Coldplay tries to make its mark before 100 million people Sunday at halftime of the Super Bowl. Here are five of the most memorable shows, for different reasons.
—MICHAEL JACKSON, 1993: Gave birth to the spectacle of today, relegating the marching bands and Rockettes to Super Bowl history. Truth be told, it wasn’t one of his finest moments. The dancing was great; the lip-syncing wasn’t. He spent nearly two baffling minutes standing immobile, absorbing cheers. The big-stage template has been followed ever since, though.
—U2, 2002: At the first Super Bowl following the 2001 terrorist attacks, U2 performed “Where the Streets Have No Name” as a giant scrim behind them unfurled names of the Sept. 11 victims. Bono opening his jacket to reveal the Stars & Stripes sewn into the lining was a spine-tingling moment.
—JANET JACKSON, 2004: This sprawling, MTV-produced show also featured P. Diddy, Nelly, Kid Rock and Justin Timberlake. All were forgotten when Timberlake sang, “gonna have you naked by the end of this song,” and almost delivered, tearing off part of Jackson’s costume to reveal her bare breast. Introduced the phrase “wardrobe malfunction” to the popular lexicon and launched months of hand-wringing about culture in the gutter.
—PRINCE, 2007: For sheer musical mastery, this is hard to beat. Prince effortlessly mixes Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower,” Queen’s “We Will Rock You” and Foo Fighters’ “Best of You” with his own stellar songs. His guitar solo on “Purple Rain” was an epic moment.
—BRUNO MARS, 2014: Mars’ booking symbolized an NFL effort to recruit acts at their peak, rather than past it. Many people thought Mars didn’t have the star power, but from his opening drum solo on “Locked Out of Heaven” and his collaboration with Red Hot Chili Peppers to the lovely “Just the Way You Are,” he bristled with energy and presence.
This story has been corrected to show Prince sang “Best of You,” not “Next to You.”
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