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Every Super Bowl Halftime Show, Ranked From Worst to Best

Pop spectacles, Springsteen’s marathon, Left Shark and loads of soul revues – we've seen ’em all

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Shakira and Jennifer Lopez

 (L-R) Shakira and Jennifer Lopez perform onstage during the Pepsi Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show at Hard Rock Stadium on February 02, 2020 in Miami, Florida. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images) 

There is no gig in music like the Super Bowl halftime show. You have 15 minutes to justify your legend. You have 150 million people watching, most of whom are distracted by the nachos platter, how much beer is left in the fridge or how much of the rent they bet on the game. Chances are it’s the biggest worldwide audience of your life, and getting it right means rising to the hugeness of the moment.

Here’s a subjective, personal, irresponsible and indefensible breakdown of the winners and losers. The Bonos and Beyoncés and Bruces and Britneys. The Janets and Justins. From Prince and Madonna, from Michael to Macca. Plus the year they trapped poor Gloria Estefan in a Minnesota “Winter Magic” pageant with a bunch of figure skaters and inflatable snowmen. Believe it or not, all these Super Bowl halftime shows really happened. Some were transcendent. Some sucked. Pass those bacon fritters and enjoy the show.

35. The Black Eyed Peas (2011)


Dave Martin/AP/REX/Shutterstock

The worst. Just the worst. Watching at the time, you instantly knew you were witnessing something magical and special – like seeing a unicorn cough up blood. The Black Eyed Peas had light-up robot suits. Cool! Sorta! They did their version of “I’ve Had the Time of My Life.” Not so cool! Usher looked like he wanted to hide. Then the tragic words: “Ladies and gentlemen . . . the one and only . . . Slash!” Oh Slash, poor Slash – dueting with Fergie to “Sweet Child o’ Mine.” How did this happen? This was the same Super Bowl where Christina Aguilera did her memorable interpretation of the National Anthem, so yeah, music had a rough day. So did Steelers fans.

34. Everything From 1967 to 1989


Robert Riger/Getty Images

Before the 1990s, the Super Bowl honchos had no idea they could turn the halftime show into part of the event. Until then, it was a bathroom break. So there’s no point making marginal distinctions between the first 24 of them – a low-budget blur of college marching bands, Elvis impersonators, Carol Channing, George Burns, the Rockettes, and year after year, Up With People, who were chipper castrati packed in ice between Super Bowls, then defrosted as an annual reminder to NFL fans that bladders get full and plumbing can help. It’d be silly to judge these by modern-day standards, since none were planned as anything more than cheeseball filler. But at least they weren’t the Black Eyed Peas.

33. New Kids on the Block (1991)


Gin Ellis/Getty Images

This is where people started learning they could put on an actual show at halftime. But learning slowly. Don’t blame the New Kids, who didn’t get to sing any of their perkier tunes. Instead, they got stuck doing their sappiest hit, “This One’s for the Children,” segueing into a Disney kiddie choir. Except the Gulf War had just started, so “It’s a Small World (After All)” was the last sentiment anyone wanted to hear. Since ABC News did a war report during halftime, this got bumped until after the game, which was probably for the best. The New Kids said their piece a couple weeks later at the American Music Awards, where Donnie Wahlberg performed in a “War Sucks” T-shirt.

32. Phil Collins, Christina Aguilera, Enrique Iglesias, Toni Braxton and Tina Turner (2000)


Jeff Haynes AFP/Getty Images

The lineup of talent looks so promising, yet none of the stars did any of their actual hits – everybody who wanted to do some air-drumming to Phil Collins, or some couch-humping to Xtina, got thwarted by goopy ballads nobody knew. Phil did the love theme from Tarzan. Xtina and Enrique rubbed everybody the wrong way with a song called “Celebrate the Future Hand in Hand.” Even “Proud Mary” couldn’t get Tina turning. People, this is the Super Bowl. You gotta make a big impression. You gotta like what you do.

