While the Super Bowl is one of the biggest television events in the United States every year, the star-studded halftime show is often what gets the most online attention.
In 2023, Rihanna returned to the stage for the first time in more than five years to perform at Super Bowl LVII at Glendale, Ariz.’s State Farm Stadium, and the hype surrounding the performance led to a history making accomplishment. With 121.017 million viewers, RiRi’s performance narrowly surpassed Katy Perry’s 2015 performance as the most-watched halftime show of all time.
Rihanna’s achievement comes after Nielsen revised this year’s original 118.7 million viewers “after a review that revealed encoding irregularities as well as issues with out-of-home measurement,” according to the Associated Press. (The revised report regarding the Super Bowl LVII game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles also made this year’s football match the most-watched Super Bowl in history with 115.1 million viewers.)
Over the years, a number of stars have passed the 100 million viewership mark, stretching all the way back to Black Eyed Peas’ 2011 performance. From Rihanna and Beyoncé to Bruno Mars and Justin Timberlake, see below for the Super Bowl halftime shows with the all-time most viewership.
Jennifer Lopez & Shakira
Total viewers: 104 million
Two female Latin powerhouses took the Super Bowl LIV stage in 2020, as Jennifer Lopez and Shakira traded off performing their hits, like Lopez’s “Jenny From the Block” and “Waiting for Tonight” and Shakira’s “She Wolf” and “Hips Don’t Lie.” Bad Bunny, J Balvin, and Lopez’s daughter Emme Muñiz all joined them onstage as guests, and the performance had a total viewership of 104 million.
Total viewers: 106.6 million
Justin Timberlake 2018 Super Bowl LII performance garnered 106.6 million viewers with hits like “Sexy Back,” “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” and a Prince tribute with a rendition of “I Would Die 4 U.”
Black Eyed Peas
Total viewers: 110.2 million
With 110.2 million viewers, Black Eyed Peas’ 2011 Super Bowl XLV halftime show performance makes the list. The group performed songs like “I Gotta Feeling,” “Boom Boom Pow” and “Where Is the Love?”
Total viewers: 110.8 million
Yes, Bey made the list twice. Her solo show included hits like “Halo” and “Run The World (Girls)” before an iconic Destiny’s Child reunion with Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams to perform “Bootylicious,” “Independent Women Part I” and “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It).” The 2013 XLVII halftime show garnered 110.8 million viewers.
Total viewers: 114 million
Madonna took the Super Bowl XLVI stage in 2012 with a viewership of 114 million, as she performed a slew of her hits and welcomed LMFAO onstage to deliver renditions of “Music,” “Party Rock Anthem” and “Sexy and I Know It.”
Total viewers: 115.3 million
Bruno Mars brought the heat to 2014’s Super Bowl XLVIII with slick performances of “Locked Out of Heaven,” “Treasure” and “Runaway Baby,” in addition to a guest appearance by Red Hot Chili Peppers. His show garnered 115.3 million views, just shy of Coldplay’s numbers.
Total viewers: 115.5 million
Beyoncé and Bruno Mars joined Coldplay during the band’s 2016 halftime show, which got 115.5 million viewers with performances of “Yellow,” “Paradise,” “Viva la Vida” and “Fix You,” among other hits.
Total viewers: 117.5 million
Gaga’s 2017 performance for Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, featured hits songs like “Poker Face,” “Born This Way,” “Paparazzi” and “Just Dance,” and ultimately brought in 117.5 million views.
Total viewers: 121 million
With 121 million views, Katy Perry’s 2015 performance at at Super Bowl XLIX trails just behind RiRi as the second most-watched show. The meme-making performance (remember Left Shark?) featured Lenny Kravitz, Missy Elliot and the Arizona State University Sun Devil Marching Band as Perry performed hits like “Roar,” “California Gurls” and “Firework.”
Total viewers: 121.017 million
With 121.017 million viewers, Rihanna’s 2023 performance during Super Bowl LVII is the most-watched halftime show in history.
During her performance at Glendale, Ariz.’s State Farm Stadium, she revealed she was pregnant with her second child with partner A$AP Rocky, and performed Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hits like “Only Girl (in the World),” “We Found Love,” “S&M,” “Rude Boy,” “Work” and many more.