American Football is one of the best-loved and most popular sports in the world and the biggest game on the calendar is the Super Bowl. The title-deciding game played annually between the two best teams from the National Football League season clash at a sold-out venue with thousands of supporters in the stands bolstered by the millions watching around the world on TV and through live streaming apps. It’s a game that unites sports fans across the United States as well as Canada, Australia, Great Britain, Dubai and further afield.
If you’ve not witnessed the passion of this sporting spectacle, we strongly advise you to make arrangements to catch Super Bowl LVIII. That game will be played at the Allegiant Stadium in Paradise, Nevada on February 11, 2024, and will take its place in the history books as the first played in The Silver State. Nevada will be the perfect setting for this match as it will be played in a year where online sports gambling will be legal in more regions of the United States than ever before.
Most years we see football as the main attraction but at Super Bowl LVI in Inglewood, California it was the halftime show that made headlines. The likes of Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg, and Eminem put on a performance that rocked the world and won’t be forgotten in a hurry. At the SoFi Stadium, the Los Angeles Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals by 23 points to 20 but it was the giants of rap music that got tongues wagging.
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When style stole the show
The Super Bowl of 2022 wasn’t the first time we saw the actions on the field of play upstaged. On more than one occasion in the past, we’ve seen fashion take centre stage. That could be the outfits worn by the world’s biggest celebrities sitting at pitchside, the artist tasked with kicking things off with the national anthem or artists appearing in the halftime show. The NFL loves to make a scene and the entertainment is planned more than 12 months in advance with money proving to be no stumbling block to get the greatest names in music to perform.
Below we pick out our three favourite Super Bowl halftime shows when fashion upstaged football. Years when the top names in music rocked the world while the players caught a breather and went over their big game tactics in the locker room before emerging to a wall of noise created by a rejuvenated crowd.
James Brown – Super Bowl XXXI
The Green Bay Packers enjoyed a dominant win over the New England Patriots at the Louisiana Stadium, New Orleans in 1997. There wasn’t too much to report with the game wrapped up by halftime but the silky smooth voice and exciting personality of James Brown made it a year to remember. Not only did he put on a performance for the ages, but he also wore a scarlet suit that was covered with diamonds and that outfit more than matched the quality of his halftime show. He was supported by The Blues Brothers and ZZ Top but no one overshadowed the king of funk.
P Diddy and Nelly – Super Bowl XXXVIII
While the New England Patriots were plotting their narrow win over the Carolina Panthers at Reliant Stadium, Houston, P Diddy and Nelly left their mark. The pair were draped in gold, diamonds and expensive jewellery.
It probably wouldn’t have the same impact today as it did in 2004, some might say it even looked tacky, but not by the standards of the day. It was a real show of strength in the music industry when more bling meant more success.
Prince – Super Bowl XLI
Has there ever been an artist quite as talented as Prince? It’s difficult to argue against and he reinforced his style in 2007 at the Dolphin Stadium in Miami as the Indianapolis Colts brushed aside the weak challenge of the Chicago Bears, winning 29-17.
The game wasn’t close and no one got near upstaging Prince who performed one of his most memorable shows in a turquoise suit over an orange shirt. It was striking and wearing the colours of the local team ensured he was well received before he approached the mic.