Rihanna Super Bowl Halftime Show 2023 & Most Watched Super Bowl Halftime Shows Ever

Rihanna Super Bowl halftime show 2023 involvement has been confirmed; here is what it means and the 10 most-watched Super Bowl halftime shows ever.

In a Tweet, Robyn Fenty known as Rihanna professionally, confirmed that she would be headlining the Super Bowl halftime show in 2023.

The upcoming musical interlude is one of the biggest American event every year and 2023’s version marks the first time that the NFL are switching sponsors.  After its deal with soft drinks company, Pepsi, expired in 2022, the sporting body decided not to renew the contract. Instead, it brought streaming company Apple Music in as its new sponsors.

The company also confirmed Bad Girl Riri’s booking for the future event. If you have been wondering just how big the event is, take a look at some of the biggest Super Bowl halftime shows ever.

10 most-watched Super Bowl halftime shows ever

10. Maroon 5 (2019)

In 2019, the Adam Levine-led music group Maroon 5 commanded the attention of 98.2 million people with a blockbuster performance at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. The pop group had been one of the few major music acts that did not turn down the gig in support of Colin Kaepernick’s accusations against the NFL. Despite the controversies surrounding the event or due to it, the attention was massive. The group performed time-hopping bangers like “Harder to Breathe,” “This Love,” “Girls Like You,” “She Will Be Loved,” “Sugar,” and “Moves like Jagger”. As guests, Travis Scott performed “Sicko Mode”, while Big Boi performed “Kryptonite (I’m on It)” and “The Way You Move.”

9. Jennifer Lopez and Shakira (2020)

Now the most viewed Super Bowl halftime show ever on YouTube, with nearly 250 million views, Shakira and J.Lo’s performance was remarkable. It marked the NFL’s comeback from the Colin Kaepernick controversy and saw more than 104 million people tune in. They also brought Bad Bunny, J Balvin, and Lopez’s daughter Emme Muñiz as guests on the show. Shakira performed “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)” and “Let’s Get Loud” / “Born in the U.S.A.” with Jennifer Lopez. Individually, Shakira gave a thrilling show of “Dare (La La La),” “She Wolf,” “Empire,” “Ojos así,” “Whenever, Wherever,” and “Hips Don’t Lie.” While Jennifer Lopez delivered with “Jenny from the Block,” “Ain’t It Funny (Murder Remix),” “Get Right,” “Waiting for Tonight,” and “On the Floor.” Bad Bunny and Shakira performed “I Like It” and “Chantaje” / “Callaíta”, while J Balvin and Jennifer Lopez rendered a medley of “Booty” / “Que Calor” / “El Anillo” / “Love Don’t Cost a Thing” / “Mi Gente”. Their performance lit up the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. It received four Primetime Emmy nominations and won one. However, there were several criticisms of its erotic suggestiveness.

8. Justin Timberlake (2018)

106 million people watched Justin Timberlake bring the roof down in 2018 when he hit notes on songs like “Filthy,” “Rock Your Body,” “Señorita,” “SexyBack,” “My Love,” “Cry Me a River,” “Suit & Tie,” “Until the End of Time,” “Mirrors,” and “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” His performance had the backing of Tennessee Kids and the University of Minnesota Marching Band. It was the third time that Timberlake was taking to the stage at the Super Bowl halftime. The show received four Primetime Emmy nominations but was overshadowed by the memory of the singer’s mistake from the last time he took to the stage with Janet Jackson in 2004.

7. Beyoncé (2013)

In 2013, Beyoncé and her former groupmates from Destiney’s Child, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams, had America on its feet from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. Besides being the second most-watched Super Bowl halftime show at the time, the event became the most-tweeted moment in the history of Twitter at the time, with more than 299,000 tweets per minute. Queen Bey delivered renditions of her hits “Run the World (Girls),” “Love On Top,” “Crazy in Love,” “End of Time,” “Baby Boy,” and “Halo” masterfully. Then, she partnered with Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams to perform “Bootylicious,” “Independent Women Part I,” and “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It).” The show garnered 110.8 million views, and it received three nominations for the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards, winning one.