31. Gloria Estefan and Olympic Figure Skaters (1992)


Bill Sikes/AP/REX/Shutterstock

A “Winter Magic” pageant, because the game was in Minnesota. Giant snowmen. Figure skaters Dorothy Hammill and Brian Boitano. Hideous dancing imps waving hockey sticks to Queen‘s “Don’t Stop Me Now.” And Gloria Estefan, because when you think of the Great White North, you naturally think of Gloria and her Minneapolis Sound Machine. But everyone clicked away to watch In Living Color‘s live comedy special – one of those genius ideas that changed the world. ( In Living Color had a lot of those.) Nobody had ever challenged the Super Bowl halftime before, and it worked, because even cheap Dick Butkus jokes were more fun than hearing “Winter Wonderland” in January. This was the big turning point, as the In Living Color stunt finally jolted the Super Bowl into getting serious about halftime. The next year they brought in Michael Jackson. What would Brian Boitano do?

30. Patti LaBelle, Tony Bennett, Teddy Pendergrass and Miami Sound Machine (1995)


Bennett LaBelle Benedetto Singers Tony Bennett and Patti LaBelle entertain the crowd during halftime at Super Bowl XXIX, at Miami’s Joe Robbie Stadium Super Bowl XXIX Half Time Show 1995, Miami, USA
(Hans Deryk/AP/REX/Shutterstock)

Damn, 1995 was a year of high-profile disasters: Waterworld, Hurricane Peter McNeely, the fateful day Bill Clinton’s secretary announced, “Sir, the girl’s here with the pizza.” And then there was this one. Disney staged a live-action Indiana Jones caper on the field, except Harrison Ford wisely stayed away. Patti LaBelle and Tony Bennett weren’t so lucky. By the finale of “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?,” viewers all over America were gaping in horror – it was like watching the Nazi soldiers open the Lost Ark.

29. Pete Fountain, Irma Thomas, Doug Kershaw and Snoopy (1990)


George Rose/Getty Images

A tribute to New Orleans, also to the 40th anniversary of the comic strip “Peanuts,” and maybe also to drugs. Because Charlie Brown has what exactly the hell to do with jambalaya and Mardi Gras again? But because New Orleans is New Orleans, the music was still kinda catchy at its corniest. It all ended with Snoopy dancing on a Mississippi River steamboat to “When the Saints Go Marching In,” which segued into “Happy Birthday, Charlie Brown.” Meanwhile, a TV audience of traumatized Broncos fans vowed never to get high before halftime again.

28. The Blues Brothers (1997)


Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc

John Belushi was dead, by the way. But the Super Bowl brought back the Blues Brothers, perhaps because they couldn’t get the 1985 Chicago Bears to reprise “Super Bowl Shuffle.” Dan Aykroyd, John Goodman and Jim Belushi immodestly attempted soul classics by Solomon Burke and James Brown. The Godfather of Soul himself appeared, yet maybe deserved a little more airtime than Jim Belushi, don’t you think? By the time ZZ Top came to the rescue for some “Tush,” it was too little too late.

27. Maroon 5 (2019)


Jeff Roberson/AP/Shutterstock

Nobody wanted to go near the Super Bowl in 2019, amid all the outrage over the NFL’s blacklisting of Colin Kaepernick. Cardi B and Rihanna turned it down flat. The best the NFL could dredge up was Adam Levine, who’s never looked less like a rock star than when he yelled, “Can I play some guitar for you right now?” It was godawful, despite cameos from Travis Scott, Big Boi and Spongebob Squarepants. When Levine whipped off his tank top to flash his nipples (twice as many as Janet Jackson showed) for “Moves Like Jagger,” it turned into one sad bachelorette party. Note: Rumours that there are other people besides Levine in Maroon 5 could not be confirmed at press time.

26. The Who (2010)


Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Neither Pete Townshend nor Roger Daltrey had ever watched an American football game. (Or the halftime-show DVDs the NFL sent them for reference.) Maybe that explains why the Who didn’t understand the high-visibility, high-stakes nature of this gig. Alas, they showed up even more shoddily prepared than the Colts, fumbling a medley of classics — sad to think of all the kids out there first hearing “Won’t Get Fooled Again” or “Baba O’Riley” in this sorry condition. Daltrey sounded like he really did just wake up in a SoHo doorway, killing “Who Are You” dead one hoo-hoo at a time. Those suspicious “crowd sing-along” audio cues sounded about as believable as a Seinfeld laugh track. Sad but true: There’s no easy way to be free.

