The Edge, Michelle Williams, Carrie Underwood, LMFAO's Redfoo and More Reflect on Past Performances
Each Super Bowl halftime performance is seen by millions of people in dozens of countries -- as one of the largest stages in the world, it's a bit of a nerve-racking opportunity, and one that only a few musical artists have been given. As Bruno Mars prepares to take the Super Bowl halftime test, Billboard spoke with a handful of artists who have already been there, and passed with flying colors.
From LMFAO's Redfoo looking back at dancing with Madonna and Roger Daltrey reflecting on The Who's American invasion to Nelly reminiscing about Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction," check out what these artists remember most about their Super Bowl Performances.
DESTINY'S CHILD'S MICHELLE WILLIAMS, who performed with Beyonce in 2013: Oh, the Super Bowl was beautiful. When three good girlfriends are together, you're free and you don't care who's around; you're just trying to catch up and be goofy. I had a blast. People at home watching... they don't catch the moments where, like in the 'Charlie's Angels' pose, I was smiling. We were all smiling. I was laughing with my girls. It was a beautiful thing.
LMFAO'S REDFOO, who performed alongside Madonna at 2012's halftime extravaganza: "Madonna has always been known for pulling off excellent shows. We were doing a lot of choreography in our shows as well, and I think we were ready to practice as hard as she wanted to practice and rehearse as much as she wanted to rehearse. It was very professional and I enjoyed it so much, because when you rehearse that much, there's no nerves. What you saw on the Super Bowl was probably rehearsed 100 to 150 times -- the exact movements."
U2'S THE EDGE, who helped perform an emotional set in 2002 that included a tribute to the victims of 9/11: "I can't even remember the names of the teams at this point. I remember being really up for the team that eventually won (the New England Patriots) because they were the underdogs and no one thought they had a chance, and they were amazing. I really was completely absorbed by the game. I'm not particularly knowledgable about American football but it in terms of pure drama it was pretty hard not to watch."
CARRIE UNDERWOOD, who performed the national anthem as Super Bowl XLIV in 2010: "Performing the national anthem at the Super Bowl was one of the most amazing, nerve-racking, and awesome moments of my career! Singing live a cappella in front of that many people at one time was the experience of a lifetime, and I'm so very honored to have had the opportunity."
AEROSMITH'S TOM HAMILTON, who joined the veteran rockers in playing hits like "I Don't Want To Miss a Thing" and "Walk This Way" during the Super Bowl XXXV halftime show: "It's the biggest thing there is. The whole world is watching. So when the phone rings and the guy on the other end says, 'Do you guys want to play the halftime show at the Super Bowl?', you're definitely going to pay attention."
'N SYNC's LANCE BASS, who joined Aerosmith, Britney Spears, Nelly, Mary J. Blige and the rest of the boy band during the Super Bowl XXXV halftime show in 2001: "It was very cool. When they came up with the idea of doing the Super Bowl, we were like, 'OK, we gotta do it with Aerosmith. It's a great idea.' They're one of my favorite bands in the world. We've known them for years; they're great guys."
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JORDIN SPARKS, who performed the national anthem as Super Bowl XLII in 2008: "Singing the National Anthem at Superbowl XLII was a huge moment for me. It was in my hometown of Glendale [Arizona], my favorite sport and the Giants were playing!! As a daughter of a former NFL Giants and Cowboys player, I grew up loving and obsessing over the game of football. I even wanted to play at one point but my parents were having none of that. I was standing on the sidelines trying to even my breathing, when my dad said, 'At least one of us made it to the Superbowl' with a wink. I saw he was looking down with such pride and joy that it made me beam too! I will never forget that moment as long as I live. As for actually performing, it's the most nervous I've ever been so far in my career. I felt so honored to be singing our Nation's song, but it was over before I knew it and I was in my seat watching the game!"
THE WHO'S ROGER DALTREY, who led sing-alongs to "Baba O'Riley" and "Who Are You" during the halftime show at Super Bowl XLIV: "I was flabbergasted. It really is an honor, and coming from where we come from, being kind of totally inspired by American music at such a young age and then playing something like that, that's such an American institution, is unbelievable. I've never ceased to be completely, incredibly humbled by the affections show by America to the Who. It's been an incredible relationship."
NELLY, who performed with Kid Rock, P. Diddy, Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson during the 2004 halftime show, which featured the infamous exposure of Jackson's right breast: "It's hard not to think of that show and not remember [Jackson's wardrobe malfunction]. I was shocked! I mean, you know -- it was a titty out! However it came out, accident or whatever, it came out! I mean, it was what it was. You know, I don't see everybody blowing a gasket for it."
E STREET BAND'S NILS LOFGREN, who joined Bruce Springsteen for Super Bowl XLIII in 2009, performing hits like "Born To Run" and "Glory Days" in between the Steelers-Cardinals showdown: "It was great. It goes way beyond just a gig. First of all, TV's never your favorite thing to do in a great band because it removes the three-hour sweat fest. That being said, after 40 years on the road it's without a doubt...the best and greatest TV show opportunity any of us will ever have, at least speaking for myself. Of course, I got greedy there at the end and was hoping my team (the Arizona Cardinals) would win, but I got over it and it was a great game, and it was a great week down there, and good to see John Madden, my old buddy."
BOYZ II MEN'S NATHAN MORRIS, who was featured alongside icons like Smokey Robinson, The Temptations and Queen Latifah for a Motown 40th Anniversary tribute in 1998: "We were just happy to be there. It was our first Super Bowl and we are all huge football fans, so just being there was exciting… It was absolutely incredible. We were signed to Motown early on in our career, so to share the stage with those greats and have the opportunity perform alongside that legacy was a blessing!"
Additional reporting by Fred Bronson and Gary Graff