Coming up this weekend is the Big Game (you know the one). For football fanatics, it's one of the biggest days of the season, but you don't have to love football to enjoy the day.
This year may or may not be as exciting, especially without the over-the-top commercials or the fact the Packers aren’t playing it (#SorryNotSorry #ShamelessWisconsinitePlug), but for as long as the Big Game has been around, it's kicked off with a performance of the National Anthem and an epic musical performance halftime show. Did you know in the early days, both the national anthem and the halftime show were performed by marching bands? Since the late 80s, however, both the anthem and halftime show have been performed by bigger and bigger musical acts as part of the overall experience.
And well, that got us thinking. Since we're known for our musical acts, how many Big Gig headliners have also performed at the Big Game?
Curiosity got the best of us, so we headed to the Summerfest Vault for the master-lineup document we use to keep track of all the artists that have played the festival. We spent one morning doing the tallying. According to our records, 22 National-Anthem-performing performers have also played Summerfest, and 43 different halftime performers have also played our festival. Talk about talent!
We’ve compiled a list below so you can see it for yourself. Artists that have been bolded are Summerfest headliners. You have to admit that this is pretty cool and these are some solid numbers.
Disclaimer: While we haven't had Beyoncé as a solo artist, she did play with Destiny's Child back in 1998 and 2001, so we're counting it.
|Year||National Anthem Performers||Halftime Show Performers|
The Pride of Arizona, Michigan Marching Band, UCLA Choir
University of Arizona and Grambling State marching bands
|Grambling State University Tiger Marching Band||Grambling State band|
|1969||Lloyd Geisler of the Washington National Symphony Orchestra||America Thanks with Florida A&M University band|
|1970||Al Hirt||Carol Channing|
|1971||Tommy Loy||Florida A&M band|
|1972||US Air Force Academy Chorale||Salute to Louis Armstrong - Ella Fitzgerald, Carol Channing, Al Hirt, and US Marine Corps Drill Team|
|1973||Little Angels Children's Choir of Chicago's Holy Angels Church||Happiness Is - University of Michigan marching band and Woody Herman|
|1974||Charley Pride||A Musical American - University of Texas Band|
|1975||Grambling State University Tiger Marching Band||Tribute to Duke Ellington - Mercer Ellington and Grambling State band|
|1976||Tom Sullivan||200 Years and Just a Baby|
|1977||Vikki Car sings America the Beautiful||It's A Small World|
|1978||Phyllis Kell of the University of Louisana at Monroe||From Paris to the Paris of America - Tyler Apache Belles, Pete Fountain, and Al Hirt|
|1979||The Colgate Thirteen||Super Bowl XIII Carnival Salute to the Caribbean - Ken Hamilton|
|1980||Cheryl Ladd||Salute to the Big Band Era - Up with People|
|1981||Helen O'Connell||Mardi Gras Festival|
|1982||Diana Ross||A Salute to the 60s and Motown|
|1984||Barry Manilow||Super Bowl XVIII's Salute to the Superstars of the Silver Screen|
|1985||San Francisco's Boys Chorus, Girls Chorus, and Children's Chorus and Piedmont Children's Chorus||A World of Children's Dreams|
|1986||Wynston Marsalis||A Beat of the Future|
|1987||Neil Diamond||Salute to Hollywood's 100th Anniversary|
|1988||Herb Alpert||Something Grand - 88 grand pianos, The Rockettes, Chubby Checker|
|1989||Billy Joel||Be Bop Bamboozled|
|1990||Aaron Neville||Salute to New Orleans - Pete Fountain, Doug Kershaw & Irma Thomas|
|1991||Whitney Houston with the Florida Orchestra||A Small World Salute to 25 Years of the Super Bowl - New Kids on the Block|
|1992||Harry Connick, Jr.||Winter Magic - Gloria Estefan, Brian Boitano and Dorothy Hamill|
|1993||Garth Brooks||Heal the World - Michael Jackson|
|1994||Natalie Cole||Rockin' Country - Clint Black, Tanya Tucker, Travis Tritt, Wynonna & Naomi Judd|
|1995||Kathie Lee Gifford||Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye - Tony Bennett, Patti LaBelle, Arturo Sandoval, Miami Sound Machine|
|1996||Vanessa L. Williams||Diana Ross|
|1997||Luther Vandross||Blues Brothers Bash - Dan Akroyd, John Goodman and James Belushi, James Brown and ZZ Top|
|1998||Jewel||A Tribute to Motown's 40th Anniversary - Boyz II Men, Smokey Robinson, Queen Latifah, Martha Reeves, and The Temptations|
|1999||Cher||Celebration of Soul, Salsa and Swing - Stevie Wonder, Gloria Estefan, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy|
|2000||Faith Hill||A Tapestry of Nations - Phil Collins, Christina Aguilera, Enrique Iglesias, Tony Braxton|
|2001||Backstreet Boys||The Kings of Rock and Pop - Aerosmith, N'Sync, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige and Nelly|
|2003||The Chicks (formerly Dixie Chicks)||Shania Twain, No Doubt, Sting|
|2004||Beyoncé||Janet Jackson, Kid Rock, P.Diddy, Nelly and Justin Timberlake|
|2005||US Army Herald Trumpets and choirs from the US Military Academy, US Navy Academy, US Air Force Academy, and the US Coast Guard Academy||Paul McCartney|
|2006||Aaron Neville, Aretha Franklin and Dr. John||The Rolling Stones|
|2007||Billy Joel||Prince and the Florida A&M Marching Band|
|2008||Jordin Sparks||Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers|
|2009||Jennifer Hudson||Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band|
|2010||Carrie Underwood||The Who|
|2011||Christina Aguilera||The Black Eyed Peas, Usher, Slash|
|2012||Kelly Clarkson||Madonna, LMFAO, Nicki Minaj, M.I.A., CeeLo Green|
|2014||Renée Fleming||Bruno Mars, Red Hot Chili Peppers|
|2015||Idina Menzel||Katy Perry, Lenny Kravitz, Missy Elliot|
|2016||Lady Gaga||Coldplay, Beyoncé, Bruno Mars|
|2017||Luke Bryan||Lady Gaga|
|2018||P!nk||Justin Timberlake, The Tennessee Kids, University of Minnesota Marking Band|
|2019||Gladys Knight||Maroon 5, Travis Scott, Big Boi|
|2020||Demi Lovato||Jennifer Lopez & Shakira|
|2021||Eric Church and Jazmine Sullivan||The Weeknd|
How about you?
How many of these artists have you seen at Summerfest? Who’s been your favorite Big Game anthem performer? What about your favorite halftime show artist? Let us know, and check out some pictures of these past headliners on our social channels!