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Super Bowl Halftime Show History: All First and Last Songs Performed

Updated February 15th, 2022
Published February 5, 2021

The halftime show at the Super Bowl was not always the spectacle that we know it to be today. The first 20 halftime shows were mostly filled with marching bands, high school bands, and some non-profit organizations putting on performances. Most of these shows all carried themes, generally saluting or providing tribute to a city or anniversary.

It wasn’t until 1993 that the halftime show really took off. This is all thanks to Fox network airing a special episode of In Living Color at the same time as Gloria Estefan’s 1992 Super Bowl halftime show, resulting in many lost viewers for CBS. After seeing all the lost viewership in 1992, we were treated to Michael Jackson in the 1993 halftime show.

Since then, the halftime show has taken on a life of its own, and even comes with its own set of props at sportsbooks. The two most popular halftime show props are the first and last songs performed during the show.

We watched Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, and Mary J. Blige, with surprise guest 50 Cent, take the stage in California at SoFi Stadium for Super Bowl 2022. Once we have confirmed performers for the 2023 Super Bowl, we will update you here. If you’re trying to find some trends from past performances, you’ll see the performers as well as first and last songs played for every halftime show since Super Bowl 25.

Super Bowl Halftime Show: First and Last Songs Every Year

Super Bowl Headline Performer First Song Last Song
25 New Kids On The Block It’s a Small World After All/We Are the World/I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing It’s a Small World After All
26 Gloria Estefan Winter Magic Get On Your Feet
27 Michael Jackson Jam Heal the World
28 Clint Black, Tanya Tucker, Travis Tritt, The Judds Tuckered Out Love Can Build a Bridge
29 Patti Labelle, Indiana Jones & Marion Ravenwood, Teddy Pendergrass, Tony Bennett, Arturo Sandoval, Miami Sound Machine Release Yourself Can You Feel the Love Tonight
30 Diana Ross Stop in the Name of Love Take Me Higher
31 The Blues Brothers, ZZ Top, James Brown, Catherine Crier Everybody Needs Somebody to Love Gimme Some Lovin’
32 Boyz II Men, Smokey Robinson, Martha Reeves, The Temptations, Queen Latifah Get Ready Dancing in the Street
33 Gloria Estefan, Stevie Wonder, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Savion Glover Go Daddy O You’ll Be Mind (Party Time)/Another Star/My Cherie Amour
34 Phil Collins, Christina Aguilera, Enrique Iglesias, Toni Braxton Reflections of Earth We Go On
35 Aerosmith, NSYNC, Britney Spears, Mary J Blige, Nelly Bye Bye Bye Walk This Way
36 U2 Beautiful Day Where the Streets Have No Name
37 Shania Twain, No Doubt, Sting Man! I Feel Like a Woman! Message in a Bottle
38 Jessica Simpson, Janet Jackson, P. Diddy, Nelly, Kid Rock, Justin Timberlake The Way You Move Rock Your Body
39 Paul McCartney Drive My Car Hey Jude
40 The Rolling Stones Start Me Up (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
41 Prince We Will Rock You Purple Rain
42 Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers American Girl Runnin’ Down a Dream
43 Bruce Springsteen Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out Glory Days
44 The Who Pinball Wizard Won’t Get Fooled Again
45 The Black Eyed Peas I Gotta Feeling The Time (Dirty Bit)
46 Madonna Vogue Like a Prayer
47 Beyonce Run the World (Girls) Halo
48 Bruno Mars Billionaire Just the Way You Are
49 Katy Perry Roar Firework
50 Coldplay Yellow Fix You/Up & Up
51 Lady Gaga God Bless America/This Land is Your Land Bad Romance
52 Justin Timberlake Filthy Can’t Stop the Feeling
53 Maroon 5 Harder to Breathe Moves Like Jagger
54 Jennifer Lopez, Shakira Dare (La La La) Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)
55 The Weeknd Starboy Blinding Lights
56 Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar & Mary J. Blige The Next Episode Still D.R.E.

With so many iconic artists confirmed for the Halftime Show of the 2022 Super Bowl, trying to pick the first and last songs performed was a little more difficult than normal. All of Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, and Mary J. Blige’s major hits needed to be considered.

The 2023 Super Bowl Halftime Show opened with The Next Episode and finished with Still D.R.E..

Halftime Show First and Last Song Trends

  • Justin Timberlake’s Super Bowl 52 halftime show is the only one in the last 16 years to begin with a song that is less than a year old – the single “Filthy” was released less than a month earlier
  • Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl 51 halftime show is the only one in the last 13 years where the first song played was not a single from the performing artist – Gaga went political with a “God Bless America / This Land Is Your Land” mashup
  • 4 of the last 10 first songs played at Super Bowl halftime shows featuring modern artists were less than three years old, with 7 of them being less than seven years old – Gaga’s political choice joins Coldplay (Yellow) and Maroon 5 (Harder to Breathe) as the only first songs played that were released more than seven years before the halftime show; the Super Bowl 2022 Halftime Show was not counted towards this.
  • The average age of the last songs performed during the last ten Super Bowl halftime shows featuring modern artists is 4.4 years; seven of them were less than five years old – J-Lo and Shakira performed the ten-year old single “Waka Waka”, Maroon 5 went with the eight-year old “Moves Like Jagger”, and Lady Gaga went with the eight-year old “Bad Romance”; the 2022 Super Bowl Halftime Show was also not considered “modern artists”.
  • Each last song performed in the last 21 Super Bowl halftime shows has been a single released by one of the performing artists in the show

Super Bowl 2023 Halftime Show Props

Song Odds to Be First Song Played Odds to Be Last Song Played
TBD TBD TBD

The NFL has yet to announce the performer(s) for the 2023 Super Bowl. Even though they will likely confirm the artists well in advance, odds on the first and last songs performed will not be released until the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl.

Once we have a confirmed performer(s), we will add in some analysis and insights based on the trends above.


Did you find this Super Bowl Halftime Show data useful? You’ll want to check out our other Super Bowl resources below:

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