Until the 1990s, marching bands were the main entertainment for the typically 12-minute Super Bowl halftime show. These days, A-list performers go all out to ensure their shows grab headlines. The one thing they have in common: They do it for free.
Still, the attention they get can be priceless. It doesn’t hurt that these performers are worth millions. Here’s a look at some of the wealthiest performers to headline the Super Bowl halftime show and their net worth.
The Bankrate Daily
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Paul McCartney: Super Bowl 39, 2005
Net worth: $1.2 billion*
By far, one of the most famous and wealthiest performers to ever headline a Super Bowl halftime show was Paul McCartney, the former Beatle and successful singer-songwriter.
He brought down the house when he took to the stage during Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005, ending his performance with “Hey Jude,” with everyone in attendance crooning along.
The Rolling Stones are the quintessential rock ‘n’ roll band and their appearance at the Super Bowl XL in 2006 was controversial. Lyrics in two of their songs were censored, which the band called “ridiculous.” Singer Mick Jagger may have been upset but these many years later has a high net worth to console him. Since 1989, the Stones have generated $2.2 billion from touring. *Source: TheRichest.com
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Michael Jackson: Super Bowl 27, 1993
Steve Granitz/Getty Images
Net worth: $600 million*
A trailblazer in music and entertainment since the days of the Jackson Five, pop icon Michael Jackson changed what Super Bowl halftime shows are all about with his performance in 1993. Jackson performed alone during the entire halftime show, spurring a trend of luring famous performers to boost viewership. When he died in 2009, his net worth was estimated at $600 million.
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Bono: Super Bowl 36, 2002
Net worth: $600 million*
Just months after 9/11, with nerves still raw from the devastating terrorist attack on American soil, U2, led by frontman Bono, made a show-stopping tribute to the victims via a giant screen as he belted out “MLK” and “Where the Streets Have No Name.” The performance ended with Bono opening his jacket to show an American flag sewn inside. Bono, who helped America heal that cold day in February, has a net worth of $600 million.
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Madonna: Super Bowl 46, 2012
Al Bello/Getty Images
Net worth: $800 million*
The ’80s pop singer who thrives on controversy and stunts was tame during her Super Bowl halftime show. But it still set a record at the time of 114 million viewers, surpassing the number of people who watched the actual game.
Not charging for her performance most likely didn’t hurt Madonna’s bottom line, given that the “Like a Virgin” superstar has a net worth of $800 million.
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Gloria Estefan: Super Bowl 26, 1992; 29, 1995; 33, 1999
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Net worth: $500 million*
Three times is a charm for Latina singer Gloria Estefan and Super Bowl halftime shows. After what some say was one of the worst Super Bowl halftime performances in 1992, Gloria Estefan was back in 1995 with the Miami Sound Machine and again in 1999 with Stevie Wonder, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and Savion Glover.
While Estefan may have lost CBS 10 ratings points in 1992, she had the last laugh, all the way to the bank with her $500 million net worth.
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Prince: Super Bowl 41, 2007
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Net worth: $300 million*
Prince wasn’t the wealthiest performer to appear at a halftime event, but he was the flashiest and set the bar for halftime performances. Known for his unique style and inventiveness, Prince, who was worth around $300 million at the time of his death, ended his set with his much beloved song “Purple Rain.”
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Beyoncé: Super Bowl 50, 2016
TIMOTHY A. CLARY/Getty Image
Net worth: $300 million*
Beyoncé’s performance at Super Bowl 50 last year was her second time to perform at halftime (2013 was her first). Some were outraged by her rendition of “Formation,” which included dancers dressed as Black Panthers.
And while co-performers Bruno Mars and Coldplay saw an increase in sales after the event, Beyoncé doesn’t have to fret over the fact that she experienced the lowest sales increase of the trio. She has a net worth of $450 million.
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Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake: Super Bowl 38, 2004
Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images
Net worth: Jackson — $175 million; Timberlake — $230 million*
Super Bowl halftimes shows are known for controversy, but nothing could be as shocking as the firestorm Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake created during their performance.
Timberlake grabbed at Jackson only to expose her breast for a moment. The “costume malfunction” led Jackson to bow out of the Grammys. Thankfully, she has a net worth of $175 million to comfort her. Timberlake’s is $230 million.
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Lady Gaga: Super Bowl 51, 2017
VALERIE MACON/Getty Images
Net worth: $275 million*
In what CNN described as “powerful” and “fiery,” Lady Gaga wowed audiences when she performed her newest song “Million Reasons” and some of her greatest hits, accompanied by 300 drones. It’s no wonder (at last count) the Grammy winner’s net worth stands at $275 million.