Another Super Bowl is upon us, and that means another star-studded halftime show. For this Sunday (February 2) at Super Bowl XLVIII, Bruno Mars is prepping an epic set that will include the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but what about the past? Break out the beer and wings, and watch as we countdown the ten most spectacular Super Bowl halftime performances ever.
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10. Michael Jackson, 1993
Eager to keep viewers glued to their televisions, the NFL whipped up the Biggest Freaking Halftime Show Ever, starring Michael Jackson. The King of Pop whipped viewers into a frenzy with a lip-synched medley of "Jam," "Billie Jean" and "Black or White." MJ then cued up a snippet of "We Are The World" as the crowd turned over cards revealing drawings by the children of Los Angeles. And just in case viewers missed his message of harmony, MJ concluded with "Heal the World," while surrounded by 3,500 youngsters, as a blow-up globe deployed on the 50 yard line.
9. Aerosmith, 'N Sync & Britney Spears, 2001
Through Steven Tyler's musical career has been recently sidelined by a stream of band and personal issues, he and Aerosmith were first-round picks back in 2001. Besides the show's hard-rocking headliners, 2001's epic halftime opened with 'N Sync's "Bye, Bye, Bye." The two bands traded songs and verses until the stage exploded with the addition of Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige and Nelly for a show-stopping rendition of "Walk This Way."
8. Paul McCartney, 2005
A purported "safe choice" by the NFL following the previous year's "Nipplegate," McCartney signaled the transition from contemporary pop acts to older rock gods performing at halftime. Atop an X-shaped stage made of video projectors, the Beatle first warmed up with "Drive My Car." He then followed up with "Get Back," before trading his guitar for a piano during a fireworks-laden rendition of the Wings' Bond theme, "Live and Let Die." Saving his best for last, McCartney signed off with "Hey Jude," during which the 84,000 in attendance at Jacksonville's Alltel Stadium all joined in for the iconic coda.
7. Janet Jackson & Justin Timberlake, 2004
It was the day that the phrase "wardrobe malfunction" entered the American vernacular. Debate about whether Justin Timberlake accidentally or "accidentally" exposed Janet's little Jackson has raged since that Houston halftime. FCC fines have been assessed, thrown out and appealed in judicial court, and the court of popular opinon will be in sessions for years. But bedazzled breast or not, you have to admit that J&J put on a pretty kick-ass show. It's a shame all anyone remembers is the last two seconds.
6. The Rolling Stones, 2006
Considering the fact that the veteran Brits are behind one of the best-known kickoff jams, "Start Me Up," it was natural that the Rolling Stones featured the hit, which reached No. 2 on the Hot 100 in 1981, during their 2006 halftime show. On a stage built to look like the Stones' iconic lips logo, Mick and co.'s 12-minute set was rounded out by "Rough Justice" and the classic "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction." But in the post-wardrobe-malfunction halftime world, the NFL opted for a five-second tape delay that allowed censors to mute parts of "Start Me Up" and "Rough Justice" deemed too sexually explicit.