The Super Bowl halftime show: sports... but music too!
The Super Bowl LIV, the 54th annual championship and the most hotly contested American football game in the world took place on Sunday. But the game is often eclipsed by its halftime show, a musical interlude which has often made waves around the world...
The Super Bowl is the most important American sporting event there is, often becoming the most watched television show of the year and easily reaching around 150 million people worldwide. This year saw the Kansas City Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers to take home the trophy at the Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Florida.
However, the big American football game has become so much more than just a sporting event. The high viewing figures have pushed advertising to cost as much as several millions of dollars per 30 seconds of footage. But it's the halftime show that often makes the biggest impact worldwide, with megastars taking to the stage putting on expensive and extravagant musical shows. This year was a Latin American bonanza, with Jennifer Lopez and Shakira taking centre stage, helped out by J Balvin and Bad Bunny as well as J-Lo's daughter Emme Muñiz.
The halftime show was not always as gargantuan as we know it. In the early days of the championship game in the 1960s and 1970s, it was custom to feature university and high school marching bands. Some stars did appear, like Andy Williams in 1973, New Kids on the Block in 1991 and Gloria Estefan in 1992. But in 1993, in an attempt to monopolise the viewing audience in America and attract as much interest as possible after rival broadcasters were getting the idea to run competing shows, the decision was made to invite stars of extremely high calibres to make the halftime show as high profile as possible. And it doesn't get much more high profile than Michael Jackson:
It then became the norm for stars to take to the stage: Diana Ross, The Blues Brothers, Stevie Wonder, Aerosmith, Britney Spears, Shania Twain, The Who, Paul McCartney, Coldplay, Beyoncé... There has been controversy (who can forget Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson), but there have also been some beautiful moments, like U2's touching performance after the September 11 attacks in New York:
The Super Bowl halftime show always seems to be getting bigger and bigger, with new stars and surprises every year. Although, we shouldn't forget, it's a sports game after all...!