Super Bowl 50 brought some serious star power during the Pepsi Halftime Show at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., where the Carolina Panthers were going head-to-head with the Denver Broncos on Sunday (Feb. 7).
Coldplay enlisted special guests Beyoncé, who gave a career-defining performance at the big game in 2013, and Bruno Mars, who followed in her footsteps the next year. The colorful set began with Coldpay Chris Martin joining his band members on stage for “Viva La Vida,” “Paradise,” and “Adventure of a Lifetime” as a crowd danced along the perimeter of the stage.
Mark Ronson manned the ones and twos as Coldplay passed the mic to Bruno Mars, who gave a fiery rendition of their smash “Uptown Funk.” The singer, who channeled MC Hammer with his all-black leather Versace outfit, gave it his all for a verse before Queen Bey took over for a finely choreographed live debut of her new single “Formation.” Flanked by an all-black female dance troupe, Bey paid tribute to Michael Jackson with her military-inspired outfit from the King of Pop’s 1993 Super Bowl halftime show.
Backed by her ladies, she and Bruno squared off in a dance throwdown, joining back up with Martin after a montage looking back on 50 years of halftime shows to conclude with a group singalong to Coldplay’s “Up&Up.”
Bey’s appearance comes just a day after she surprise-released “Formation,” co-produced by Mike WiLL Made-It and co-written by Rae Sremmurd’s Swae Lee. The powerful Melina-directed music video arrived in conjunction with her “Formation Collection” line of merchandise brandishing lines from the song, which was also given away as a free download on TIDAL. Immediately following the halftime performance, Beyoncé also announced dates for “The Formation World Tour,” which kicks off April 27 in Miami.
In a rare interview leading up to the Super Bowl, Beyoncé spoke with the NFL, reflecting on her iconic 2013 halftime performance. “I remember growing up watching the Super Bowl with my family,” she said. “It’s an event that families come together and watch. I knew I had to make the best of the moment, and I wanted it to be something iconic and something that people would never forget.”
Reflecting on her favorite moment from the breathless spectacular, she discussed bringing out her fellow Destiny’s Child members as a surprise. “I could not do this without bringing Kelly and Michelle,” she continued. “Some of the biggest songs of my career have been with Destiny’s Child. It’s a part of my legacy, it’s a part of my history. That was really a beautiful, wonderful thing to have my sisters left and right of me. I’m just very grateful that I had them there and I think they elevated my performance so much. And the fact that we hadn’t performed together in so long, it was like old times.”