It could be argued that the Super Bowl's half-time performances are more famous than the American football game itself. As a stream of a-listers take to the NRG stadium to entertain fans in the arena and across the globe, the slot is recognised as a landmark moment in an artist's career. As Lady Gaga takes to the stage to perform as 2017's main headliner, we have recaptured the finest moments in Super Bowl's musical history.

1. Prince – 2007

Global superstar Prince knocked the socks off viewers around the world as he made arguably the best performance in Super Bowl half-time history. The 12-minute set, boasting a spellbinding rendition of Purple Rain in torrential rain, as well as the more surprising performance of Foo Fighter's Best of You, incorporated questionable guitar movements, bell-bottomed trousers and a catalogue of hits with magisterial aplomb.

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2. Michael Jackson – 1993

The late star's half-time performance in 1993 changed the course of Super Bowl history. In a bid to revive the event's flailing ratings, Jackson became the first hitmaker to have his half-time performance to be broadcast in its entirety. The set, which included the likes of Billie Jean, Black or White, and Jam, made ratings records as it became the first Superbowl in which ratings increased during the halves of the game.

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3. Beyonce – 2013

Queen Bey's performance garnered more than 299,000 tweets per minute, making it the second-most tweeted moment in the micro-blogging site's history at the time. As well as making a show-stopping performance with her Destiny's Child bandmates Kelly and Michelle, all eyes were on the star as she made the Black Power salute with her battalion of dancers, dressed as Black Panthers, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the movement.

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4. U2 – 2002

Just months after 9/11, Bono and his bandmates made an emotional half-time show, paying tribute to the victims of the terrorist attack. As a screen behind the band scrolled through the names of all the Americans who died on September 11, accompanied by a spellbinding performance of Where The Streets Have No Name, the band's show is regarded as the most poignant Super Bowl performance of all time.

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5. Ella Fitzgerald – 1972

Fitzgerald brought the first brush with A-list stardom to the Super Bowl in 1972. Performing a show-stopping rendition of Mack the Knife, the show is confined to fans' memories who were said to be awed by the unrecorded event.

Ella Fitzgerald performance
Late American jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald singing at London's Hammersmith Odeon. Express Newspapers / Stringer

6. Aerosmith – 2001

This show gained traction for the zany verve of Steven Tyler's Walk This Way performance, and its star-studded roster of performers including Britney Spears, Missy Elliot and Mary J Blige. As Nelly joined in to cement the hip hop glitz of the night, the event became an iconic snapshot of early noughties pop culture.

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7. Madonna – 2012

After Janet Jackson's 'Nipplegate', broadcasters were reluctant to invite a female solo performer to the stage. Cue Madonna in Super Bowl XLVI, providing a slightly cautious yet spellbinding performance of her hits from Vogue to 2002's Music. The slot was not without controversy, however, as Madge was fined $1.5m ($1.2m) for sticking up her middle finger when she joined the stage as a guest performer.

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8. Bruno Mars – 2014

This show attracted the largest audience in Bowl history, with an audience of 115.3 million viewers. Mars was joined by Beyonce and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and made history as the youngest ever artist to take the slot. The show, directed by Hamish Hamilton, received two Primetime Emmy nominations.

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9. Diana Ross – 1996

The Supremes queen brought the half-time slot to life back in 1996. Arriving on stage in a crane made of sparklers, Ross was joined by a cohort of red-clad dancers before expressing her legendary diva status in a stage exit by helicopter. "Oh my, here comes my ride!" the star shouted as she left in the chopper.

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10. Nipplegate – 2004

They may have given the performance of their lives, but Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake's slot will not be remembered for its artistry. In one of the most notorious wardrobe malfunctions of all time, Timberlake went to rip off part of Jackson's leather bodice to reveal her bra, but ended up flashing her right breast to the entire stadium, and much of the world. Heavy fines were levied in response to the stunt, and YouTube creator Jawed Karim cited the performance as the inspiration behind him creating the video-sharing monolith.

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