Beyonce Super Bowl Halftime Show: Complete Primer to Pop Star's Greatest Hits

Tyler ConwayFeatured ColumnistFebruary 2, 2013

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 31:  Beyonce speaks onstage at the Pepsi Super Bowl XLVII Halftime Show Press Conference at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on January 31, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)
Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Legends may be crowned when the Baltimore Ravens take on the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII, but fans will have to wait until halftime to see a true icon take the field (I kid, Ray Lewis fans).

It will be there that Mrs. Beyonce Giselle Knowles-Carter, who you all may know better as just Beyonce, will perform at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Following years of poor choices by the NFL, including both the ghastly old (The Who) and the plain-old awful (The Black Eyed Peas), it seems like Beyonce should satisfy everyone in attendance.

She has a career that's now spanned parts of three decades and has millions of records under her belt. Plus, Beyonce does a pretty mean rendition of the national anthem, pre-recorded or not.

While just all of the 100-plus million people watching will know who Beyonce is, it's possible that you've been trapped in an underground lair and haven't heard her music.

So with that in mind, here is a complete primer for all of Beyonce's biggest hits you may hear at Super Bowl XLVII.


The Destiny's Child Era

By now, the world's worst kept secret is that Beyonce will be reuniting Destiny's Child, the girls group that spurred her rise to international fame, on Super Sunday. Us Weekly was the first to come through with the scoop, and even had details on how the Michelle Williams and Kelly Rowland (the group's other two members) will join Beyonce on the stage:

Insiders tell Us the "Crazy in Love" singer will open the much-anticipated show solo; midway through her performance, Williams and Rowland will appear onstage and launch into a short medley of the group's hits, culminating in a brand-new song, "Nuclear," their first original material in more than eight years.

Released alongside Destiny's Child's new greatest hits album, Love Songs, "Nuclear" is the group's first new material since their 2004 album Destiny Fulfilled. Based on that alone, we know that "Nuclear" should have a prominent place in Beyonce's performance.

But what other hits will be a part of Destiny's Child's "short medley" of songs? Here is a look at the most likely candidates.

(All chart information comes via Billboard's official website.)


"Say My Name"

Release Year: 2000

Hot 100 Peak Position: 1

Though the song is venturing on a decade-and-a-half old, you'll have hard time playing this song at any social gathering without children of the 1990s going bonkers. As one can probably surmise from the lyrics of the song, this is a ballad about a love interest who is a decided no-good cheating scoundrel.

While a song about an ugly breakup may not exactly be ideal for a Super Bowl audience, it does present an interesting opportunity for a guest appearance. For all the talk about a possible surprise from Jay-Z, there's another infamous rapper who appeared on the remix to "Say My Name": Kobe Bryant.

Yes, that Kobe Bryant. 

Something tells me that Kobe will have all YouTube copies of this song destroyed pretty soon, so #countonawfulrapping while you still can.


"Independent Women Part I"

Release Year: 2000

Hot 100 Peak Position: 1

Initially bestowed upon the public as part of the soundtrack for Charlie's Angels, "Independent Women Part I" became arguably Destiny's Child's biggest hit. It spent 28 weeks on the Billboard chart, peaking as the top song in the country for multiple weeks.

Considering the catchiness of the hook and female empowerment message, it's not hard to see why. 

Expect this song to get a heavy feature in the medley, if for no other reason than everyone in the stands will be able to put their hands in the air and feel like they're dancing. It's the little things in life.



Release Year: 2001

Hot 100 Peak Position: 2

I could be mistaken, but I'm pretty sure this video is where 11-year-old me first fell in love with Beyonce. The ever-rare R&B diss track, "Survivor" was released after LeToya Luckett and LaTavia Roberson left the group to start their own solo careers.

Perhaps if either the Ravens or 49ers are down at halftime, they can use this song as inspiration to persevere. Or something.



Release Year: 2001

Hot 100 Peak Position: 1

There have been many iconic Beyonce dances throughout the years, but "Bootylicious" was the original and is arguably still the most famous. The song is so famous that Merriam-Webster has even recognized bootylicious as an actual word. 

An uptempo number that everyone ages 10-75 knows, "Bootylicious" is a shoo-in to be included in the Destiny's Child medley. The only question remaining is: Will the Super Bowl audience be ready for this jelly?

