Everybody knows that Janet Jackson was last woman to ever (partially!) headline a Superbowl Halftime Show, but when will this trend stop?
The common response to the dude-trend is usually
something like "It's only guys watching the game anyway; so
what if it's Springsteen/Mick Jagger/Paul McCartney/Tom Petty/The
Using the very useful list of Superbowl Halftime Shows wiki, I wanted to show the history of acts to show that this notion that only guys are watching is historically false.
The early Superbowl years was mostly university bands with an homage to a special theme here or there. I gave most of those shows a neutral score because a group was given the headline, and I can only assume that there are at least a few ladies in the bunch.
Then, as the audience watching at home exploded in numbers, famous acts signed up for the venue under incredible sponsorships, like Coke, E*Trade, Pepsi, etc. The list of artists doesn't veer into mainstream pop until 1991's NKOTB, 1992's Gloria Estefan, and 1993's Michael Jackson, but I'd say that's when the Halftime Show Party really got started. But you and I both know that dudes were not the ones screaming over NKOTB and Michael Jackson, so clearly the teenage population was watching during this era.
The two major pop-montages of 2001 and 2004 were produced by MTV, so they got the biggest names of their day: NSync, Britney, Nelly, Jessica Simpson, Nelly, P Diddy, and the infamous Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson. This was also the era when MTV had the midas touch with teenagers since Total Request Live (TRL) sternly dictated the likes and retired likes of the day's pop stars. Sidenote: did you know that Janet Jackson won MTV's mtvICON award: "an annual recognition of artists who have made significant
contributions to music, music video and pop culture while tremendously
impacting the MTV generation" in 2001? And did you also know that MTV (along with most other networks) was forced to grossly censor their content as a result of their beloved, awarded, iconic Janet's performance?
I should note that of the National Anthem performers since 2000, 2 have been all-male, 2 have been mixed groups (US Academy choirs of 2005, Aretha Franklin and Aaron Neville of 2006), and 6 have been all-female. Everybody remember Beyonce's church suit the year of the Janet Jackson Incident? It was the frame of reference for the nipple-shield backlash as how women should look and act when in the spotlight.
So what if I'm angry that the Ravens blew it in yesterday's playoffs to the Colts? My point is that Lady Gaga should be headlining the shit out of this year's Superbowl show, but instead, we're gathering in our friends' living rooms over chili and beers to watch a band that formed more than 45 years ago. Keep rockin, Gaga, cuz next year, I'll be supporting you in a purple jersey with your name on it.