25. Tanya Tucker, Clint Black, Travis Tritt and The Judds (1994)


George Rose/Getty Images

What did you expect – Nirvana reprising their Unplugged set? This was wholesome all-American country entertainment, and it got the job done with some of the brightest Nashville stars of the day, all of them pretty near their peak, except the Judds, who were in the sixth or seventh year of their farewell tour. (Poor Wynonna was doing fine solo until her mama crashed the show.) No thrills, but in a gig like this, playing it safe can be a smart move.

24. Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake, P. Diddy, Kid Rock, Jessica Simpson and Nelly (2004)


Jeff Haynes/AFP/Getty Images)

We’ve seen the nipple and the damage done. Without question the most famous halftime show ever, the one that forced a generation of Americans to hear their moms utter the word “aureole.” It killed off Janet Jackson‘s previously unstoppable career – almost 20 years of hitmaking, zapped in one breast-bounce. It damn near killed Justin’s too, as his clumsy (and none too gallant) handling of the controversy ended his post-N’Sync honeymoon with the public. (It took two years and Timbaland for JT to get his sexy back.)

The music was mostly great, but the fallout was poisonous. The Bush administration (especially Colin Powell’s son at the FCC) led a hysterical crusade to demonize MTV and Miss Jackson. You could pinpoint this as the moment MTV decided to bail out of the music business entirely. All around, a disastrous moment for America. Also, Jessica Simpson sang.

23. Boyz II Men (1998)


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When it came to halftime shows, the motto for the late Nineties was “more Sixties R&B oldies, please.” Boyz II Men, still one of the world’s biggest and best pop groups at that time, led this tribute to Motown, bringing out Smokey Robinson, the Temptations, the Four Tops and Martha Reeves. And what do you know – no Jim Belushi.

22. Justin Timberlake (2018)


Mark Humphrey/AP/REX/Shutterstock

JT returns to the scene of the crime, reprising “Rock Your Body” atthe Super Bowl 14 years after it capsized Janet Jackson’s career. He kept it basic — no NSync reunion (he didn’t even give them a Destiny’s Child-style wham-bam quickie), no Janet rematch, no Britney twirl during “Cry Me A River,” not even Timbaland for “Sexy Back.” Justin was promoting a new album (Man of the Woods, it was called — seriously) and aiming to please in the blandest way possible. The highlight was a brief video duet with Prince on “I Would Die 4 U.” But by the time he ended with “Can’t Stop The Feeling,” not even Prince could have made a case for not stopping the feeling.

21. Stevie Wonder and Gloria Estefan (1999)


Joe Traver/Getty Images

Stevie rolled out a few tried-and-true classics in Miami, graciously giving local goddess Gloria Estefan a long-deserved do-over shot at Super Bowl redemption. “Sir Duke” was his hundredth-birthday salute to Duke Ellington; for the finale, he donned a jacket with “AFRICAN” down one sleeve and “AMERICAN” down the other. Gloria turned the beat around, giving her Miami peeps salsa percussion. And the cameo from then-hot swing revivalists Big Bad Voodoo Daddy will help remind future historians that the Nineties were weird.

20. Shania Twain, Sting and No Doubt (2003)


Al Bello/Getty Images

Hey, let’s just forget Shania showed up for this one, OK? Her performance was a career-freezing sadgasm – you know the star is bombing when the camera goes for close-ups of the keytar dude. But Sting and Gwen came along to rescue the show. They made an insanely cute couple with their tantric harmonizing to “Message in a Bottle.” Gwen was such a natural for this role, boosting the hometown SoCal crowd with her all-American enthusiasm – busting out push-ups for the feminist “Just a Girl,” no less – it’s strange they never begged her to come back and do it again. Bonus points for Chris Berman adding the punch line: “The Sting has been on the Raiders offense!”

19. The Weeknd (2021)


Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Ladies and gentlemen, the Weeknd. For the first pandemic Super Bowl, Abel Tesfaye made the most of the socially distanced limitations. He went all the way solo, no guests or duets, in a half-empty stadium. The energy level was mighty low, but at least the flashy set design suited the alienation of “Can’t Feel My Face,” especially when he got stampeded by robot-mummy dancers in grotesque facial bandages. It didn’t take off until the 11-minute point, with a weird rendition of Siouxsie and the Banshees’ “Happy House” — the most goth Super Bowl moment ever?

18. Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers (2014)


Elsa/Getty Images

Bruno Mars was a bold choice – people questioned whether he even had enough catalog to fill the time slot. But he proved he belonged right off the bat with that drum solo. He evoked the Motown-revue halftime shows of the Nineties with his old-school R&B moves, rocking a Jackie Wilson quiff, a James Brown suit and reviving the Isley Brothers’ “Shout.” Then he gave it away to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who made the bold choice to surprise literally nobody by jumping around shirtless to one of their biggest hits.

17. Diana Ross (1996)


Al Bello/Allsport

The diva-est halftime ever. “Come on, world!” Miss Ross yelled, while getting lowered to the stage on a crane made of sparklers. “We’re gonna take you higher! At the Super, Super, Super Bowl!” The staging was alarmingly klutzy – during her Supremes medley, it was hard not to worry she’d get trampled by her army of red-vested dancers. But what an ending: Diana announced “Oh my – here comes my ride!” as her helicopter landed and her flight crew led her away for a true diva exit in the Ross-Chopper. The Super Bowl folks clearly loved it, since they went on a tear of Sixties soul revues for the rest of the decade.

16. Coldplay, Beyonce and Bruno Mars (2016)


Give Coldplay credit – most bands, faced with the task of opening for Beyoncé, would have come down with a convenient case of the flu. (And a case of the flu would have been more fun than Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk” interlude.) Chris Martin and company made the most of “Viva La Vida,” but there’s no denying the main attraction was Beyonce’s world-slaying premiere of “Formation,” with her dancers dressed as Black Panthers. It was just a two-minute taste of “Formation,” but it was enough to blow the rest of the show away.

15. Tom Petty (2008)


Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers perform at Super Bowl XLII in Glendale, Arizona. (Matt Slocum/AP/REX/Shutterstock)

Tom Brady and the Heartbreakers – arrrgggh, I mean Tom Petty. Well, as Petty would say, even the losers get lucky sometimes, hence the Giants winning this Super Bowl on a helmet catch. Petty did an excellent set – he was the kind of star who clearly understood the occasion, and knew what his job was. “American Girl” was 100 percent the right opening song. So there’s no problem with his halftime performance at all. But it’s still docked a notch or two for coming in the middle of the most soul-crushing Super Bowl ever. Yeah, I’m from New England. Sorry. It’s not Petty’s fault, but as all Pats fans learned that day, life is cruel. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go slam my head against the wall, 18 times on one side and then 1 on the other.

14. Michael Jackson (1993)


Steve Granitz/WireImage

MJ had a streak of great TV performances through his career: “I Want You Back” on Soul Train, “Billie Jean” on Motown 25, “Man in the Mirror” at the 1988 Grammys. This was the last one of his lifetime. He was in a late-game resurgence with his Oprah interview, his Dangerous album and his sweet snuggle with Janet at the 1993 Grammys. (“Me and Janet really are two different people!”) He began by standing stone still for 90 seconds of silence, then glided through two of his best hits (“Billie Jean” and “Black and White”) before one of his dodgiest (“Heal the World”). Footnote: This was the Super Bowl where the coin-toss honors went to some guy named O.J. Simpson.

13. Paul McCartney (2005)


Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Good news – he didn’t do “Freedom.” And he didn’t sing “A Hard Day’s Night” as a duet with Terry Bradshaw, like he famously did at the 2001 Super Bowl. Instead, Macca did what he’s done live for the past decade – blaze the hell out of a few classics with no glitz, no fuss, just his own crowd-slaying confidence. Who would have guessed he’d open with “Drive My Car,” kicking off the festivities in beep-beep style? He turned “Live and Let Die” into a rousing stadium-shaker. Hell of a game, too.

