Updated 12:25 PM EDT, Wed, Aug 27, 2014
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Super Bowl Halftime Show 2014: Can Bruno Mars Outshock Top 5 Most Shocking Halftime Performances? [Videos]

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Can Bruno Mars Top Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake?
Bruno Mars, left, will headline the halftime show for Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2, but can he beat out the shocking performance that Janet Jackson, second from right, and Justin Timberlake, far right, left fans buzzing with in 2004? (Photo : Reuters)

It’s official: Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos will meet Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks on Feb. 2 at Super Bowl XLVIII…but that’s not the only big time act that’s going to headline the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

Music superstar Bruno Mars will be taking his act to the Big Apple—or at least to the Big Apple’s doorstep—to try to rock the 82,000-seat stadium at the most watched sporting event of the year when he and legends The Red Hot Chili Peppers headline the Super Bowl Halftime Show in two weeks. The Honolulu, Hawaii-born crooner is expected to be belting out some of his biggest hits, including “Locked Out of Heaven,” “Just the Way You Are, “Grenade,” “When I Was Your Man” as he attempts to follow up a highly-talked-about Halftime Show last year from Beyonce when she and former bandmates Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child reunited onstage in an electrifying performance at Super Bowl XLVII at the Superdome in New Orleans, La., that climaxed in the entire stadium blacking out 10 minutes after her performance.

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But as talked-about as that performance was, Mars has all the qualifications to follow it up. His smooth voice, combined with a style that flirts between the worlds of pop and hip-hop, has drawn rave reviews through the years.

The fedora-sporting, smooth-belting, chart-topping Mars has the ability to electrify on stage whether it’s a soulful ballad or a catchy, foot-tapping tune, so the fans at Metlife Stadium, which will be coming from across the nation and around the world, will be in for one hell of a show. Of course, this is the Super Bowl Halftime Show—Mars still has some tremendous competitiors that have delivered jaw-dropping, unforgettable and outright shocking performances at the Big Game in the last 20-plus years. From last year's “Blackout Bowl” to Janet Jackson's infamous “wardrobe malfunction,” Mars certainly has some stiff competition from the Top Five Most Outrageous Super Bowl Halftime Performances ever. 

5. New Kids On the Block Stirs Up Old Generation (1991)

For years, the halftime show at the Super Bowl was largely a tame affair, with marching bands, Disney characters and family-safe, very basic entertainment. That changed in 1991 when the Walt Disney Company brought in the hottest music act on the charts, the heartthrob boy band New Kids on the Block, to headline the show. Older football fans were in a stir, chafing at the change of pace from the family-style entertainment they were long accustomed to, and apparently, so did ABC, which broadcasted the game; they ended up cutting away from the cutting edge halftime show to give an update on the Iraq War. Fast forward 20-some odd years later, and even the highest ranking TV execs would be hard-pressed to ever cut away from the halftime show of the Super Bowl, which was won that year by game MVP Otis Anderson and the New York Giants in a thrilling 20-19 victory over the Buffalo Bills for the Giants' second and final Super Bowl win in the Bill Parcells era; Parcells would resign as coach of the Giants later that year.

4. Prince’s Not-So-Private Shadow Looms Large (2007)

One of the most successful music acts of all time, Prince is no stranger to controversy, whether it’s his shocking outfits or changing his name, and his halftime show at Super Bowl XLI was no exception. Performing a rocking medley of his classic hits like “Let’s Go Crazy,” “Best of You” and “Purple Rain,” Prince shocked fans during his guitar solo in the middle of his act, when the shadow of his guitar had certain…phallic implications for many fans watching the show, which one critic said "looked embarrassingly rude, crude and unfortunately placed." However, Super Bowl MVP Peyton Manning drew much more favorable reviews when he and the Indianapolis Colts sealed the deal on a 29-17 win over the Chicago Bears for the Colts' first-ever world championship.

3. M.I.A. Gives Middle Finger to Record Audience (2012)

During the most-watched Super Bowl Halftime Show of all time at Super Bowl XLVI, headlined by the legendary Madonna, a record 112.5 million people tuned in and saw singer M.I.A. give fans a shock when she flashed the one-fingered salute to the live audience and cameras in Indianapolis, Ind., as the halftime show progressed. The rapper later claimed that the gesture was actually more of a tribute to Matangi, a Hindu goddess—and also the name of her album that dropped last year—whose symbol was the middle finger. Whether that was her actual intention or not, there was no denying that M.I.A. created quite the buzz...almost as much as the buzz Super Bowl Eli Manning's New York Giants created when they shocked the world by defeating the New England Patriots again, 21-17, for the Giants' second Super Bowl title in four years.

2. Blackout Bowl, Embarrassing Pics Marr Beyonce’s Performance (2013)

It was fitting that Beyonce, one of the biggest acts in music, took centerstage at the most watched music and sporting event of the year. With the No. 2 highest-rated show of all time, Beyonce pumped out an energetic show that featured a little something for everyone. For pop fans, it was the reunion of Destiny’s Child. For comedy fans, it was some unflattering pictures of Beyonce during her dance routine. For conspiracy theorists, it was Beyonce flashing the “Illuminati” sign…followed by a 35-minute blackout that paused the game, allowing the San Francisco 49ers to mount a near-historic comeback that fell short as game MVP Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens held on, 34-31, to win the franchise’s second Super Bowl.


1. Justin Timberlake, Janet Jackson and the “Wardrobe Malfunction” (2004)

If there was a more shocking moment in Super Bowl Halftime Show history, good luck finding it. Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake created one of the most surprising moments ever televised by the NFL during their rendition of Timberlake’s hit single “Rock Your Body,” when Timberlake ripped open the front of Jackson’s black leather ensemble, exposing one of her breasts on live TV. The FCC subsequently fined CBS, which televised the show, a sum of $550,000, while Timberlake apologized in a statement, blaming Jackson’s exposure on a “wardrobe malfunction,” a phrase that has become part of pop-culture lore ever since. And MTV, which produced the show, hasn’t been invited back by the NFL to produce the halftime show since…and likely won’t ever be again. Almost as memorable as the show was the sight of Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady fueling the New England Patriots' dynasty with a heart-stopping 32-29 victory over the Carolina Panthers at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas for the Pats' second of what would be three Super Bowl titles in four years.

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