It's been over a decade and I still don't think we're ready for this jelly.


The Solo Years

As is prone to happen, Beyonce and Destiny's Child eventually outgrew each other and disbanded. But while Rowland and Williams have gone onto middling (at best) solo careers, Beyonce has transformed into arguably the most powerful female musician on the planet.

Beyonce has sold over 75 million records worldwide, and all four of her solo albums have hit No. 1 on the Billboard chart. Along with that, she has 16 solo singles that have obtained gold status or better, which denotes sales of over 500,000 copies.

Here is a look at a few of those singles you may see at halftime. 

(All chart information comes via Billboard's official website.)


"Crazy in Love"

Release Year: 2003

Hot 100 Peak Position: 1

If you're looking for when a possible Jay-Z appearance may happen, just wait for the beat to "Crazy in Love" to drop. Her first real single as a solo artist, the song ascended to the top of the charts and is still one of the quintessential Beyonce songs. 

Plus, how many couples can say they had a No. 1 hit together? I'm holding out for an appearance from Hov, so count me among the excited when Beyonce plays "Crazy in Love" on Sunday.



Release Year: 2006

Hot 100 Peak Position: 1

While there were some top-shelf hits between 2003 and 2006 for Beyonce, including "Baby Boy" and "Check It Out," her pop icon status truly started to cement with "Irreplaceable." 

One of the better kiss-off songs of the 2000s, Beyonce once again finds herself wronged by a dastardly cheater in "Irreplaceable." However, much like "Say My Name" from her Destiny's Child days, Beyonce refuses to play the victim here. Instead, she kicks out the no-good boyfriend and goes with her life happy and healthy.

I imagine "Irreplaceable" is kind of like how the 49ers viewed Mike Singletary's firing: "To the left, to the left, everything you own in a box to the left."


"If I Were a Boy"

Release Year: 2008

Hot 100 Peak Position: 3

This song isn't on the same level as "Irreplaceable," but if she's going to slow things down and belt out a few tunes, "If I Were a Boy" will likely be included. It works in perfect accordance with the whole "a man did me wrong" theme, and will certainly have all the neglected girlfriends on Super Bowl Sunday belting out some sweet solos.

Good enough for an inclusion for me. 


"Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)"

Release Year: 2008

Hot 100 Peak Position: 1

If we're to believe Kanye West (and who wouldn't?), "Single Ladies" spawned one of the best videos of all time—of all time!

But, seriously, Kanye wasn't wrong. The video and "Single Ladies" song itself was an anthem for independent women across the world. It created a dance that involves some kind of hand gesture that I still haven't figured out in the five years since the video's release.

Seriously, I tried doing the dance once and ended up looking like this guy.

If "Single Ladies" isn't the first song Beyonce plays when she gets on stage Sunday, it will be the last. It's truly one of the more iconic pop songs of our lifetime and will be given a special place in her performance. 

Plus, it involves putting your hands up again—and who doesn't love that?



Release Year: 2009

Hot 100 Peak Position: 5

"Halo" is just an awesome song, man. Enough said.


"Run the World (Girls)"

Release Year: 2011

Hot 100 Peak Position: 29

Ultimately, "Run the World" was an attempt to create another version of "Single Ladies." And like just about every sequel in the history of everdom, "Run the World" paled in comparison to its predecessor and was met with a lukewarm reception.

However, it's still a pretty good concert song with a strong bassline. "Run the World" will keep people from falling asleep in their seats during the slower numbers and work in a medley with just about any of her dance-themed tracks.

So, you'll hear it on Sunday. Just don't expect many people to get all that excited. 


"Love on Top"

Release Year: 2011

Hot 100 Peak Position: 20

My personal favorite song off Beyonce's last solo album, 4, "Love on Top" is a song that brings nostalgia to the 1980s and is one of her catchiest efforts. 

The song didn't make a widespread impact, peaking only at No. 20, or change the genre the way her previous efforts had in the past, but "Love on Top" was a cool sign of Beyonce's maturity as an artist.

Did I mention that my head has been bobbing up and down as the song plays in the background while I write this section? Perhaps I shouldn't have said anything. This is awkward.

Well, anyway, enjoy the show, folks.