11 Artists Who Deserve to Perform at the Super Bowl More Than Bruno Mars (Again)

Bruno Again?
Prepare your ears for "Uptown Funk."

Bruno Mars has been asked to perform during the 2016 Super Bowl Halftime Show, which is weird because he just did that very thing in 2014.

Though we have absolutely no issue with Mr. Mars musically or personally — his last Super Bowl performance was a hit! — we do take slight issue with inviting him back only two years after his first go, especially considering there are so many artists capable of holding court on that stage. It’s not like we’re all dying for yet another live rendition of “Uptown Funk,” to be perfectly honest…

So, with all respect to Mr. Mars, we’ve come up with a list of people we’d love to see slay the Super Bowl stage in 2016. Please forward this to the Super Bowl Halftime Show Committee for Choosing Performers if you have such a connection.

Lady Gaga

In her seven years as a pop force, Gaga has delivered countless memorable performances. From her blood-soaked turn at the 2009 VMAs to this year’s stunning The Sound of Music medley at the Oscars, Gaga has earned her reputation as one of the greatest entertainers on the planet. Factor in her stunning voice and her catalog of huge hits and you’ve got the makings of something magical.


Justin Bieber

Bieber just scored his first Hot 100 No. 1 right after a much-talked-about performance at the VMAs. His new album, set to release this fall, is guaranteed to top the charts. If the narrative Biebs and his team are trying to spin is that of The Boy King reascending to his throne after a tumultuous few years, then what better way to cap off his already-stellar 2015 than with a Super Bowl coronation?



Though she has not released an album in three years, the public’s appetite for all things Bad Gal has not waned even a bit. Such is the brightness of her star. If rumors are to be believed, R8 is allegedly still coming late in 2015, which would make a Super Bowl halftime extravaganza the perfect promotional platform. Also, this woman has 13 No. 1 singles to her name — every person on earth loves at least one Rihanna song.



With only two albums under her belt, Adele has become a universally-beloved icon. Hype for her new album, which is reportedly titled 25 and coming in November, is almost palpable. It would be interesting to see how someone like Adele, known more for her voice than for pop spectacle, would command the attention of the stadium and massive television audience — but rest assured, she would do it.



Not counting 1989, which was released in 2014, Drake has the best-selling album of 2015. He’s put out freestyles that have gotten more traction than some artist’s actual singles. He is arguably the most beloved rapper in the world, and he’s always been a bit of a showman. We’d love to see him take the Super Bowl stage, but on one condition: leave Madonna out of it.


One Direction

All jokes about getting teenage girls to tune in to a corporate-sponsored sporting event — thereby causing ratings to skyrocket — aside, the lads of One Direction are master performers. And it’s not just tweens who think so. The boys have had a big year in in the press — goodbye, Zayn! — which would certainly pique interest, and plus they know a thing or two about selling out (and satisfying) stadiums.


The Weeknd

On the one hand, The Weeknd does not yet seem big enough to headline the Halftime Show. On the other hand, he’s the breakout sensation of 2015 that cannot be stopped. (His just-released Beauty Behind the Madness scored the year’s second-biggest sales week.) He’s recently proven himself to be an explosive live performer, so any doubts about whether he’s too green are officially null.


Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift is currently the biggest pop star in the world. We’re not playing favorites; it’s just a fact. She is the most logical choice for this gig, so why isn’t she doing it? Something tells us it may have something to do with the fact that she has a sponsorship deal with Coke-a-Cola and the Halftime Show is presented by Pepsi. If that’s the only reason keeping Taylor from strutting onto the field, that is dumb. Give the woman the stage; she’s earned it. And can you even imagine who she’d trot out for such a special occasion?


Justin Timberlake

Justin has been a guest on the Super Bowl stage a couple of times — as part of *NSYNC and as the bodice-ripping guest of Janet Jackson — but he has never headlined the Halftime Show. This is a bizarre oversight that should be rectified. He’s a world-class performer, and judging by his warm welcome at the 2013 VMAs, people still lose their shit when he does his thing.


Nicki Minaj

In just five years, Nicki has managed to chart on the Hot 100 70 times. SEVENTY!!! She is everywhere. She is prolific. She is unique, she is powerful, and she is entertaining. She is a seasoned performer with an eye for spectacle and drama. Were she to to land the Halftime Show, you best believe you’d be talking about it the next morning… and probably every day after that for the next several months.


Janet Jackson

After the 2004 “Nipplegate” fiasco, Janet will never be asked to take the Super Bowl stage again. That’s a crime, because she is (and has always been) one of the finest performers ever to live and breathe and dance and sweat. She’s back with her first album in eight years this fall, and a comeback set on the world’s biggest stage would be a wholly appropriate homecoming. If only…


Who else do you think should perform at the 2016 Super Bowl Halftime Show? Leave us a comment below.