Super Bowl 2022: 5 of the most expensive halftime shows in history

The annual Super Bowl halftime show is one of the biggest musical performances in the world, so it may come as a surprise that the NFL pays its headline performers absolutely nothing. Instead, the NFL pays for production costs to set up the performance, with some musicians also throwing in their own money.

It’s a massive production with complicated technical elements, so naturally, the cost of staging a halftime show can be sky high. One year, Katy Perry rode into the stadium on a mechanical golden lion. Another year, Lady Gaga parachuted into her performance from the roof.

Still, for entertainers and musicians, the show is a coveted gig. The Super Bowl is one of the most televised programmes and performers typically cash-in through a bump in sales and streaming post-performance.

Here’s a look at the five most expensive Super Bowl halftime shows ever. 


Dre Dre and Snoop Dogg open the show. (Photo: Valerie Macon/AFP)

Cost: US$20 million (S$26.9 million)

Average viewership: 117 million

Ad revenue: TBC

This year’s performance tapped into millennial nostalgia, bringing together some of the biggest names in rap and hip-hop. Taking to the stage were Mary J Blige, Eminem, Dr Dre, Kendrick Lamar, 50 Cent and Snoop Dogg.

The performance was reported to have a budget of US$13 million. Dr Dre himself said he threw in US$7 million of his own money, rounding up the cost to US$20 million.


The Weeknd performs during the halftime show of the 2021 Super Bowl. (Photo: Asley Landis/AP)

Cost: US$17 million

Average viewership: 91.63 million

Ad revenue: US$545 million

Last year’s performance was headlined by Canadian star The Weeknd, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye. For the first time in the Super Bowl’s 55-year history, due to the pandemic, The Weeknd was forced to perform from the stands rather than the pitch.

That didn’t stop the singer from splashing out on his performance. The multi-faceted set cost in excess of US$17 million, with The Weeknd personally spending US$7 million of his own money.


(Photo: AFP/Angela Weiss)

Cost: US$13 million

Average viewership: 101.32 million

Ad revenue: US$450 million

J Lo and Shakira dazzled in 2020’s show with an overwhelming spectacle showcasing the best of Latina talent. With a bevy of dancers, the two stars performed separate hits as well as a duet. Lopez was also joined on stage by her daughter, Emme Muniz. 

The show reportedly cost US$13 million.


Lady Gaga performs at the 2017 Super Bowl halftime show. (Photo: Timothy A Clary/AFP)

Cost: US$10 million

Average viewership: 111.32 million

Ad revenue: US$500 million

In true Lady Gaga style, the actress made an unforgettable arrival to her 2017 performance by entering the roof on a gold trapeze. The technical difficulty of the stunt and the many drones involved in the production pushed the performance’s price tag to US$10 million.  

2007: PRINCE

Prince performs at the 2007 Super Bowl halftime show. (Photo: Jed Jacobsohn/AFP)

Cost: US$12 million

Average viewership: 93.18 million

Ad revenue: Unknown

Who could forget the legendary Prince’s performance in 2007? The late Purple Rain singer performed in a downpour, belting out classics such as Let’s Go Crazy and Queen’s We Will Rock You. Reports estimate the cost to have been US$12 million.

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