February 2, 2012 | 8:55am
Under the bright stadium lights, plenty of incredible things have happened during Super Bowl halftime shows. Who could forget the King of Pop'
s epic 1993 performance or his sis' nipple slip
in 2004? This year's act is equally grand: the timeless, shameless Madonna. Though she promised "for sure no nipples,"
it likely will be a show we won't soon forget.
From undie flashes to girl-on-girl make-out sessions, the 53-year-old megastar tends to outdo herself. Madonna's career is filled with some of the most unforgettable moments in entertainment history. To warm you up or mentally prepare you for what's to come at the 46th iteration of America's most glorious game, here's a stroll down memory lane of the diva's most radical moments.
1984: Madonna shows the world her underpants in a seductive stage crawl
There's no denying that Madonna has always had a knack for pants-off dance-offs. But in 1984, people might not have been prepared for this one. In her epic performance of "Like a Virgin" at the MTV Video Music Awards (which Jay Leno called "the greatest night in television history"), she rolled around the stage almost as if she were really being "touched for the very first time."
While we thought she was just getting into character, Madonna revealed the true story
on Leno: In the mess of her big, ruffly "wedding dress," she had lost her white stiletto. As she rolled on stage, she tried to reach for it in an attempt to pretend it was all part of the act -- and that's when it all came out.
1989: Pepsi "Like a Prayer" commercial banned after airing a few times
A $5 million sponsorship deal with a platinum-selling artist probably sounded promising at the time. When Madonna announced the song title of her fourth album, Like a Prayer
, Pepsi figured it would be the perfect song for its "Make a Wish" commercial. So it struck a deal that ended up being very short-lived after the song's controversial music video
Contrary to what teenyboppers today might think, Lady Gaga
wasn't the first to sexually use religious images in her vids. When Madonna did it in the late '80s, the Vatican banned her video for its blasphemous imagery, including burning crosses, stigmata, and sexual relations with a priest. Pepsi canceled the commercial
when viewers confused it to be part of the music video.
Not surprisingly, she thanked Pepsi for the controversy when she received the Viewer's Choice Award at the MTV VMAs that year.
1992: Madonna puts Sex in book stores and on the news
OK, so she's never really been shy about her sex life and definitely hasn't been one to hide her body from the cameras. But in her 1992 book, aptly titled Sex, she went out of her way to show just how seductive she is. Although some may have treated it as a glorified, softcore, popstar version of Playboy mag, the coffee-table book wasn't everyone's cup of tea.
In a display of the material girl's wildest fantasies, the book pushes religious boundaries and milks the term "sexual taboo," as if her music videos and live performances didn't already do the same. But it also included poems she wrote dedicated to her own body parts and even a cameo by local boy Vanilla Ice.
is the most wanted out-of-print book
, but you might be able to snag an overpriced copy online, if you're in the mood for some easy reading.
1994: Madonna gets David Letterman all worked up
Like many talk-show hosts, David Letterman deals with celebs on the reg. But in '94, he found a nemesis in Madonna when she appeared on his show with a potty mouth and a snarky 'tude. In the beginning, Letterman laughed it off and told her to stop the bad words, jokingly warning the viewing audience to turn off their TVs because "she can't be stopped."
Unscathed, she continued the interview, embellishing it with her colorful vocab. And as if her constant cursing didn't already scream that she really didn't give a crap, she was casually smoking a cigar.
Letterman cut to commercials when he realized she wasn't going to stop, and when the show returned, Madonna was gone.
2003: Madonna locks lips with Britney Spears
When the words 2003 MTV Video Music Awards are uttered, most people have no recollection of who even won accolades at that show. They mostly remember Madonna and Britney Spears making out onstage. Christina Aguilera got a kiss too, but for some reason, she's been left in the dust of our collective memories.
In Britney's glory years -- you know, before she shaved her head and attacked the paparazzi -- there was chatter about her being the next Madonna. Some people took this spit-swap as Madonna passing down the throne, and others saw it as a merging of two unstoppable fierce ladies. Still, others just saw it as a good ol' publicity stunt -- although the people from Britney's home in Tennessee (including ex-boyfriend Justin Timberlake
) may have been more than a little shocked.
It's OK; Brit assured the world that she would never kiss a woman
. Well, besides that one time. Madonna was the only exception.