MJ, Bruno Mars, and Prince: The 3 Greatest Super Bowl Halftime Performances of All Time


Last night’s Super Bowl may not have been that much fun to watch for anyone outside of that boisterous group of fans from the pacific northwest who stole their identity from College Station, Texas …

… but holy crap did the halftime show deliver.

As I tweeted in the mind-blowing aftermath: “Bruno Mars has more talent in his pinky than everyone who reads this tweet combined.”

If you missed it, or (more likely) if you just want to re-live it, here’s the video:


After it was over, I also tweeted that this was the second-best Super Bowl halftime show of all-time … after only Michael Jackson’s from 1993, which ushered in the Super-Bowl-Haltime-Show-as-Ridiculous-Entertainment-Spectacle Era.

I mean, it’s MJ, and it was the original.


But I will grant that I was overzealous in immediately pacing Bruno Mars’ performance above all non-MJ Super Bowl halftime performances.

Thanks to this tweet from Chris Thompson, I was reminded of just how great Prince’s performance of Purple Rain — in the rain! — was several years back:


That’s the only video I can find of Prince’s halftime show, as the full video has been removed from YouTube.

But remember this entrance?



I’ll still place Bruno Mars’ performance slightly above Prince’s, perhaps because of recency bias and due to the fact that I’ve had a lifelong yearning to be able to sing like he can, but it’s splitting hairs.

How would you rank them? Any that I left out that would crack your top 3?

Image credit: Getty / Larry Busacca

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