15 Acts Who Probably Missed Their Chance at The Super Bowl Halftime Show

You must be a bona fide superstar to perform during the Super Bowl's mid-game break. The thing about superstardom, though, is that it can be fleeting. While aged halftime acts like The Who may leave room for hope, we're confident these 15 musical acts missed their window for earning Super Bowl halftime show honors.

1. Kanye West

Kanye West
Image Credit: Liam Goodner/Shutterstock.

Kanye West has courted controversy throughout his career. As one of the first men to wear a pink Polo in a rap video and one of the first men to crash an acceptance speech at the MTV Video Music Awards, Kanye is a pioneer in controversy. 

Yet, in the past few years, Ye has leaned into controversy in a way that few famous people have, and he's lost a lot of money because of it. His polarizing public statements have also cost him any possibility of being part of a Super Bowl halftime show.

2. OutKast

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Though half of the duo, Big Boi, made a cameo during halftime of Super Bowl 53, Andre 3000 was nowhere to be found. There was no “Hey Ya!,” “Ms. Jackson,” or “ATLiens.” Fortunately, Big Boi did a brief rendition of “I Love the Way You Move.”

Still, half of OutKast ain't OutKast.

3. Billy Joel

Billy Joel
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Though the Piano Man performed the National Anthem at Super Bowl 23 (as a relatively young man) and Super Bowl 41 (as a slightly older man), he has never performed the halftime show. What a shame it is that we never got to hear a medley of “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant,” “Movin' Out,” and “She's Always a Woman” sandwiched between a football game.

4. Blink-182

Blink 182 at the Grammy's
Image Credit: CBS Television Network.

Blink-182 was an integral part of 90s kids' life soundtracks. Fittingly, the band reunited in 2023, right in time to capitalize on fans eager to reconnect with their youth as they trudge steadily into the doldrums of adulthood.

While the reunion tour will undoubtedly be a smashing success, Blink-182 feels past the Super Bowl halftime show level of stardom. 

5. Fleetwood Mac

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Image Credit: Randy Miramontez/Shutterstock.

Though Stevie Nicks & Co. have played a Super Bowl pregame show, they never commanded halftime duties. We'll have to imagine the band modifying “Break the Chains” as “Move the Chains.” 

6. Pitbull

Pitbull's New Year's Revolution
Image Credit: Fox.

Latino rapper Pitbull was, throughout most of the 2000s, a staple of the Billboard Hot 100 charts. If you turned the radio on between 2005 and 2015, you were about 35% likely to hear Pitbull singing the chorus on the DJ du jour's electronic club jam or shouting “Dale!” on his own song. Like an actual pitbull in a bad mood, the musician Pitbull seemed inescapable.

Pit is not the relentless hitmaker he once was. Though he played the NFL's Tailgate Tropicale concert before Super Bowl 54, a halftime show is likely not in the cards for Mr. 305.

7. The Eagles

Eagles in concert September 2014
Image Credit: Wiki Commons, Flickr, Rachel Kramer.

We're not making light of older bands' members passing away. Instead, we're merely marveling that a band as popular as The Eagles never played the Super Bowl halftime show. “I Can't Tell You Why” NFL executives never threw the bag at Don Henley, Glenn Frey, and the crew. 

8. Lauryn Hill and The Fugees

Fugees Killing Me Softly
Image Credit: Capitol.

One of the most beloved acts of the 90s and early 2000s, The Fugees, would have been one of the earliest hip-hop acts to grace the stage of the Super Bowl halftime show. Alas, they did not. Come on, Lauryn. You're Killing Me Softly with your lack of Super Bowl halftime songs.

9. Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

One of the 90s' brightest musical talents, it is almost shocking that Mariah Carey never had a cameo during a Super Bowl halftime show. Her resurgence during the early 2000s would have made Carey a logical choice as a family-friendly, angel-voiced entertainer. NFL execs decided otherwise.

Someone start the “All we want for halftime is Mariah” campaign before it's too late.

10. Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber
Image Credit: DFree/Shutterstock.

If anyone will “Never Say Never ” (a Bieber song name, for the uninitiated) when it comes to playing the Super Bowl halftime show, it's Biebs. However, the one-time Prince of Pop has probably aged out of the running.

Jennifer Lopez's late-career appearance at Super Bowl 54 seemingly leaves an open door for a future Bieber performance. Yet, somehow, we're “Confident” that Justin will look at the next crop of halftime acts thinking, “That Should Be Me.”

11. AC/DC

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Image Credit: Shutterstock.

The governor of Nevada has been pushing for AC/DC to play the 2024 Super Bowl halftime show in Las Vegas, but that seems like wishful thinking at this point. Though the band released an album as recently as 2020, the NFL seems more concerned with connecting with younger generations.

We all know an AC/DC halftime performance would be electric, but that doesn't mean it will happen.

12. Guns N' Roses

Guns N Roses
Image Credit: Antonio Scorza / Shutterstock.com.

While Slash made a cameo during The Black Eyed Peas' halftime performance in 2011, the Peas' rendition of “Sweet Child O' Mine” (as well as the remainder of the performance) induced a collective cringe among music purists.

We'll almost certainly never see Axl Rose and the gang performing live at the Super Bowl. At this point, that's for the best.

13. Limp Bizkit

Limp Bizkit Fred Durst
Image Credit: Frank Schwichtenberg – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0/Wiki Commons.

Fred Durst and his band Limp Bizkit may have done it all for the “Nookie.” Apparently, “doing it all” does not include playing the Super Bowl Halftime Show. 

14. Backstreet Boys

Backstreet Boys
Image Credit: Wiki Commons.

Whether you consider Backstreet Boys a guilty nostalgic pleasure or an abomination, you'd probably admit surprise that the Boys never played the Super Bowl halftime. The boy band reportedly turned down the 2001 Super Bowl slot, which their rivals *NSYNC accepted.  

15. Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson
Image Credit: Lifetime.

What's that? You say that Janet Jackson did perform a Super Bowl halftime show? Did anything controversial happen? 

Source: (Reddit).

Sam Mire is a freelance writer who has manned a variety of beats over nearly a decade in the literary biz. He has spent weeks in the Alaskan wildlands, immersed himself in the world of Florida's homeless population, covered live sporting events, and served as a linchpin for media outlets in the legal, tech, and entertainment spaces. Sam has been published in Fast Company, Forbes, Entrepreneur, AP News, Fox News, and, most notably, Wealth of Geeks. In his free time, he enjoys boxing, woodwork, petting his dog, and reveling in good company.