12. Katy Perry and Missy Elliott (2015)


Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Never say Katy isn’t brilliant – the girl went all out to deliver a beyond-ridiculous Vegas show, complete with druggy dancing palm trees and (of course) Left Shark. But the big surprise came when a mysterious silhouette appeared in the shadows, as a teaser snippet of “Get Ur Freak On” played. No. It couldn’t be. It was. Missy Freaking Elliott, shocking the world with her first high-profile appearance in years, the comeback we’d all been praying for. Talk about knowing how to choose your moment. Give Katy credit – only a true star would be confident enough to share a spotlight with Missy

11. The Rolling Stones (2006)


Michael Zagaris/Getty Images

Mick and the lads came to kick ass. They got down to business with just three songs: “Start Me Up,” “Rough Justice” and the inevitable “Satisfaction.” Bonus points for not playing “You Got Me Rockin’,” which they inexplicably did as half their set at the 12/12/12 benefit concert. As Mick joked before “Satisfaction,” “This one we could have done for Super Bowl I.” Even so, the man was in better shape than most of the NFL players – wiggling all over the stage, shaking mad hips, Mick had his backfield in motion. The network censored the line “You made a dead man come,” understandably.

10. Lady Gaga (2017)


Lady Gaga performs at Super Bowl LI in Houston. (AP/REX/Shutterstock)

Everybody was wondering what kind of mischief Gaga would wreak at the Super Bowl: How crazy would she get? How political? How Gaga? Then she aimed straight down the middle with an uncontroversially crowd-pleasing hits medley, even beginning with the Pledge of Allegiance: “One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all!” But she made “for all” sound radical with her queer-positive anthem “Born This Way,” probably the first time “transgender” has been uttered at the Super Bowl. No shock tactics, no surprise guests — just Gaga getting so aggressively normal it was freaky. And “Telephone” is still a jam, with or without Beyoncé.

9. Madonna (2012)



Madonna has scored so many historic TV touchdowns over the years, it’s weird to remember what a visceral thrill it was to see her rise to the Super Bowl occasion. Maybe we were all a little worried she’d get this moment wrong. (She does that sometimes.) But then she vogued on out there with all those ancient-Roman gladiator studs, and suddenly it was just the Queen of Queens doing a glam barrage of the greatest pop songs ever, i.e. hers. Like anything Madonna does, it was a total mess. Those Cee-Lo harmonies on “Like a Prayer.” That Nicki Minaj pom-pom sex-bomb cameo. Awesome. Oh, also: World Peace!

8. Rihanna (2023)


Rihanna performs onstage during the Apple Music Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show at State Farm Stadium on February 12, 2023 in Glendale, Arizona. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Rihanna hadn’t performed anywhere in over 5 years, so people were fiending to find out how she’d handle her big comeback at the Super Bowl. Guest stars? Costume changes? Fancy choreography? Nah. RiRi rocked all the way solo, untouchably cool on her flying stage, because all she needed was her own superhuman DGAF charisma. She sneered though one banger after another, visibly pregnant but letting it all hang out, with a squad of white-hooded dancers. She served notice right off with “Bitch Better Have My Money,” sneered “Rude Boy” over her shoulder with obscene ass grabs, topped it off with “Diamonds” under the fireworks. She also paused to fix her makeup, in a mini-ad for her own Fenty Beauty line. Talk about a boss move.

7. Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band (2009)


Bruce Springsteen, left, and Steven Van Zandt, of the E Street Band, perform at Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa. (Winslow Townson/AP/REX/Shutterstock)

“I want you to step back from the guacamole dip! I want you to put those chicken fingers down! And turn your television all the way up!” His Bossness did a 14-minute end-zone power drive that crammed in all the fervor of a four-hour concert marathon: “Tenth Avenue Freezeout,” “Born to Run,” “Glory Days” with new gridiron lyrics. (That “speedball” line never really did make sense anyway, right?) Nice camera-crashing crotch slide, too. All over this nation, from the coastline to the city, the chicken fingers got cold. R.I.P., Big Man.

6. Shakira and Jennifer Lopez (2020)


Shakira and Jennifer Lopez weren’t the first Latinas to rock the Super Bowl halftime—Gloria Estefan did the honors three times. But they got loud for this one. Thanks to the blatantly racist Colin Kaepernick ban, the NFL had trouble finding any big-name stars willing to take the gig. But the Colombian rockera goddess and the Nuyorican hustler repped all the gym moms out there—their glitzy workout was an athletic feat that topped the actual game. Shakira played guitar hero * and* drum stud, from “She Wolf” to Led Zep’s “Kashmir.” J. Lo rode in on a stripper pole. Her daughter sang Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.” Bad Bunny and J Balvin were fighting just to keep up with the queens.

