The Super Bowl Halftime Show has long been popular among viewers. The massive audience makes the Halftime Show a valuable platform for artists to promote designers and spread messages through their fashion choices. Performing at the Super Bowl is a special kind of honor for an artist so naturally they tend to bring their A-game.
Michael Jackson never failed to deliver when it came to his fabulous attire. Before 1993, when Jackson brought his trademark pageantry to the Super Bowl, the show was mostly dominated by marching bands. His iconic military-inspired black-and-gold outfit matched perfectly with his songs against police violence, war, and injustice. One of his costume designers told Rolling Stone in 2012 that Jackson made the custom made outfit his own by pushing the envelope with all of the badges and making it Rock ‘n’ Roll.
Madonna’s performance at the 2012 Super Bowl is when Halftime officially went high fashion. Her designer, Riccardo Tisci, designed all of her costumes for the performance and made her look extremely fashionable. Her dark glamour NFL helmet designs definitely made a statement. The bespoke outfits included an embellished gold cape and a gladiatorial black miniskirt with a studded belt, each accessorized with an Egyptian-inspired headpiece by British milliner Philip Treacythis. I’d expect nothing less from the Queen of Pop.
Prince’s 2007 performance was perhaps one of the smoothest, most stylish Super Bowl performers ever. He performed “Purple Rain” in the middle of a torrential storm dressed in a blue suit and a chest-bearing orange button-down with his hair covered with a black scarf all while holding a purple symbol guitar in his hand. The heavy rain made the smoke and lights seem mysterious and added to the effect of Prince stealing the spotlight on the field from guys three times his size.
In 2016 Beyoncé and Bruno Mars certainly stole the shine away from the Super Bowl game that year. Beyonce’s performance was undoubtedly political as she opened the show with an all-black dance troupe wearing Afros and black berets, an obvious reference to the way Black Panther Party members dressed in the ’60s. Beyoncé also tipped her hat to Michael Jackson with a black-and-gold military jacket recalling his own Super Bowl look. Coldplay was the headliner that year, but Queen Bey and Bruno stole the show with their black leather-clad dance-off and political views.
Leave it to Lady Gaga to take the Super Bowl Halftime Show to new heights, literally. In 2017 the singer started her set with “God Bless America” and “This Land Is Your Land” before being lowered into the stadium on cables to sing, dance, and play the piano to her greatest hits. Surprisingly, she wore only two outfits throughout a crystal-embellished bodysuit (which she later covered with a spiked golden jacket), and a white jacket that resembled football shoulder pads with matching hot pants. Both were designed by Atelier Versace.