(WHTM) — The Super Bowl Halftime started back in 1967, however it wasn’t exactly what you’d imagine it to be.
In 1967, the first Super Bowl Halftime show was performed by the University of Arizona Symphonic Marching Band. So, it technically was a halftime show, minus the fireworks and flashing lights.
The Super Bowl Halftime Show came to be what we know it as today back in the 90’s. Up until the 1990’s, marching bands typically headlined the show. That was until Michael Jackson headlined the Halftime Show in 1993.
The King of Pop popularized having recent superstars headline the show.
According to an article on sportscasting.com, the NFL will only pick performers who meet certain criteria to perform at the Halftime Show. Artists must be popular, have a certain music genre, and have high performance value.
The article also states that most artists don’t play the Super Bowl more than once. Artists like Bruno Mars, Stevie Wonder, and Justin Timberlake, just to name a few, have broken this mold, playing the Halftime Show more than once.
Performers at the Halftime Show don’t make a penny. However, the free advertising that these performers gain from the performance is well worth it. Artists will usually see album and ticket sales skyrocket.
It’s safe to say that the NFL wants to bring in as many views as possible during the Super Bowl. But which performers brought in the highest views?
These are the five most watched Super Bowl Halftime Shows:
5. Madonna – 114 million viewers: Madonna performed in 2012 at Super Bowl XLVI. The singer didn’t perform alone, as she brought a plethora of guests with her. LMFAO, Cirque du Solei, Nicki Minaj, M.I.A., Cee Lo Green, Andy Lewis, Avon High Schohol Drumline, Center Grove High School Drumline, Fishers High School Drumline, Franklin Central High School Drumline, Southern University Dancing Dolls, and a 200-person choir joined her on stage.
4. Bruno Mars – 115.3 million viewers: Bruno Mars performed in 2014 at Super Bowl XLVIII. With only two albums under his belt, Mars was asked to perform. Known for being very picky about his collaborations, Mars invited the Red Hot Chili Peppers to perform with him at the show. A choir of children also performed a rendition of “Billionaire” to open the show. Mars performed on a small stage with his band, using minimal special effects, showcasing his ability to perform and entertain.
3. Coldplay – 115.5 million viewers: Coldplay performed in 2016 at Super Bowl 50. Coldplay didn’t perform alone, as they brought many guests with them including Beyoncé, Bruno Mars, Mark Ronson, Gustavo Dudamel, the University of California Marching Band, and Youth Orchestra L.A. Coldplay performed some of their iconic hits. Later in the show Bruno Mars and Beyoncé had a “dance off” that segwayed into Coldplay, Bruno, and Beyoncé performing together at the end of the show.
2. Lady Gaga – 117.5 million viewers: Lady Gaga performed in 2017 at Super Bowl LI. Lady Gaga performed many of her hits and did the whole show solo, without any collaborations. However, she did have many back up dancers and special effects throughout her show, making her show entertaining and unique.
1. Katy Perry – 118.5 million viewers: Katy Perry performed in 2015 at Super Bowl XLIX. Katy Perry had special guests Lenny Kravitz, Missy Elliott, and the Arizona State University Sun Devil Marching Band join her in her performance. The collaborations, special effects, and the iconic “left shark,” led to the performance’s high views and extreme entertainment value.