The Super Bowl half time shows used to consist of marching bands and pom-poms from high schools and colleges across the country. This all changed in the '90s, when the idea to hire A-list musicians set a brand new precedent for half time show entertainment and also significantly increased TV ratings and viewers. Some may even argue that some of the half time performances are more memorable than the championship football game.
Here are just a few of the most memorable moments from the last two decades of Super Bowl half time shows.
Michael Jackson's 1993 performance at Super Bowl XXVII attracted more viewers in those 15 minutes of singing and moon walking than any other moment throughout the duration of the game. The King of Pop performed the hits "Black or White," "Billie Jean," and was later joined by 3,500 children to sing Jackson's classic, "Heal the World."
Fast forward to 2001, Super Bowl XXXV. Britney Spears, the princess of pop, and her then-boyfriend, Justin Timberlake, took the stage with Aerosmith front man Steven Tyler to sing the sexy rock 'n roll classic "Walk This Way ." Comedic trio Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler and Chris Rock also performed during the show, as well as hip-hop superstars Mary J. Blige and Nelly.
There were very few dry eyes in the audience after U2 performed a spine-tingling 9/11 tribute at the Super Bowl XXVI halftime show in 2002. Hundreds of names of those who lost their lives in the attacks were projected and scrolling on a large silver screen behind the rock group as they sang their rendition of "Where the Streets Have No Name."
Continuing the 2002 theme of patriotism, "Rock the Vote" was supposed to be the inspiring message of Super Bowl XXVIII's half time show, which featured P. Diddy, Kid Rock, Nelly, Janet Jackson, and Justin Timberlake. However, once Timberlake "accidentally" pulled off the breast of Jackson's outfit -- revealing nothing but a silver sequined pasty -- viewers only latched onto one message: "wardrobe malfunction ."