By Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen

Super Bowl Halftime shows have become one of the most anticipated music events of the year, as evidenced by the nearly 140 million viewers in the U.S. that watched Prince rock out last season.

For this season’s halftime show, the NFL chose Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers to perform. The selection indicates that a trend appears to be emerging. Petty and his band are the fourth consecutive R&R Hall of Fame inductees to hit the halftime stage during their year of induction, following in the footsteps of Paul McCartney (2005), The Rolling Stones (2006) and Prince (2007). Super Bowl XLII is scheduled for Feb. 3 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Phoenix, AZ, and the halftime show is being sponsored by Bridgestone.

The game and halftime show will be broadcast worldwide in more than 230 countries and territories.

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Past Super Bowl Halftime performers:

I – Universities of Arizona and Michigan Bands.
II – Grambling University.
III – “America Thanks” with Florida A&M University.
IV – Carol Channing.
V – Florida A&M Band.
VI – “Salute to Louis Armstrong” with Ella Fitzgerald, Carol
Channing, Al Hirt and U.S. Marine Corps Drill Team.
VII – “Happiness Is … ” with University of Michigan Band and Woody
VIII – “A Musical America” with University of Texas Band.
IX – “Tribute to Duke Ellington” with Mercer Ellington and
Grambling University Bands.
X – “200 Years and Just a Baby” Tribute to America’s Bicentennial.
XI – “It’s a Small World” including crowd participation for first
time with spectators waving colored placards on cue.
XII – “From Paris to the Paris of America” with Tyler Apache Belles,
Pete Fountain and Al Hirt.
XIII – “Super Bowl XIII Carnival” Salute to the Caribbean with Ken
Hamilton and various Caribbean bands.
XIV – “A Salute to the Big Band Era” with Up with People.
XV – “A Mardi Gras Festival.”
XVI – “A Salute to the 60’s and Motown.”
XVII – “KaleidoSUPERscope” (a kaleidoscope of color and sound).
XVIII – “Super Bowl XVIII’s Salute to the Superstars of the Silver Screen.”
XIX – “A World of Children’s Dreams.”
XX – “Beat of the Future.”
XXI – “Salute to Hollywood’s 100th Anniversary.”
XXII – “Something Grand” featuring 88 grand pianos, the Rockettes and
Chubby Checker.
XXIII – “Be Bop Bamboozled” featuring 3-D effects.
XXIV – “Salute to New Orleans” and 40th Anniversary of Peanuts’
characters, featuring trumpeter Pete Fountain, Doug Kershaw &
Irma Thomas.
XXV – “A Small World Salute to 25 Years of the Super Bowl” featuring
New Kids on the Block.
XXVI – “Winter Magic” including a salute to the winter season and the
winter Olympics featuring Gloria Estefan, Brian Boitano and
Dorothy Hamill.
XXVII – “Heal the World” featuring Michael Jackson and 3,500 local
children. Finale included audience card stunt.
XXVIII – “Rockin Country Sunday” featuring Clint Black, Tanya Tucker,
Travis Tritt, Wynonna & Naomi Judd. Finale included
flashlight stunt.
XXIX – “Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye” featuring
Tony Bennett, Patti LaBelle, Arturo Sandoval, the Miami Sound
Machine and stunts including fire and skydivers. Finale
included audience participation with light sticks.
XXX – Diana Ross celebrating 30 years of the Super Bowl with special
effects, pyrotechnics and stadium card stunt. Finale featured
Diana Ross being taken from the stadium in a helicopter.
XXXI – “Blues Brothers Bash” featuring Dan Akroyd, John Goodman and
James Belushi. Also featuring “The Godfather of Soul” James
Brown and ZZ Top.
XXXII – “A Tribute to Motown’s 40th Anniversary” including Boyz II
Men, Smokey Robinson, Queen Latifah, Martha Reeves and
The Temptations.
XXXIII – “Celebration of Soul, Salsa and Swing” featuring Stevie
Wonder, Gloria Estefan, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and
tap dancer Savion Glover.
XXXIV – “A Tapestry of Nations” featuring Phil Collins, Christina
Aguilera, Enrique Iglesias, Toni Braxton and an
80-person choir.
XXXV – “The Kings of Rock and Pop” featuring Aerosmith, *N’SYNC,
Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige and Nelly
XXXVII – Shania Twain, No Doubt and Sting
XXXVIII – Janet Jackson, Kid Rock, P. Diddy, Nelly and Justin Timberlake
XXXIX – Paul McCartney
XL – The Rolling Stones
XLI – Prince
XLII – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers