Simpson (2004)

[embedyt] https://youtu.be/n75nNPE5Zhs [/embedyt]

How many of us remember that P. Diddy, Nelly, Kid Rock, and Jessica Simpson also performed that year? I, for one, forgot! Of course, this was the year of the infamous accidental nipple slip that caused quite the stir across America and overshadowed the rest of the performances. The FCC went after MTV and Janet Jackson, who unlike Justin Timberlake, bore the bulk of the blame. It took some time for Timberlake and Jackson to recover from that incident. Thirteen years later, do you think America would react in the same way?

The Super Bowl LI airs this Sunday, February 5 at 6:30 p.m. EST on FOX. Don’t miss this year’s halftime performance from Lady Gaga!

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Shikha Bajracharya

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Music geek. Professional TV and movie nerd. Typical travelaholic. Passionate food aficionado. Organizer. Pop culture junkie.