Super Bowl halftime shows are popular with viewers who don’t even watch football. Organizers have the awesome challenge of pleasing millions of people with the performances during this brief period between tackles, touchdowns and football glory. Unless, of course, it’s one of the years with the worst Super Bowl singers.
Super Bowl organizers have gotten it right more often than you’d expect. But now and then, the entire show flops, thanks to these worst singers.
15.) Elvis Impersonator (1989)
It just didn’t work out.
An Elvis performing magic on stage didn’t do it for the audience, and he didn’t perform any of “his” songs. Fake Elvis, no songs, magic tricks. What a show indeed.
14.) Shania Twain and Sting (2003)
Critics felt this particular halftime show was not in any way a show, making Twain one of the worst Superbowl singers ever.
Super Bowl halftime is known for its glamour and glitz, but she had no backup dancer and no change of wardrobe. It was just drab. Sting came on with little change. None of this show made fantastic memories.
13.) Justin Timberlake (2018)
Known for his superb stagecraft and controversial history, Justin Timberlake made a comeback to the halftime show after the Janet Jackson nipple incident.
But fans were left disappointed as he had a lackluster, uninspiring, controversial performance after singing a tribute for Prince (before his death, there was no love lost between the two).
Timberlake secured his place as one of the worst Super Bowl singers with this halftime performance.
12.) Pete Fountain, Irma Thomas (1990)
This show is remembered as the tribute to New Orleans and its peanut characters. Um, ok?
Critics still regard this as one of the worst and most boring Super Bowl shows ever.
11.) Andy Williams (1973)
Taking a look back to this half time performance shows how far they have come to improving the quality of artist and performance. Andy Williams performance had nothing to be remembered for.
Despite his legend status, he was one of the worst singers in the history of Super Bowl halftime shows.
10.) Gloria Estefan (1992)
It was hosted and was tagged the “Winter Magic.”
She was 10 minutes behind her scheduled appearance but was having a good show until viewers changed to another comedy show “In Living Color” aired by Fox. It took millions of viewers away from the half time performance which led to the organizers booking a big artist for the next show.
9.) Pattie Labelle, Tony Bennett (1995)
This theme was taken from the Indian Jones movie and thing just seemed out of place. Despite their pedigree as great performers, Pattie & Tony Bennett vocals couldn’t save the day with the lack of quality songs.
The Indian Jones stunt made the half time show weird. The fault can be directed toward Disney because they organized the performance.
8.) The Who (2010)
It showed clearly in this performance that they were never prepared for the show. One might also think that they were never a fan of the NFL, but who knows?
They were shabbily dressed and didn’t understand the nature of performing at the Super Bowl.
7.) Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake (2004)
A list of worst Super Bowl singers would not be complete without including the “Nipplegate” incident.
Even if anything good came out that night, the exposure of Janet Jackson’s breast in the middle of a dance performance overshadowed their performance.
Despite the overall performance being solid, it would mostly be remembered for the nipple slip. It almost cost them their careers.
6.) Christiana Aguilera, Phil Collins, Enrique Iglesias (2000)
This was an A-list line up without a doubt.
Viewers were excited and looking forward to the half time performance until the performers decided not to perform any of their hit songs. Christiana sang a ballad people didn’t know, Phil did a theme song from the movie Tarzan, and Enrique did a song with Aguilera which was not well known and fans were left disappointed.
Next time, perform some of your best songs.
5.) The Black Eyed Peas (2011)
Some Black Eyed Peas fans aren’t in agreement on the sheer awfulness of 2011’s halftime show during Super Bowl XLV. Space-age costumes and seizure-inducing lighting effects almost overshadowed the whole debacle.
If the off-key, stilted singing and dancing wasn’t bad enough, someone unearthed the Guns ‘n Roses guitarist, Slash, so that he could play along as Fergie slaughtered “Sweet Child O’ Mine.”
4.) New Kids on the Block and Disney (1991)
Super Bowl XXV’s halftime show might have broken some kind of record in its utter weirdness and horror. To be fair, you can’t blame this entirely on the New Kids on the Block, who were at massive fame level in 1991. Disney made us all feel icky by having costumed, dancing kids bopping around to the lyrics of “Step by Step.”
It was when NKOTB switched to “This One’s for the Children” that the audio torture began. Then, for reasons known only to Disney, they crammed a poorly sung “It’s a Small World” in the mix.
The good news is that this halftime show didn’t air during the game because it was pre-empted by coverage of Desert Storm. Those who witnessed it either were at the game or tuned into the Disney Channel.
3.) Madonna (2012)
In 2012, Madonna performed a little medley during the halftime show of Super Bowl XLVI. Although it’s hard to believe, she bombed.
She came out looking like the queen of pop everyone knows and loves, complete with crown and throne, but there was nothing royal about the show. Her vocals were weak, and the show she put on was uncharacteristically boring.
2.) Jim Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, and John Goodman (1997)
In 1997, Super Bowl XXXI’s halftime show kicked off with these three stars performing as The Blues Brothers. While the trio brought an enormous amount of energy to the stage and looked like they enjoyed themselves immensely, that joy didn’t flow to the audience.
Jim Belushi and his pals make an excellent comedy team, but they are not good singers. In fact, they are some of the worst Super Bowl singers ever.
1.) Kid Rock and P Diddy (2004)
Super Bowl XXXVIII’s halftime show in 2004 was possibly the most memorable halftime show ever, due to the surprise appearance by Janet Jackson’s breast. However, Jackson and Justin Timberlake put on a solid performance before her wardrobe malfunction. The terrible part was mid-way through the show when P Diddy and Kid Rock came on stage to sing.
Whatever it was that P Diddy was doing with his “P Diddy you’re so fine” singers, you can be sure he wasn’t helping improve the music. Viewers got a reprieve when Nelly came on, but then Kid Rock emerged and yelled at everyone. Tragically, the weak performances by these two aren’t what fans remember, thanks to Janet Jackson’s wardrobe problem.
Next time there’s a Super Bowl, let’s all hope that the show is better than the shows put on by the worst Super Bowl singers.