MANILA, Philippines – Audiences are gearing up for Justin Timberlake’s upcoming performance at the Super Bowl LII halftime show, but as the date draws nearer – the game is scheduled for February 4 in the US – people can’t help but recall the last time Timberlake was on the Super Bowl stage. After all, who could forget his controversial performance with Janet Jackson that ended in a “wardrobe malfunction” that caused a national scandal.
The show is just one of many Super Bowl performances that have been seared into our collective memory for whatever reason, proving that absolutely anything can happen on the show that has become one of the biggest events in pop music.
Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson (2004)
In 2004, the R&B crooner performed his song “Rock Your Body” with Janet Jackson and unintentionally exposed her breast at the end of the number. The incident, which the two artists maintain was an accident, caused a national scandal, and adversely impacted Jackson’s career – she was disinvited from the Grammys that year and blacklisted from several performances and events in the aftermath. Timberlake’s return to the Super Bowl stage has even birthed the hashtag #JusticeforJanet, demanding that she join Timberlake again in this year’s show.
Lady Gaga (2017)
Lady Gaga’s performance started with the mother monster singing “This Land is Your Land” from the roof of the stadium against an American flag formed by 300 drones, and then jumping a long way down to the stage to perform a high-energy medley of all her greatest hits. Everything about it, from her crystallized Versace outfits to the choreography that had her suspended in the air for a good chunk of the performance, to the dazzling fluorescent lights on stage, came together for the kind of spectacle that only Lady Gaga can pull off.
Katy Perry (2015)
Katy Perry definitely knows how to make an entrance, and she proved it as she kicked off her Super Bowl appearance astride a giant geometric tiger with burning red eyes. The performance also features Perry performing a rocked-up version of “I Kissed a Girl” with Lenny Kravitz on guitars and rapping with Missy Elliott on “Get Ur Freak On.” The performance also birthed a meme when Perry’s backup dancer, clad in a shark costume, went rogue and became the Left Shark we all know and love.
With Beyonce onstage, audiences can expect nothing short of history being made, and that was certainly the case at her halftime show performance in 2013. The number featured Beyonce singing a mashup of her biggest hits (starting with “Love on Top”) and dancing hard-hitting choreography in perfect sync with a spectacular motion graphics display. The show also saw a Destiny’s Child reunion as Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams joined Beyonce onstage to sing the group’s classic hits, as well as Beyonce’s iconic “Single Ladies.”
Michael Jackson (1993)
Long before Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and Beyonce were making their explosive entrances, there was Michael Jackson, who kicked off his show by seemingly appearing onstage out of thin air. The King of Pop then launched into a medley of his songs including “Billie Jean,” “Jam,” and “Black or White,” changing the face of the Super Bowl Halftime Show for years to come.
Paul McCartney (2005)
Having a former Beatle on stage means you’re up for a legendary show, and Paul McCartney delivered, playing Bond anthem “Live and Let Die,” as well as Beatles classics “Drive my Car,” “Get Back,” and a rousing rendition of “Hey Jude,” in which he led the entire stadium as they raised their voices to the song’s inimitable refrain.
It was a rainy day at the Super Bowl in 2007, but Prince took that setback and turned it into art. The legend took the risk of performing with electric guitars on a slippery, Love Symbol-shaped stage outlined with flourescent lights, and it paid off. By the time he started singing “Purple Rain” in the drizzle, the show had become a piece of moving poetry. His performance is considered by many to be the greatest in Super Bowl halftime show history – a recognition that is hard to contest.
Justin Timberlake evidently has a lot to live up to, and we hope it doesn’t take another wardrobe malfunction for his upcoming Super Bowl performance to go down in history. How do you think he’ll fare this year? Sound off in the comments! – Rappler.com
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