Entertainment Music

Monday 16 December 2019

Top 6 Super Bowl halftime show moments from left shark to Janet's renegade nipple

Can Coldplay top any of these at Super Bowl 50?

Houston Super Bowl, 2004
Houston Super Bowl, 2004
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Super Bowl 50 kicks off on Sunday night (from 110.50pm on BBC2 if you fancy staying up) but will halftime show headliners Coldplay deliver any moments as controversial or memorable as these?

Left shark, 2015

Katy Perry gave a stomping performance at last year's halftime show joined by legends Lenny Kravitz and Missy Elliot.

However, Katy and co were completely overshadowed by the dodgy dancing of a dancer in a shark suit to her left on stage.

Left shark broke the internet and went public, revealing himself to be Scott Myrick, one of Perry's long-serving backing dancers.

Myrick explained that he and his fellow shark were Katy's dancers who had replaced the trained shark dancers at the lastminute and were therefore not so au fait with the moves.

However, the routine's choreographer claimed that both sharks nailed it.

"Clearly, that was portrayed with the over zealous shark on the right hitting precise dance moves," RJ Durell told The Hollywood Reporter.

"While the left shark was playing up the more goofy, fun-spirited sports fan mascot type, who was just happy to be at the Super Bowl."

Yeah, right.

Janet Jackson's 'wardrobe malfunction', 2004

Janet's 'wardrobe malfunction' as it was dubbed by Justin Timberlake is probably the most memorable moment in the history of Super Bowl halftime shows.  JT had ripped off the leather patch over her right breast during her performance so we're not quite sure what else, aside from her breast, he had expected to be there.

The stunt generated over half a million complaints and a fine of €400,000 for CBS.  It also resulted in Janet being the most searched for term on Google News in 2005, ahead of Hurricane Katrina, the tsunami, and her brother Michael, who had been cleared of child sex abuse charges in June that year.

MIA gives the finger, 2012

Madonna gave a characteristically memorable performance during the 2012 halftime show, complete with Cleopatra costume, thigh high boots, and more pyrotechnics than the sum total generated by cities of the world for the millennium.

A record 111m viewers tuned in to watch but most of them probably don't remember Madonna, wonderful as she was, as much as British artist MIA's one-fingered salute.

The rapper and singer, real name Maya Arulpragasam, was performing with Madonna on her new single, Give Me All Your Luvin', at the game in Indianapolis when she made the gesture and sang "I don't give a shit".

Viewers saw the screen briefly blur as technicians attempted to cover it up while a spokesman for NBC, which showed the game, said: "We apologise for the inappropriate gesture that aired during half-time.

An NFL spokesman said MIA did not do anything similar during rehearsals and the league had no reason to believe she would do something like that during the actual show.

He said: "The obscene gesture in the performance was completely inappropriate, very disappointing, and we apologise to our fans."

U2 post 9/11, 2002

It was just five months after 9/11 when Bono took to the stage at the halftime show and showed his support by sewing the stars and stripes into the lining of his jacket.  Millions of viewers were moved to tears by the band's performance which was a tribute to the victims of the terrorist attack.  As they sang Beautiful Day, MLK and Where the Streets Have No Name they scrolled the names of the dead on a giant screen.

Christina Aguilera fluffs on the National Anthem, 2011

It's one of the things singers dread the most - forgetting the lyrics mid-warble.  It happened to Christina Aguilera at the Super Bowl halftime show in 2011 and probably still haunts her dreams.

Instead of singing the lyric, “O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming” she sang, “What so proudly we watched at the twilight’s last reaming.”

Despite her wobble, she was the consummate pro and continued, apparently unfazed, right to the end. 

Her mistake was all the more odd given she had been singing the national anthem since she was 7 years old and had sang it a year previously at the NBA games finals.

“I can only hope that everyone could feel my love for this country and that the true spirit of its anthem still came through," she said in a statement.

Beyonce, 2013

Nothing major happened.  But hey, it's Beyonce.

Online Editors

Editors Choice

Also in Entertainment

Back to top