5. Aerosmith, Britney Spears, ‘NSync, Nelly & Mary J. Blige (2001)


Britney Spears, flanked by Steven Tyler of Aerosmtih, second from left, and Nelly, second from right, joining 'NSync members Justin Timberlake and Lance Bass onstage at Super Bowl XXXV, in Tampa. (Amy E Conn/AP/REX/Shutterstock)

People still love to argue over this one: Brilliant or insane? Personally, I’m a both man. In fact, I’m getting the “Walk This Way” jam tattooed on my face, as soon as they invent GIF tattoos. It was a scandal at the time – a couple months later, in the middle of inducting Aerosmith into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Kid Rock paused to ask, “What were you guys thinking?” But “Walk This Way” has to be one of the most demented three-minute spectacles ever aired on TV. Britney, in silver football pants, starring as the Missy Who Was Ready to Play. Mary J. Blige wailing along. Nelly rapping over Joe Perry’s guitar solo. Really, the whole gloriously sleazy history of American pop music is here in this performance.

4. Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, 50 Cent, and Kendrick Lamar (2022)


Valerie Macon/AFP/Getty Images

It’s official: California really does know how to party. For the first time, hip-hop took center stage at the Super Bowl, and Dr. Dre rose to the occasion, ruling over an old-school West Coast rap history lesson. Snoop joined him for “California Love,” while Mary J. Blige, the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, denounced hateration and holleration in “Family Affair.” Kendrick—who really needs an entire halftime spot to himself—did “Alright.” But the highlight was Eminem taking a knee at the end of “Lose Yourself,” in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick and in defiance of the NFL censors. Bonus: Anderson .Paak kicking it on drums.

3. Beyoncé (2013)


Mark Humphrey/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Beyoncé’s Super Bowl triumph looks even more astounding in retrospect, now that we know how she was secretly spending her spare time. (Like, she probably went straight from the SuperDome to the studio and wrote “Partition” in the limo.) Bey ran the world with superhuman renditions of “Crazy in Love,” “Baby Boy” and “Independent Women.” For the Destiny’s Child reunion, she had Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams magically launched up to the stage. But Bey blew out the lights with her whisper-to-a-scream “Halo.” (“Everybody put your hands towards me – I want to feel your energy!”) What a trip to share the planet with this woman.

2. U2 (2002)


Theo Wargo/WireImage

U2 created one of the truly great live-TV rock & roll moments of all time, up there with “Bad” at Live Aid. Just a few months after 9/11, U2 made this a tribute to the victims. After kicking off with “Beautiful Day,” they played the elegiac “MLK” while scrolling the names of the dead on a giant screen, an unforgettable sight, building up to “Where the Streets Have No Name.” At the end, Bono ripped open his jacket to reveal the American flag sewn inside. It was a pained tribute to America that still felt profoundly anti-war and anti-violence, quite a feat at the time. Only U2 could have made this so grandiose, yet so emotionally direct. Grown men wept buckets. Every daft ambition U2 ever had, every lofty claim they ever made, they earned tonight.

1. Prince (2007)


Prince performs during the halftime show at Super Bowl XLI, at Dolphin Stadium in Miami. (Chris O’Meara/AP/REX/Shutterstock)

Everybody knew Prince would make this a freakfest for the ages. But he exceeded all expectations, in the middle of a Miami thunderstorm. A Foo Fighters cover? “We Will Rock You” into “Let’s Go Crazy”? “All Along the Watchtower”? An epic guitar-hero jam on “Purple Rain”? This sexy MF kept busting out surprises—a historic blast of rock & roll arrogance. This performance has gotten far more famous in the years after his tragic death in 2016. While he was alive, he kept fighting to prevent anyone from posting it online, so you couldn’t even find it on YouTube. But since his death, it’s rightly taken its place as a legendary Prince moment. Total mastery. Total cool. Total Prince.

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This post originally appeared on Rolling Stone and was published February 13, 2023. This article is republished here with permission.

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