Super Bowl 2016: A History of Halftime Performances

Coldplay, Beyoncé and Bruno Mars will perform this year.

— -- The Super Bowl halftime show normally features the biggest names in music, who are often veteran performers.

Coldplay, who just released a new album, "A Head Full of Dreams," will celebrate their 20th anniversary this year. They will take the stage with some help from past headliner Beyoncé and Bruno Mars, who headlined in 2014. Special guests have also been teased for the 12-minute performance.

The NFL took a risk in 2012 with one of pop music's most controversial stars, Madonna, but the only controversy that emerged from that was courtesy of one of her invited guests, M.I.A., who flipped the bird during the performance. In 2013, Beyoncé delivered a widely-acclaimed performance, though some felt her outfit and her gyrations were a bit racy.

Early in her career, Katy Perry had been a bit controversial due to her #1 hit "I Kissed a Girl," and for her outfits, but last year, her spectacular headlining show went off without controversy, to great critical acclaim and record viewership.

But believe it or not, the trend of having major pop, rock and country music stars appear at the Super Bowl halftime show only dates back to 1991, when New Kids on the Block performed. Before that, the halftime show usually consisted of marching bands, older stars like Chubby Checker and Ella Fitzgerald, or the G-rated vocal troupe Up with People. That's because initially, the halftime show was designed to entertain the audience in the stands, not those viewing at home. As the New York Times puts it, "It was decades before the NFL. realized that the halftime show plays not to the stadium but to the camera."

Here's a reminder of who's played Super Bowl halftime shows in the modern era:

  • 1991 -- New Kids on the Block
  • 1992 -- Gloria Estefan
  • 1993 -- Michael Jackson, performing with 3,500 children
  • 1994 -- Country stars Clint Black, Tanya Tucker, Travis Tritt, Wynonna, and Naomi Judd
  • 1995 -- Patti Labelle, Miami Sound Machine & Tony Bennett
  • 1996 -- Diana Ross
  • 1997 -- ZZ Top, James Brown, the Blues Brothers featuring Dan Aykroyd, John Goodman and James Belushi
  • 1998 -- Boyz II Men, Smokey Robinson, Martha Reeves, the Temptations, Queen Latifah
  • 1999 -- Stevie Wonder, Gloria Estefan, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
  • 2000 -- Phil Collins, Christina Aguilera, Enrique Iglesias, Toni Braxton
  • 2001 -- Aerosmith, 'N Sync, Britney Spears, Nelly, Mary J. Blige
  • 2002 -- U2
  • 2003 -- Shania Twain, No Doubt, Sting
  • 2004 -- Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Nelly, Kid Rock, P. Diddy
  • 2005 -- Paul McCartney
  • 2006 -- The Rolling Stones
  • 2007 -- Prince
  • 2008 -- Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
  • 2009 -- Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  • 2010 -- The Who
  • 2011 -- Black Eyed Peas
  • 2012 -- Madonna
  • 2013 -- Beyoncé (and Destiny's Child, briefly)
  • 2014 -- Bruno Mars feat. Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • 2015 -- Katy Perry, Lenny Kravitz & Missy Elliott
  • 2016 -- Coldplay, Beyoncé and guests