The NFL's biggest game of the year is also the biggest concert of the year. The halftime gig is, as big as it gets. These five times were, as good as it gets.

These giant Super Bowl halftime productions with popular music stars didn't start until 1991 with New Kids on the Block. From 1967 until 1991, the Super Bowl halftime shows featured, college and high school marching bands, big band & jazz stars, old-school crooners and the service group who also sang, Up With People (check out wiki for the Up With People story).

The NFL wanted to boost it's audience durning halftime, so a move to more contemporary acts was the perfect choice. Starting in 1991 with NKOTB, then to Gloria Estefan in '92 and in 1993, the biggest pop star on Earth. Michael Jackson. The current popular musical act thing worked very well until Janet Jackson's boob was unsurprisingly uncovered by Justin Timberlake in 2004.

After 'Nipplegate', the NFL chose more of what they called 'family friendly artists', for the next six years. Those years weren't bad, they just were lacking. Lacking in bold new ideas and showmanship; all the things we've come to love about the Super Bowl Halftime Show.

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These Are The 5 Best Super Bowl Halftime Shows... Change My Mind.

Janet & Justin in 2004

I still believe this whole thing was planned. He pulled off her breast cover right during the part of the song where he sings, "I'm gonna have you naked by the end of this song." He was only keeping his promise. These two were so hot together on that stage. The dancing, the music... and again, HOT. I mean come one. It's Janet and Justin.

This was a pretty star-studded show, too. Besides Janet and Justin; P. Diddy, Nelly and Kid Rock, were part of the show as well.


These Are The 5 Best Super Bowl Halftime Shows... Change My Mind.

U2 in 2002

America's most-watched television event brought us all to tears, as all the names of those killed from the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, were featured on the moving backdrop. Emotionally, we were all so lifted as U2 began playing Where The Streets Have No Name. Bono runs a circle around the entire stage, then lifts open his jacket, and the lining inside was the American flag. I was numb.


These Are The 5 Best Super Bowl Halftime Shows... Change My Mind.

Bruno Mars in 2014

Since the moment Bruno came on the scene he's proven he can do it all. What we didn't know until this performance is that he's also one bad-ass drummer. This was the night, the little boy who was once an Elvis impersonator (look that up), grew up and owned the world. He was so good, they brought him back the following year.

The next Super Bowl Halftime Show Bruno did, he wasn't the only headliner. Coldplay opened the show, and Beyonce closed, but Bruno was definitely the best part of the show.


These Are The 5 Best Super Bowl Halftime Shows... Change My Mind.

Michael Jackson in 1993

Nothing else needs to be said. The King of Pop.


These Are The 5 Best Super Bowl Halftime Shows... Change My Mind.

Prince in 2007

While Prince never disappoints, this performance was extra special. Lots of money is spent on these shows but no matter how much money you spend YOU CANNOT MAKE IT RAIN. And, it rained hard. It was a downpour. It rained on Prince as he played Purple Rain. That's the universe telling you... dis dude is the baddest m*****f***** of all time.

 

Here's EVERY Super Bowl halftime show ever.

Steve Shannon is host of The Steve Shannon Show on 97ZOK. On the air weekday mornings from 6 to 10 a.m. and a special 'Rewind' show, featuring favorite moments from previous shows, on Saturday mornings from 5 to 7 a.m.. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram, and like his page on Facebook.

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