LIVE NOW /
Watch WFLA News Channel 8

WATCH: Star-studded pre-game, halftime performances from past Tampa Super Bowls

The Big Game

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — There will be some big-name entertainers in town soon as Tampa makes its final preparations ahead of Sunday’s Super Bowl LV.

Grammy-award-winning singer H.E.R. is set to sing “America the Beautiful” before the game while R&B singer Jazmine Sullivan and country star Eric Church will team up to perform the National Anthem. This year’s halftime show will be headlined by The Weeknd, an R&B star who’s won three Grammy awards and released a fourth album last year.

This year marks the fifth Super Bowl in Tampa, meaning the city is no stranger to star-studded performances before and during the big game. Here’s a look at the past four pre-game and halftime performances for Super Bowl games in Tampa:

Super Bowl XVIII: Jan. 22, 1984

National Anthem: Barry Manilow

Before the kickoff of Super Bowl XVIII in 1984, marching bands from the University of Florida and Florida State University took the field to perform. After their performance, Barry Manilow sang the national anthem as the Washington Redskins and Los Angeles Raiders stood and looked on.

Halftime show: Disney

The Super Bowl XVII halftime show was a “Salute to Superstars of Silver Screen” and was produced by Disney. The University of Florida and Florida State University’s marching bands returned to the field and performed several songs alongside dancers and Disney characters. The show wrapped up with a performance of “When You Wish Upon a Star.”

Super Bowl XXV: Jan. 27, 1991

National Anthem: Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston’s rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” before the 1991 game at Tampa Stadium is widely seen as one of the best – if not the best – Super Bowl national anthem performances of all time.

Houston was 27 years old at the time and had pre-recorded the vocals before the game. Her performance came in the midst of a tense time in the United States – just more than a week after the nation led a coalition of countries in an aerial bombing in the Persian Gulf War. Houston donated the proceeds she earned from her performance’s commercial single and video to the American Red Cross Gulf Crisis Fund.

TAMPA, FL – JANUARY 27: Whitney Houston sings the National Anthem before a game with the New York Giants taking on the Buffalo Bills prior to Super Bowl XXV at Tampa Stadium on January 27, 1991 in Tampa, Florida. The Giants won 20-19. (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)

Halftime show: Disney, New Kids on the Block

Similar to Tampa’s Super Bowl XVIII in 1984, Disney also produced the halftime show for Super Bowl XXV in 1991. The show was called “A Small World Salute to 25 Years of the Super Bowl” and featured thousands of local children and Disney characters. New Kids on the Block also performed which, according to the Atlantic, marked the first time a pop artist performed at a Super Bowl halftime show.

The halftime show, however, was not widely seen by Super Bowl viewers. Due to the ongoing Gulf War, ABC opted to broadcast a news report at halftime to give Americans an update on Operation Desert Storm.

According to the Atlantic, some ABC affiliates did play a shorter version of the halftime show after the game.

Super Bowl XXXV: Jan. 28, 2001

National Anthem: Backstreet Boys

Before the game began and before the National Anthem was performed, singer Sting and rock band Styx played a pre-game show called “Life’s Super in Central Florida” to celebrate some of the traditions and things to do in the Tampa Bay area. The show was hosted by “King of Queens” star Kevin James and featured a pop group from Tampa called PYT.

In honor of America’s 225th birthday, the NFL had two performances in the National anthem Ceremony for the first time. Ray Charles sang “America the Beautiful” and was followed by the Backstreet Boys, who performed the “Star-Spangled Banner.” The Backstreet Boys formed in Orlando and included Tampa native (and huge Buccaneers fan) Nick Carter.

Halftime show: Aerosmith, NSYNC & guests

The star-studded 2001 Super Bowl halftime show really had something for everyone, and is regarded by some as one of the best Super Bowl halftime shows.

The wildly-popular boy band NSYNC and iconic rock group Aerosmith headlined the performance, singing hits like “Bye Bye Bye,” “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” “It’s Gonna Be Me” and “Jaded.” The two groups brought in pop star Britney Spears, hip-hop singer-songwriter Mary J. Blige and rapper Nelly to perform “Walk This Way” to close out the halftime show.

Super Bowl XLIII: Feb. 1, 2009

National Anthem: Jennifer Hudson

Journey and John Legend both performed ahead of Super Bowl XLIII. Pre-game performances also included Faith Hill singing “America the Beautiful.”

Jennifer Hudson was chosen to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” before kickoff. It marked Hudson’s first public appearance since the murder of her mother, brother and nephew. The three were killed in Chicago in October 2008.

Halftime show: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

Springsteen kicked off the halftime show by telling viewers, “I want you to step back from the guacamole dip!” and “I want you to put the chicken fingers down!” as he introduced the E Street Band.

Don Mischer, the director of the Super Bowl halftime show, later said Springsteen had long been sought after to perform at the big game but hadn’t been interested until after the 2008 show headlined by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

“Almost every year that we did the Super Bowl, we tried to get Bruce and there was just never any interest,” Mischer said. “The most surprising call I’ve ever had in my career is … [when] Bruce’s people called me and said ‘we think it’s maybe time to talk about this.'”

Springsteen and the band played “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out,” “Born to Run,” “Working on a Dream” and “Glory Days.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

get the app

News App

Weather App

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss