Written by Allyssia Alleyne, CNN
Oh, the Super Bowl. For football fans, it's the most important day of the season, the culmination of five months of National Football League competition. And for those less interested in the sport, there's the halftime show, when the world's most famous performers deliver 15 minutes of high-voltage entertainment.
This massive audience makes the halftime show a valuable platform for artists to promote designers and spread messages through their costume choices -- sometimes courting controversy and backlash in the process.
Ahead of this year's Super Bowl, here's a look back at some of the most memorable costumes of halftime shows past.
1993 - Michael Jackson rocks the military look
Michael Jackson performs at Super Bowl XXVII in 1993 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. Credit: Steve Granitz/WireImage/Getty Images
Given its significance today, you'd think the Super Bowl halftime show has always been a prestige event. But it was only in 1993, when Michael Jackson brought his trademark pageantry to the event, that it took on its current reputation. Before then, the show had mostly been dominated by marching bands.
Jackson's performance -- introduced by no less than James Earl Jones -- opened with him springing eight feet into the air from underneath the stage (a trademark of his 1992 Dangerous World Tour), against a backdrop of pyrotechnics. He then stood motionless for one-and-a-half minutes in a military-inspired black-and-gold ensemble, before launching into a medley of his hits.
2004 - Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction
Janet Jackson performs during the halftime show at Super Bowl XXXVIII at Houston's Reliant Stadium in 2004. Credit: Frank Micelotta/Getty Images
2007 - Prince's perfect timing
Prince at Super Bowl XLI in 2007. Credit: Philip Ramey/RamneyPIX/Corbis/Getty Images
Prince -- dressed in blue suit and chest-bearing orange button-down, hair covered with a black scarf -- performing "Purple Rain" in the middle of a torrential storm, purple "symbol" guitar in hand, was a glorious finale to a performance that saw one of history's most incandescent performers giving his all for 140 million views.
2012 - Madonna brings high fashion to halftime
Madonna wears Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci at Super Bowl XLVI in 2012. Credit: Al Bello/Getty Images
Givenchy's Riccardo Tisci's love letter to New York
The bespoke outfits, inspired by looks Tisci had designed for the French fashion house, included an embellished gold cape and a gladiatorial black mini skirt with a studded belt, each accessorized with an Egyptian-inspired headpiece by British milliner Philip Treacy.
2015 - Katy Perry goes (more) pop with Jeremy Scott
Katy Perry, wearing Jeremy Scott, performs her single "Roar" atop a metal lion during the Super Bowl XLIX halftime show. Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images
One of the highlights? A metallic skirt-and-jacket combo covered in flames worn during the first number, inspired by a pair of shoes from the designer's archive. Perry wore it to perform her song "Roar" atop a metal lion.
Exclusive documentary: Around the world with Jeremy Scott
That "vast" audience ended up encompassing 118.5 million TV viewers -- the standing record for a Super Bowl halftime show.
2016 - Beyoncé gets political
SANTA CLARA, CA - FEBRUARY 07: Beyonce and Bruno Mars perform during the Pepsi Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) Credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Super Bowl weekend was a busy one for Beyoncé. On Saturday, she released the video for her new single, "Formation," a visual exploration of southern black femininity and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which ripped through predominantly black New Orleans neighborhoods in 2005. On Sunday, she took to the stage to perform in one of the year's most-watched televised events.
Her performance was unabashedly politically. She opened the show with an all-black dance troupe donning afros and black berets, an obvious reference to the way the way Black Panther Party members dressed in the '60s. (Forgoing the beret, Beyoncé tipped her hat to Michael Jackson with a black-and-gold military jacket recalling his own Super Bowl look.) The dancers also assumed an "X" formation at one point, a reference to Malcolm X.
2017 - Lady Gaga takes to the skies
Lady Gaga performs during Super Bowl LI Halftime Show at Houston's NRG Stadium in 2017. Credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Leave it to Lady Gaga to take the Super Bowl halftime show to new heights. The Oscar-nominee started her set singing "God Bless America" and "This Land Is Your Land" before being lowered into the stadium on cables to sing, dance and play piano to her greatest hits.
Surprisingly, she wore only two outfits throughout: An iridescent, crystal-embellished bodysuit (which she later covered with a spiked golden jacket);