Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you know that Philly Super Bowl Mania has officially taken over the City of Brotherly Love. The street poles have been greased, Philly has been painted green and white, and “Fly Eagles Fly” has been plastered on every possible public surface. Regardless of how into football you are, it would be impossible to not get caught up in the hype. And, regardless of how into the Super Bowl you are, almost everyone tunes into the halftime show. In celebration of Super Bowl 52 and the Eagles victory, here are Street’s picks of some of the best acts to ever take the field.
1. Beyoncé, 2013
Remember when B literally SHUT. SHIT. DOWN? In straight Sasha Fierce fashion, Queen B was smoldering as she sang hits like “Love on Top” and “Crazy in Love,” while fans rushed the field. The stage lit up in perfect sync with B’s hottest dance moves. There was fire. There was a giant neon Beyoncé. There were throwbacks. There were fresh tracks. Prince had a fireworks–shooting guitar. We’re not worthy.
2. Michael Jackson, 1993
First things first, the King of Pop was announced by James Earl Jones, so you already knew that this was going to be big. In true MJ fashion, the singer popped out of the bottom of the stage and teased fans for 90 seconds before jumping into “Jam,” followed by “Billy Jean,” "Black and White,” and “Heal the World.” If you are a true '90s kid, you will remember where you were when you were glued to the screen of this revolutionary performance.
3. Paul McCartney, 2005
It was one year post–Nipplegate (Ed note: Justice for Janet ASAP). The Super Bowl needed to reassert its wholesomeness. Can you think of anyone more adorable and proper than Paul McCartney? Sir Paul started with a perfectly punk–inspired “Why Don’t We Do It in the Road,” and then went straight into some commercial hits, finishing off with a “Live and Let Die” fireworks show for the ages. We can only hope we are that awesome at 30 years old, let alone 70. Bravo, Sir.
4. Rolling Stones, 2006
It’s unclear how it took 40 years for the Stones to book the gig. If anyone knows how to rock a stadium, it’s your boys Mick and Keith. First things first, their stage was in the shape of their unmistakable Cunning Lingus tongue logo—you know, the one emblazoned on trendy hoodies—and the tongue ripped away to reveal a mosh pit underneath the tarp. Jagger bopped around and refused to self–censor some of the Stones’ more suggestive or controversial lyrics. And “Start Me Up” was a killer.
5. Prince, 2007
Ah, the purple one. If Michael Jackson revolutionized the halftime show by taking it from marching band show to pop performance, Prince fine–tuned it into the spectacle of the year. Who could forget when Prince played his iconic “Purple Rain” in the gosh–darned rain (that was lit up purple by lights, of course). It was magical. It was artistic. It was epic. And that custom purple guitar that blessed us with a face–melting guitar solo halfway through the performance? Legendary.
6. Tom Petty (RIP), 2008
For all you football fans out there, let us give you a frame of reference. The Pats are blowing a perfect season by the first half of the game. Brady became even more meme–worthy when he got sacked and had to take a moment on the field to ponder his defeat, creating the now infamous trend of “Bradying.” Basically, America needed a little bit of a hero to boost morale. Enter: Tom Petty. With a solid yet underrated lineup of hit after hit, the Heartbreakers mended our souls with pumped–up renditions of “American Girl,” “Free Fallin’,” “Running Down a Dream,” and last but certainly not least “Won’t Back Down.” Tommy Boy, you are missed.
Honorable mention: Left Shark (Katy Perry), 2015
While Katy made arguably one of the most iconic entrances in Super Bowl history (first lion to ever make it into the Super Bowl, ay), the show was definitely stolen by the now beloved Left Shark. Remarkably out of sync and cute as a button, Left Shark danced into all of our hearts that evening. Sorry, Missy, that show was almost a runaway for you. But not quite.