The Super Bowl game may be football’s biggest night of the year, but it’s the halftime show that has some of the most defining moments in fashion.
Over the years, each Super Bowl halftime show has gotten bigger and bolder than the last. Since New Kids on the Block first performed in 1991 — in matching all-black outfits — the halftime show has become synonymous with elaborate sets and glittering costumes.
This year, Grammy Award-winning Rihanna will grace the halftime stage (or the football field) and join the ranks of other pop stars such as Lady Gaga, Beyonce and Madonna who have all made fall the house before her.
If there’s one thing we know about the singer-turned-fashion mogul, Rihanna’s halftime show is bound to be full of bare-bellied looks, Swarovski crystals, and, of course, lingerie.
From Katy Perry’s four outfit changes to Madonna’s Cleopatra-inspired ensemble, here are some of the best fashion moments from Super Bowl halftime shows of years past.
Mary J. Blige
Last year, rap legend Mary J Blidge co-hosted the Super Bowl halftime show at SoFi Stadium in California alongside Dr. Dre, Kendrick Lamar, Eminem and Snoop Dogg. The hip-hop queen performed hits ‘No More Drama’ and ‘Family Affair’ while wearing a mirrored leopard print two-piece set with matching thigh high boots, all designed by Peter Dundas.
In 2021, The Weeknd brought the Las Vegas strip to its Super Bowl halftime show. The “Blinding Lights” singer took the stage wearing a custom black and red suit designed by Givenchy’s Matthew Williams that reportedly took more than 250 hours to make.
Jennifer Lopez and Shakira
These two pop stars co-hosted the 2020 Super Bowl halftime show. Shakira began the performance in a Swarovski-encrusted red mini dress with fringed trim designed by Peter Dundas.
Next, J-Lo stepped out in an all-black leather look designed by Atelier Versace, before changing into a jewel-encrusted bodysuit also made by the Italian fashion house. To close out the show, the two women appeared on stage together wearing complementary metallic outfits.
During her performance in 2017, Lady Gaga not only started her set by jumping off the roof of NRG Stadium, but she also changed her outfit three times.
For her death-defying stunt, the “Born This Way” singer wore a Swarovski crystal-embellished Versace bodysuit, with matching knee-high boots. She then donned a gold spiked jacket to play the keytar, before changing into a football-inspired top with shoulder pads and micro-pants.
In 2015, Katy Perry made history with perhaps the most elaborate Super Bowl performance of all time. The “Firework” singer kicked off her halftime show by stepping onto an animatronic mechanical lion while wearing a fiery Jeremy Scott ensemble.
Perry eventually pulled off a total of four outfit changes — from a multicolored 1950s-inspired mini dress, to a zip-up hoodie, to a silver maxi dress with stars printed on it. And of course, who could forget Left Shark.
Bruno Mars and Beyonce
While the two pop stars each had their turn headlining the Super Bowl halftime show, it was their surprise appearances at Coldplay’s halftime show that took the cake (of fashion ).
Bruno Mars and Beyoncé were special guests at Coldplay’s 2016 halftime show. For his surprise performance, the “Uptown Funk” singer was inspired by the hip-hop style of the 1980s when he and his 11-piece band coordinated in black leather Versace suits.
Mars was dressed in baggy pants and a black jacket, which featured gold buttons and cuffs adorned with Versace’s signature Greek motif. He paired the leather look with gold chains and Nike sneakers.
Meanwhile, Beyoncé was inspired by Michael Jackson’s halftime performance in 1993 when she appeared in a custom Dsquared2 leather jacket with gold detailing. The “Formation” singer then paid tribute to the Black Panthers when her background dancers appeared dressed in Black Panther-style berets, black leather and combat boots.
Speaking of the King of Pop, Michael Jackson’s 1993 halftime look has made fashion history. The “Thriller” singer appeared on stage wearing a black military-style jacket and aviator sunglasses. He then removed the jacket to reveal a white T-shirt and a puffy white jacket.
In 2007, Prince performed at the Super Bowl halftime show in a teal suit, orange shirt and his signature purple guitar in a downpour.
Madonna may have broken the record for the most surprise appearances at a halftime show when she brought LMFAO, Nicki Minaj, MIA and Cee Lo Green to the 2012 Super Bowl. But even the timing of the MIA’s middle finger couldn’t outshine Madonna’s three outfit changes.
The three looks worn by Madonna were designed by Ricardo Tisci for Givenchy haute couture. At the start of her performance, the “Like a Virgin” singer appeared in a gold cape embroidered with sequins, studs and crystals, lined with leopard-print chiffon. She completed the first look with a gold helmet from Phillip Treacy.
Madonna then changed into another Givenchy mini dress look with a studded belt, short cape and custom black and gold Miu Miu thigh high boots. She ended her performance with a floor-length Givenchy embellished black coat.
Before Katy Perry’s four outfit changes, there was Diana Ross. The singer also made a total of four outfit changes during her 12-minute performance at the 1996 Super Bowl halftime show. The “Upside Down” singer started the show wearing a sequined mini dress red, then changed into a flowing orange and purple dress.
In her third outfit change, while singing “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” she traded in her maxi dress for a gold cape. Finally, the diva closed her set by wearing an embroidered purple cat costume.
The country music star took the Super Bowl halftime stage in 2003 wearing a dazzling bra, black miniskirt and waist-cinched full cape.
Black Eyed Peas
Although the Black Eyed Peas’ performance at the 2011 Super Bowl wasn’t the most beloved halftime show, the foursome still pulled out all the stops when it came to their flashy costumes that glow in the dark with LEDs. shimmering, like something tron the legacy.
Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake
Who can forget the Super Bowl halftime show to end all halftime shows? Jackson donned an Alexander McQueen studded leather corset during her 2004 Super Bowl performance with Justin Timberlake. However, Jackson’s fashion moment was overshadowed when Timberlake ripped the front of his suit and accidentally exposed his chest, forever casting “nipplegate.” Justice for Janet.