It’s been 20 years since a country artist performed during the NFL’s Super Bowl Halftime Show. That don’t impress me much. Any guesses who it was? Answer coming in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 . . .
Yep, the last country artist to take the main stage at the Super Bowl was none other than Shania Twain in 2003, alongside a cross-genre ensemble that included No Doubt and Sting. Since Shania helped shake the stage 20 years ago, the Halftime Show has been dominated by pop, rock, and rap artists. Country can’t seem to get any love during intermission. And this year is no different, with Rihanna headlining the Halftime Show before SB LVII on Feb. 12.
However, country artists are getting some love when it comes to the big game’s pre-show festivities. Chris Stapleton will have the honor of singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” this Sunday, which marks the third year in a row a country artist has been tasked with the anthemic responsibility, following Mickey Guyton in 2022 and Eric Church in 2021.
Let’s take a look at country music’s (brief) history during the NFL’s biggest game.
Country Artists at Halftime
SB XXIV (1990): Fiddle-playing frontman Doug Kershaw was one of the performers during the 1990 Halftime Show. Doug had a handful of Top 20 hits on the country charts in the 1950s and ’60s with his brother Rusty as the duo Rusty & Doug.
SB XXVIII (1994): The ’94 Halftime Show—which was dubbed “Rockin’ Country Sunday”—featured Clint Black (“Tuckered Out”), Tanya Tucker (“It’s a Little Too Late”), Travis Tritt (“T-R-O-U-B-L-E”), and Wynonna Judd (“No One Else on Earth”). To close the show, Naomi Judd joined Wynonna and the aforementioned artists to sing The Judds’ Top 5 hit, “Love Can Build a Bridge.” In addition, the late, great Charlie Daniels joined the troupe during the finale.
SB XXXVII (2003): Shania Twain, No Doubt, and Sting performed during the 2003 Halftime Show. Shania opened the gig with “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” and “Up,” before No Doubt blasted “Just a Girl” and Sting closed with “Message in a Bottle.”
Country Artists Singing the National Anthem
- Super Bowl VIII (1974): Charley Pride
- Super Bowl XXVII (1993): Garth Brooks
- Super Bowl XXXIV (2000): Faith Hill
- Super Bowl XXXVII (2003): The Chicks (Dixie Chicks)
- Super Bowl XLIV (2010): Carrie Underwood
- Super Bowl LI (2017): Luke Bryan
- Super Bowl LV (2021): Eric Church
- SB LVI (2022): Mickey Guyton
- SB LVII: (2023): Chris Stapleton