The 10 wildest Super Bowl musical moments
Yes, we know there's a little football game going on this Sunday between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons, but for music fans the main event is the Super Bowl halftime show starring Lady Gaga. As we get ready to just dance with Mother Monster, EW ranks the 10 wildest musical moments in Super Bowl history.
10. Aerosmith and *NSYNC and Britney—oh my!
As much as it is designed for mass consumption, the Super Bowl halftime show can't always be all things to all people. But it came pretty damn close in 2001, bringing together a boy band and a classic rock band, a pop princess and a hip-hop-soul queen. After *NSYNC opened the festivities for headliners Aerosmith, the epic "Walk This Way" finale piled on Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige, and Nelly. For the sheer motley-crew madness of it all, this was as wild as it gets.
9. Left Shark Goes Viral
Headlining the 2015 Super Bowl halftime show, Katy Perry roared onto the field at the University of Phoenix Stadium atop a mechanical lion. But it was another animal who stole the show from the pop diva and guests Lenny Kravitz and Missy Elliott. That would be Left Shark—the costumed dancer otherwise known as Bryan Gaw—who went rogue during the choreography for "Teenage Dream" and "California Girls," freestyling his own moves and becoming an Internet sensation. <iframe class="giphy-embed" src="//giphy.com/embed/zWlcXrBk9Ytna" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" scrolling="no" resize="0" replace_attributes="1" name=""></iframe>Õ·œÓ]oš×]öwM7íçmî8s‡4yÆ·á®ô
8. Destiny's Lost Child
Before Beyoncé (along with Bruno Mars) came to the rescue of last year's Coldplay-helmed halftime show, she headlined the whole shebang herself in 2013, scoring extra points with the surprise Destiny's Child reunion in the middle of her set. But after awkwardly popping up onstage, Michelle Williams had trouble keeping up with the choreography, looking especially uncomfortable during Bey's hit "Single Ladies." Hey, stiff happens.
7. Michael Jackson's Mannequin Challenge
Ushering in a whole new era for the halftime show, the King of Pop brought the superstar to the Super Bowl in 1993. And after Michael Jackson took the stage at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., he didn't move for some 90 seconds, holding a fierce pose while the crowd screamed for more. There would be moonwalking and other thriller moves later in the show, but in the stillness of that moment, MJ stopped the world.
6. Xtina's Star-Spangled Flub
Christina Aguilera had already performed at the Super Bowl as part of a Disney-themed halftime show with Phil Collins, Enrique Iglesias, and Toni Braxton in 2000. When she returned to sing the national anthem at the big game in 2011, Xtina fumbled the words: Instead of "O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming," she sang, "What so proudly we watched at the twilight's last reaming." Whoops.
5. Diana's High-Flying Farewell
Before Madonna, Janet, and Beyoncé rocked the Super Bowl halftime show, O.G. diva Diana Ross came out on football's biggest stage in 1996 and glitzed up the gridiron. But it was the way she exited the field that was her most supreme diva play: "Oh my—here comes my ride!" she exclaimed, hopping her own personal helicopter out of the stadium.
4. Springsteen's Crotch Close-Up
When it comes to commanding a stadium, Bruce Springsteen has always been the Boss, as he demonstrated while playing "Born to Run," "Working on a Dream," "Glory Days," and "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out" at Super Bowl XLIII. But when he slid on his knees and drove crotch-first into camera view, that was the real money shot of his performance. <iframe class="giphy-embed" src="//giphy.com/embed/2ZOKLeL6nC2A0" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" scrolling="no" resize="0" replace_attributes="1" name=""></iframe>qîºÑÎ¶åÖúyöûãfÝ×Ýï^›ïÖûéîŸOt
3. Prince's Phallic Symbolism
Prince had often used his guitar as a phallic symbol, stroking it and pleasuring it to ecstatic heights. But during his (purple) rain-soaked halftime show at Super Bowl XLI, his instrument—made in his glyph symbol, natch—appeared to be a larger-than-life appendage when his silhouette was projected onto a big sheet. It didn't take much of a dirty mind to imagine what was rising to the occasion. <iframe class="giphy-embed" src="//giphy.com/embed/3UuhYxkJBHlV6" width="456" height="324" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" scrolling="no" resize="0" replace_attributes="1" name=""></iframe>sß^}ç6qî´}Þ9ÙÎÞõ®tiÎ;÷½]u¾ý×g¸
2. M.I.A. Flips America the Bird
Madonna is no stranger to controversy, but even she knew to play by the rules when she headlined the 2012 Super Bowl halftime show at Indianapolis' Lucas Oil Stadium. But apparently M.I.A., who joined Madge and Nicki Minaj onstage for "Give Me All Your Luvin'," didn't get the memo. During her verse, M.I.A. gave the middle finger to the camera, drawing fire from the NFL—and the Queen of Pop herself.
1. Janet Jackson's Nip Slip
Initially, it seemed as if the biggest controversy at the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show would be Kid Rock wearing a poncho made out of a slit American flag. But after headliner Janet Jackson was joined by Justin Timberlake for his hit "Rock Your Body," there was the wardrobe malfunction seen around the world, with JT exposing JJ's nipple-shielded breast. The incident resulted in much FCC drama, and Jackson being blacklisted from MTV (who produced the show) and a number of radio stations. It even helped inspire the launch of YouTube. <iframe class="giphy-embed" src="//giphy.com/embed/9NQUTA50bVTVK" width="560" height="400" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" scrolling="no" resize="0" replace_attributes="1" name=""></iframe>ov÷é½úóÆ½}»Ù®9}®zyî}éÞºóMqÞ=