We are all excited about Madonna's performance this Sunday, but Super Bowl halftime shows weren't always about popular recording artists. As the most-watched event in television history, it's hard to imagine the game without celebrities and pyrotechnics. The show has come a long way since college marching bands, so let's take a look at some of the great and most memorable Super Bowl halftime moments.
Super Bowl III: Florida A&M University:
Towards the end of the Civil rights movement, the 1969 halftime show was lead by the marching band of famed historically black college, Florida A&M University.
Super Bowl XVI: Up With the People:
Do you remember Up With the People? Well the NFL really liked this act! The international education organization featured a cast of about 100 students from 20 different countries. They performed at four different Super Bowls during the late 1970's and through the 80's.
Super Bowl XXV: New Kids on the Block:
Step by Step, the halftime shows took a more commercial direction in 1991. New Kids on the Block and Disney teamed up for a "Small World" rendition of the huge boy band sensation.
Super Bowl XXVI: Gloria Estefan:
Gloria Estefan brought the heat to a Winter Olympics themed halftime show in 1992, singing her early nineties hits Live for Loving You and Get On Your Feet.
Super Bowl XXVII: Michael Jackson:
It was hard to tell if this was a halftime show, or a world tour Michael Jackson concert. Michael pulled out all the stops at his 1993 performance singing hits from his Dangerous album and promoting humanitarian efforts.
Super Bowl XXXI: The Blues Brothers:
Opening as a breaking news report, Dan Aykroyd, James Belushi and John Goodman gave us the laughs and the soulful sounds of The Blues Brothers at Super Bowl 31.
Super Bowl XXXV: 'N Sync, Aerosmith, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige, and Nelly:
A tribute to all things great about music, we got a mix of pop, rock, rap, and soul at Super Bowl 35 in 2001. Opening with 'N Sync and pyro literally bursting from the hands of Justin Timberlake, the boy band teamed with Aerosmith, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige and Nelly in a collaborative effort to Walk This Way.
Super Bowl XXVI: U2:
U2 gave a beautiful tribute performance to the victims of Sept 11th in 2002. They definitely set the tone for patriotism and unity at Super Bowl 26.
Super Bowl XXXVIII: Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake:
Remember Janet's powerful message of anti-bigotry, illiteracy, and ignorance during her 2004 halftime performance? Of course you don't! You probably don't even remember the other performers which included rap artist P. Diddy, Kid Rock and Nelly. The controversy surrounding the Janet/Justin performance caused such a ruckus that it resulted in major fines and changes to FCC regulations. Talk about rockin' the house, more like rockin' the nation!
Super Bowl XXXIX & Super Bowl XL: Paul McCartney and The Rolling Stones:
The NFL played it safe for the following two years booking Rock legends Paul McCartney in 2005 and The Rolling Stones in 2006. A nice change for fans of classic rock n' roll.
Super Bowl XLI: Prince:
Prince summoned the purple rain during his 2007 performance at Super Bowl 41. He showed that was a true artist by entertaining millions on a rainy Sunday night in Miami, FL.
Super Bowl XLIII: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band:
Bruce Springsteen commanded viewers to "put the chicken fingers down and turn the TV all the way up," in 2009. Springsteen and the E Street Band put on a high-energy performance with the entire stadium singing along. It proved to be a definite crowd pleaser.
Super Bowl XLV: The Black Eyed Peas:
With hundred of dancers dressed in white suits and neon lights the Black Eyed Peas took flash mob mania to the extreme for their performance at Super Bowl 45. The performance also featured a moving stage, a surprise appearance by Slash and Usher dropping in by high wire.