The Super Bowl is more than a football game – it America’s most-watched televised event. Even if you’re not a football fan, some of the biggest names ever in music history have sang the national anthem before the game or provided halftime entertainment. But which have left an indelible mark? We assembled a panel of experts to tell us their favorites.
“I would have to choose Whitney Houston in the National Anthem in 1991. Her performance was pure, authentic, and passionate with nothing extra other than the simple instrumentation of her exquisite and powerful voice. As an Army brat, the F-16 flyover was the perfect touch at the end.”
-Lily Cabatu Weiss, Executive Director of the Dallas Arts District
“Gloria Estefan’s Super Bowl performance. She is an extraordinary artist that has been able to bring people together with her and the Miami Sound Machine’s music. They were instrumental in bringing an international flair to pop music using Spanish. I absolutely love her!”
-Anita N. Martinez, Founder of Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico
“As a child growing up in rural Indiana, I loved watching the spectacle of the Super Bowl halftime show on TV. I still remember Up with People, Mickey Mouse and marching bands from those early years. And who will ever forget the boldly thrilling moment last year when Beyoncé blew Coldplay’s performance wide open with the launch of ‘Formation.’ Awesome! And, by the way, one of the best songs of the year by one of the greatest living artists. But despite all that, for me the gold standard is Michael Jackson, who set the template for spectacle, energy, style and star power in 1993. King of Pop, indeed.”
-Kevin Moriarty, Artistic Director at Dallas Theater Center
“My most memorable Super Bowl halftime show is undoubtedly not notable for the reasons the NFL would like it to be. Janet Jackson’s is the first performance that comes to mind when anyone mentions halftime show. It expanded our vocabulary with ‘wardrobe malfunction.’ She and Justin Timberlake are most memorable for me, both for their performance and the new terminology for the entertainment world. I think the best halftime show is yet to come with Lady Gaga waiting in the wings for this year’s performance.”