ESPN Music: Super Bowl halftime show

Super Bowl halftime's awkward superstars

January, 31, 2013
1/31/13
6:45
AM ET
Bruce SpringsteenKevin Mazur/Getty ImagesBruce Springsteen's 2009 Super Bowl halftime performance was remarkably corny.
Halftime at the Super Bowl requires a spectacle, and music’s heavy hitters have joined in over the years. Some shows are breathtaking (U2’s post 9/11 performance) and some we’d like to forget (that which created the phrase “wardrobe malfunction”).

No matter how talented the artist, these shows are often littered with awkward moments. Even the weather can contribute. Prince’s 2007 show -- which ranks with U2’s as the gold standard -- endured a steady Miami rain. But he played right through it, making his rendition of “Purple Rain” even more powerful.

Other exceptions to the cringeworthy element: Tom Petty (2008), The Rolling Stones (2006) and Paul McCartney (2005). Quibble with their music all you want, but those were strong performances.

Before Beyonce takes the Super Bowl stage in New Orleans, here’s a look at five shows loaded with awkward moments in the past 30 years.

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