Daily Dirt: From Diana to Prince, here are the top Super Bowl halftimes


Prince performed at halftime of the 2007 Super Bowl in the middle of a rainstorm in Miami. | Photo courtesy of Fox Sports

Daily Dirt for Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022 

We’re only a few days away from the Super Bowl. It’s no secret that a major part of any Super Bowl is the halftime show. The first of today’s three thoughts offers a countdown of the 10 best Super Bowl halftime shows since the game’s inception. Welcome to Vol. 206 of The Daily Dirt.

1. The musicoholics.com site ranked the past Super Bowl halftime performances. These were the top 10.

  • 10. Diana Ross (1996): “It was probably one of the best solo performances of the ‘90s for the Super Bowl,” wrote Gur Tirosh. She arrived on a sparkling platform as her name was spelled out in lights on the field, singing ‘Stop in the Name of Love.’ Her extended medley included songs ‘You Keep Me Hangin’ On,’ ‘Baby Love,’ ‘You Can’t Hurry Love’ and ‘Why Do Fools Fall in Love’ — some of the most popular songs of all time.
  • 9. Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake, P. Diddy, Kid Rock, Jessica Simpson and Nelly (2004): Yep, the “mishap” that Janet Jackson’s career never recovered from was the “highlight” of this show. It wound up overshadowing what had been a power-packed performance. 
  • 8. Paul McCartney (2005): This followed the Justin Timberlake-Janet Jackson fiasco the previous ear. Sir Paul’s performance “was appreciated for the good, clean fun it brought,” according to Tirosh.
  • 7. Lady Gaga (2017): She stood on a gigantic pillar hung by wires as she flew around singing “Poker Face,” with fireworks exploding in the background. Dancers later joined her for her for some rather eccentric choreography for the “Born this Way” production.
  • 6. Madonna (2012): She was pulled into the stadium by an ancient Egyptian-themed chariot and dancers as she began singing “Vogue.” Just your regular run-of-the-mill Madonna display of subtlety.
  • 5. U2 (2002): The show was received with mixed reactions since it was a challenging time for America following the Sept. 11 terror attacks a few months earlier, and it wasn’t necessarily a time for celebrating. Others, however, felt the tribute was sentimental. The Indianapolis Star called it a “touching tribute,” while The Hartford Courant called it a “perfect fit” for the time.
  • 4. Aerosmith, Britney Spears, N’Sync, Nelly, Mary J. Blige (2001):  The show allowed fans to stand on the field that surrounded the stage and feel part of the show. Aerosmith wowed the crowd with with “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.”
  • 3. Beyonce (2013): “Expectations were high, and she delivered,” Tirosh said. “A Vince Lombardi speech started playing in the background, enveloping Beyonce’s aura of perfection.”
  • 2. Michael Jackson (1993): Jackson stood on stage for two minutes before his guitarist started playing, then he broke into his famed dance moves leading into “Billie Jean.” “Jackson’s dancing was so unique the audience couldn’t help but keep their eyes glued to the performance as he sang ‘Black and White’,” Tirosh noted.
  • 1. Prince (2007): The opening segment began with Queens’s “We Will Rock You.” Prince then exploded on to the stage wearing a turquoise suit and black head wrap. He was joined on stage for “Let’s Go Crazy” by his band, the New Power Generation, plus dancing duo Maya and Nandy McClean, who were touring with him. He then walked across the stage, jamming on his bright and orange guitar. “Prince tasted all genres and incredible artists, from ‘All Along the Watchtower’ by Bob Dylan and ‘Best of You’ by the Foo Fighters,” Tirosh noted. “What made Prince’s performance special wasn’t just his presence and vocals, but the fact that his song choices were utterly unexpected, and he took them on and made them exceptional.” It also rained during the performance, which contributed to his “Purple Rain” rendition.

2. Here are five of the worst Valentine’s Day pick-up lines I have come across:

  • “I’m wearing gloves today because you are too hot to handle”.
  • “You’re hotter than the bottom of my laptop”.
  • “Hey, are you my college loan? Because you’ve got my interest!”
  • “Are you on the Starbucks menu? Because I like you a latte”.
  • “You know what’s on the Valentine’s Day menu? Me-n-u.”

3. I found the following little dandies on Facebook. Thought they might pique your interest on a chilly February day:

  • “I made fish tacos today, but they just ignored them and swam away.” (OK, read it again. It took me twice, too.)
  • “If a cookie falls on the floor and you pick it up … that’s a squat, right?”
  • “You could have literally sever an arm in the ’70s and your mom would have slapped some of this stuff (mercurochrome) on your bloody nub and sent you back outside.”
  • “I lifted up my shirt and a Cheeto fell out. So there’s that.”
  • “The real reason this generation is so angry is because their music sucks.”

Steve Fact O’ The Day
After reading the top 10 Super Bowl performances, Steve said, “Give me the Diana Ross concert. You can have the other nine.” 

Isn’t it amazing Steve recently called Prince “overrated” yet Prince’s halftime show in 2007 is ranked No. 1? (Steve is kind of difficult to figure out sometimes.)

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