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

Currently the second most-watched Super Bowl halftime show ever on YouTube, the 2022 event is also known as Pepsi Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show because of the array of stars it brought together. With Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, and Kendrick Lamar on the roll call, it is not surprising that 112 million people watched it. Even 50 Cent and Anderson .Paak made guest appearances on stage, and there was no shortage of hits. From “The Next Episode”, “California Love”, to “Family Affair” and “No More Drama”. Or from “M.A.A.D City”, “Alright”, “In da Club”, to “Forgot About Dre” and “Lose Yourself”. There was so much to pick from. The highlight was likely when all of them performed “Still D.R.E.” together. The show became the first Super Bowl halftime show to win the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Variety Special (Live), and it also won the Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Production Design for a Variety Special and Outstanding Music Direction.

5. Madonna (2012)

Madonna’s 2012 performance is the fifth most-watched Super Bowl halftime show of all time. She opened her arms to a variety of guest appearances at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana, including LMFAO, Nicki Minaj, M.I.A., CeeLo Green, Andy Lewis, Avon High School Drumline, Center Grove High School Drumline, Fishers High School Drumline, Franklin Central High School Drumline, Southern University Dancing Dolls, and a 200-person choir made up of locals from Indianapolis. It amassed a viewership of 114 million. She performed a medley of “Music” / “Party Rock Anthem” / “Sexy and I Know It” with LMFAO, “Give Me All Your Luvin'” with Nicki Minaj and M.I.A., and “Open Your Heart” / “Express Yourself”, and “Like a Prayer” with Cee Lo Green.

4. Bruno Mars (2014)

Bruno Mars and his band, The Hooligans, was the most-watched Super Bowl halftime show ever at the time, with 115.3 million views. The show generated 2.2 million tweets and got two Primetime Emmy Award nominations. Mars performed songs like “Billionaire,” “Locked Out of Heaven,” “Treasure,” “Runaway Baby,” and “Just the Way You Are.” Then, when Red Hot Chili Peppers came up, they formed “Give It Away” together.

3. Coldplay (2016)

With guest appearances from Beyoncé and Bruno Mars, British rock group Coldplay shut down Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, in 2016. Becoming the third most-watched Super Bowl halftime show ever, it generated 115.5 million views. Mark Ronson, Gustavo Dudamel, Youth Orchestra L.A, and the University of California Marching Band also appeared during the performance. The group performed their songs “Yellow,” “Viva la Vida,” “Paradise,” “Adventure of a Lifetime,” and “Clocks.” However, they left hits like “Fix You”/”Up & Up” for when they had Beyoncé and Bruno Mars on stage with them. Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars performed “Uptown Funk” while Beyoncé performed her song “Formation”. Then, Beyoncé and Bruno Mars performed a medley of “Crazy In Love”/”Uptown Funk” together. There were criticisms that the guest stars — Beyoncé and Bruno Mars — outshined the real headliners.

2. Lady Gaga (2017)

Lady Gaga took the headlining aspect of the job description seriously when she took to the Super Bowl LI Halftime show and gave no room to a guest appearance. For her effort, she collected 117.5 million views. The singer performed songs like “God Bless America”/”This Land Is Your Land,” “Poker Face,” “Born This Way,” “Telephone,” “Just Dance,” “Million Reasons,” and “Bad Romance.” The show was called one of the best in the event’s history, and it became the most nominated at the Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards with six nods and a win. The performance also saw her digital sales increase by about 1,000% from the day before.

1. Katy Perry (2015)

Katy Perry was at the peak of her career when she took to the stage at the Super Bowl XLIX halftime show in the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The singer had Lenny Kravitz and rapper Missy Elliott with her as special guests. Together, they managed to pull a total of 118.5 million views. Perry performed “Roar,” “Dark Horse,” “Teenage Dream,” “California Gurls,” and “Firework” alone. Then, with Lenny Kravitz, she performed “I Kissed a Girl” and did “Get Ur Freak On” and “Work It” with Missy Elliot. Elliot performed “Lose Control” alone. The show won two Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards that year. It boosted the digital catalogues of both Missy Elliot and Katy Perry, with them selling higher than usual.

The impact that headlining the Super Bowl halftime show has is not overrated. With Rihanna Super Bowl halftime show involvement confirmed, we can’t wait to see her shatter records.

There are arguments that Michael Jackson’s Super Bowl XXVII performance is the most-watched with 133.4 million viewers in 1993. However, it was hard to correctly collate such data and agree on it.

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About The Author


Obinna is a fiction writer from Lagos, Nigeria, and grew up loving comic book characters and superheroes. He watches lots of action films and writes entertainment and technology articles. He is also interested in science and how things work.

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