Massachusetts Daily Collegian

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A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

The Halftime Show and its impact on artists

A look into the importance of the Super Bowl Halftime Show
Lorie Shaull/Flickr (2018)

On Feb. 12, 2023, pop star Rihanna performed at the Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show. Even though she has been a critically acclaimed artist for 18 years, the artist’s Spotify streams surged to 640% thanks to her performance Sunday night. Hits including “B*tch Better Have My Money” increased more than 2,600% in streams and “Diamonds” saw an increase of more than 1,170% in streams.

Other tracks from Rihanna that received more streams include “Rude Boy” (1,170%) and “We Found Love” (1,160%). According to Apple Music, Rihanna saw a staggering rise in listeners by 331%. Shazam also noted that “We Found Love” was the most-searched song in the performance.

The Barbados-born performer also included an “ad” by checking her makeup halfway into her performance for her successful makeup line, Fenty Beauty.

Most artists that perform in the iconic show find immense success.

In 2014, Bruno Mars’ second album, “Unorthodox Jukebox,” went from No. 18 to No. 9 on the Billboard 200 chart and his first album, “Doo Wop & Hooligans” went from No. 82 to No. 19 after his Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show performance. Unlike his halftime predecessors, including Beyonce and Madonna, Mars did not have a vast discography. He only had two released albums, which both saw an increase in sales.

A week after the Halftime Show performance in 2013, Beyonce’s album “4” climbed up to No. 79 on the Billboard 200 chart. Beyonce and Bruno Mars would then go on to perform together in the Pepsi Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show with Coldplay.

The Super Bowl Halftime Show began in 1967 with the University of Arizona Symphonic Marching Band with guest appearances by Grambling State University’s Marching Band and celebrity trumpet player Al Hirt.

For some time, the Halftime Show was not taken seriously. Acts like high school and college marching bands, the Peanuts’ characters, Disney characters, and New Kids on the Block were the typical performers for the show.

But it wasn’t until 1993 when the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, really made the Halftime Show into what it is today. The artist started out his Super Bowl performance by standing completely still for almost 90 seconds then bursted into his iconic dance moves and performed his hits including, “Jam,” “Billie Jean,” and “Black or White.”

The most popular Super Bowl Halftime Show was in 2015 with Katy Perry as the main act with guest appearances by Lenny Kravitz and Missy Elliot. The performance received 121 million views and is still the most-watched Halftime Show performance, even after Rihanna’s performance on Sunday, which garnered 118 million views.

Even artists who have made guest appearances during the Halftime Show have had positive impacts on their careers. The band, Red Hot Chili Peppers, saw an increase in sales in their single “Give It Away,” which they performed with Bruno Mars. The single increased its sales by 620%, and even their album, “Greatest Hits,” re-entered the Billboard 200 chart at No. 41.

Unfortunately, only some artists have had positive results from their Super Bowl performances. In 2004, a wardrobe malfunction occurred between Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake, otherwise known as “Nipplegate.” Jackson’s breast was exposed on live TV by Timberlake accidentally ripped off Jackson’s costume and bra. The malfunction was seen by almost 100 million people that night and it led to a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) investigation after getting more than half a million complaints from viewers.

While Timberlake received even more fame and success from his performance, including being asked to perform at the Halftime Show again in 2018, Jackson’s career went down the drain. Jackson’s eighth studio album, “Damnita Jo,” was the first album she had released that did not reach number one in the US since 1984.

The Halftime Show remains an iconic performance in the US and any artist that performs in the show is bound to receive immediate attention, and hopefully, success.

Paige Hanson can be reached at [email protected]

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  • W

    WaltFeb 15, 2023 at 8:53 am

    Excellent article on Super Bowl halftime