Kevin Mazur/WireImageThe Super Bowl halftime show normally features the biggest names in music, who are usually veteran performers. This year, however, marks the second year in a row that the headline performer is age 30 or under.
Last year, Bruno Mars, who was 28 at the time, set the record for halftime show viewers when 115 million people tuned in to see his perform with the Red Hot Chili Peppers. This year, Katy Perry, who just turned 30 in October, will take the stage. Beyonce was 31 when she did the halftime show in 2013. As Bruno was last year, though, Katy will be joined by an older rock act: Lenny Kravitz.
Still, the NFL's willingness to continue to book contemporary female pop acts like Katy Perry indicates it might finally be getting over Janet Jackson's notorious "wardrobe malfunction" scandal of 2004. Following that disaster, Super Bowl organizers turned to classic rock acts like Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, the Rolling Stones, The Who, and Tom Petty, since they were considered to be "safe" and less controversial. Contemporary pop returned to the scene in 2011, when the Black Eyed Peas took the stage; no wardrobe malfunctions ensued.
The NFL took a risk in 2012 with one of pop music's most controversial stars, Madonna, but the only controversy that emerged from that was courtesy of one of her invited guests, M.I.A., who flipped the bird during the performance. In 2013, Beyonce delivered a widely-acclaimed performance, though some felt her outfit and her gyrations were a bit racy.
Early in her career, Katy had been a bit controversial due to her #1 hit "I Kissed a Girl," and for her cleavage-baring outfits, but these days, she's mostly seen as a family-friendly performer who makes great pop records and puts on a spectacular, colorful live show.
Believe it or not, the trend of having major pop, rock and country music stars appear at the Super Bowl halftime show only dates back to 1991, when New Kids on the Block performed. Before that, the halftime show usually consisted of marching bands, older stars like Chubby Checker and Ella Fitzgerald, or the G-rated vocal troupe Up with People. But after '91, it was all stars, all the time. Here's a reminder of who's played Super Bowl halftime shows since then:
1991 -- New Kids on the Block
1992 -- Gloria Estefan
1993 -- Michael Jackson, performing with 3,500 children
1994 -- Country stars Clint Black, Tanya Tucker, Travis Tritt, Wynonna, and Naomi Judd
1995 -- Patti Labelle, Miami Sound Machine & Tony Bennett
1996 -- Diana Ross
1997 -- ZZ Top, James Brown, the Blues Brothers featuring Dan Aykroyd, John Goodman and James Belushi
1998 -- Boyz II Men, Smokey Robinson, Martha Reeves, the Temptations, Queen Latifah
1999 -- Stevie Wonder, Gloria Estefan, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
2000 -- Phil Collins, Christina Aguilera, Enrique Iglesias, Toni Braxton
2001 -- Aerosmith, 'N Sync, Britney Spears, Nelly, Mary J. Blige
2002 -- U2
2003 -- Shania Twain, No Doubt, Sting
2004 -- Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Nelly, Kid Rock, P. Diddy
2005 -- Paul McCartney
2006 -- The Rolling Stones
2007 -- Prince
2008 -- Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
2009 -- Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
2010 -- The Who
2011 -- Black Eyed Peas
2012 -- Madonna
2013 -- Beyonce (and Destiny's Child, briefly)
2014 -- Bruno Mars feat. Red Hot Chili Peppers
2015 -- Katy Perry, Lenny Kravitz & surprise guest
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