It's finally Super Bowl week and the Atlanta Falcons will take on the New England Patriots as we gather around the television like animals to watch a bunch of guys toss each other around. There are those who actually enjoy watching the game from start to finish and everything in between. Then there are those who only come for the hot wings and beer, Super Bowl commercials and the over-the-top halftime performances. Some halftime shows have been disastrous and controversial (hey, nip-slip Janet of '04) and then you the legendary ones that bring tears to your eyes. Lady Gaga is set to perform at Super Bowl 51 this weekend and we'll find out if she uses 12-minutes to blow the minds of the 150 million people who are watching. Here are the top seven Super Bowl halftime performances of all time.
7. Aerosmith, Nelly, Britney Spears, N' Sync and Mary J Blige (2001)
You know we can't leave this one out of the list. What an unlikely group of musicians to share the stage during Super Bowl 35's halftime show. It was 2001, where pop musicians ruled the land and Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears were TRL's power couple. But then you add rock legends, Aerosmith, along with Nelly and Mary J. Blige - all on the same stage?! And yes, N' Sync opened up with "Bye, Bye, Bye" as we all did the dance moves in front of the TV. Can we have a repeat of this Super Bowl halftime show, please?
6. Madonna, M.I.A., LMFAO, Cee Lo Green & Nicki Minaj (2012)
Well, Madonna is a pretty controversial performer - whether it's her cone bra or kissing Britney Spears while trotting around the stage in a wedding dress - but during her Super Bowl halftime performance, it wasn't her who stirred things up. She brought out M.I.A. during the show, who flipped off the cameras during her verse which led to the NFL suing M.I.A. for $16 Million for breach of her contract. Oops. But Madonna sure puts on one hell of a Super Bowl performance, that's for sure.
5. Bruno Mars and Red Hot Chili Peppers (2014)
One minute into this performance sends goosebumps all over your arms as a chorus of children sang Billionaire right before Bruno Mars slayed a drum solo. Bruno Mars sang "Locked Outta Heaven", "Treasure" and "Runaway Baby" and was joined onstage by the Red Hot Chili Peppers to sing "Give It Away" as Bruno Mars showed off his James Brown-like dance moves. This Super Bowl halftime performance attracted a record audience of 115.3 million viewers. Damn, Bruno.
4. Michael Jackson (1993)
You can't go wrong with a Michael Jackson performance. The King Of Pop stood completely still for the first 90-seconds - building the anticipation for everyone watching - then glided through his hits "Billie Jean" and "Black and White." There were costume changes, an explosive light show, and flawless dance moves and we wouldn't expect anything less from this music icon.
3. U2 (2002)
U2's performance at the Super Bowl happened only months after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the Irish rock band paid tribute by displaying the names of the victims in the background of their mesmerizing performance. U2 sang "Beautiful Day", "MLK" and "Where the Streets Have No Name" and at the end of the performance, Bono opened up his jacket to display the American flag lining. It was a painful, moving and powerful performance with a patriotic theme that brought even the manliest football fans to tears.
2. Beyonce (2013)
Fierce isn't even a strong enough word for this one. This Super Bowl halftime performance was one I'll never forget. It was the San Francisco 49ers versus the Baltimore Ravens and Beyonce put on one of the best halftime shows of all time. Opening up with a short introduction to "Love On Top" followed by "Crazy In Love" - where Queen Bey and her backup ladies showed off a flawlessly choreographed dance. The stage was filled with women - even the band was all-women - because who run the world, right? Beyonce even brought out Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams for a Destiny's Child reunion, which blew everybody's minds. She silenced the arena to belt out "Halo", an ethereal ballad to close out her performance.
1. Prince (2007)
I think we can all agree that Prince performed the greatest halftime performance in Super Bowl history. To begin with a cover of Queen's "We Will Rock You" then straight into "Let's Go Crazy"? The 12-minute performance was a mix of covers and Prince originals such as a "1999" interlude, "Baby, I'm a Star" and wrapped things up with "Purple Rain". Not only did the legendary music icon perform with four electric guitars and a full marching band, but he performed in the middle of a Miami subtropical storm. There hasn't been a moment more magical than watching Prince sing an emotional rendition of "Purple Rain" during a torrential downpour.