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Super Bowl halftime show had humble beginnings

The Super Bowl halftime show has become an event in itself, with big-name acts commanding center stage before packed stadiums and millions of television viewers.

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It has come a long way from trumpeter Al Hirt, who played in the first Super Bowl halftime show before a stadium that was only filled to two-thirds of its capacity.

The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson, Prince, Beyonce and Katy Perry have given memorable performances, but here are some halftime shows you may have forgotten about. 

The first Super Bowl, on Jan. 15, 1967, at the Los Angeles Coliseum, featured Hirt, the University of Arizona Symphonic Marching Band, the Grambling State Marching Band and the Anaheim High School Drill Team and Flag Girls.

Up With People performed in Super Bowl V, and Hirt returned for Super Bowl VI in 1972 to share the stage with Ella Fitzgerald, Carol Channing, the U.S. Air Force Academy Cadet Chorale and the U.S. Marine Corps Drill team.

Ever seen a beauty queen perform at halftime? Judy Mallett, who was Miss Texas in 1973, played the fiddle with the University of Texas Longhorn Band when Super Bowl VIII came to Houston’s Rice Stadium in 1974.

Super Bowl XXV in Tampa, Florida, is remembered for Whitney Houston’s rousing rendition of the national anthem, but New Kids on the Block was part of the halftime show.

The Super Bowl in 1992 could be called the last of the modest halftime shows, with Gloria Estefan and members of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team the highlights. But when Fox siphoned off halftime viewers with a live episode of “In Living Color,” the NFL switched to big-name concerts, starting with Michael Jackson in 1993 for Super Bowl XXVII at the Rose Bowl.

Other big names that followed included Diana Ross (1996), Aerosmith (2001), U2 (2002), Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake in a sequence that became known as for its “wardrobe malfunction” (2004), McCartney (2005), the Rolling Stones (2006), Prince (2007), Springsteen (2009), The Who (2011), Perry (2015) and Beyonce (2017).

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