Super Bowl 50: Beyonce and Lady Gaga Steal the Show from Denver Broncos

Beyonce and Chris Martin headlined Super Bowl 50's halftime show.
Beyonce and Chris Martin at Levi's Stadium, February 7. The Denver Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers 24-10 in Super Bowl 50. Matt Cowan/Getty Images

Super Bowl 50 from Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, will not go down as a classic game, but the occasion was certainly memorable.

The underdog Denver Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers 24-10, though as is so often the case on one of America's starriest occasions, the noise around the contest provoked as much, if not more, debate than the action itself.

Newsweek picks five conclusions from the game.

Peyton Manning's last bow was a glorious one

The Denver Broncos quarterback—one of the greatest ever to play the position—is undecided as to whether to return next season. If he does retire, he goes out on a high note. Manning was not perfect on Sunday at Levi's Stadium, throwing an interception and completing 13 of 23 passes without a touchdown. But he showed maturity where Cam Newton, his opposite number for the Carolina Panthers, became flustered. This will go down as Manning's Super Bowl. But the real hero was the Denver defense, as Von Miller, the linebacker, won the award for the game's Most Valuable Player.

Cam Newton showed he has much to learn

Newton danced and pranced his way through the regular season, popularizing the "dab", his very own celebratory dance move, along the way. But the Broncos shut Newton down in Santa Clara and then he let himself down at the post-game press conference with several monosyllabic answers to reporters. You can win with flair, but at the same time, you have to lose with at least a little grace.

Beyonce stole the half-time show from Coldplay

By debuting her controversial new single "Formation", the video for which depicts a young black man being confronted by riot police as well as the singer sinking into the water in a depiction of flood-hit New Orleans, Beyonce somewhat put Coldplay in the shade, a band that always seemed an odd choice for what is invariably the gaudiest of occasions. Her performance, and choice of song, was overtly political, a surprising choice for the National Football League (NFL), a corporation that usually seeks to minimise the possibility for controversy.

But Lady Gaga trumped them both with "The Star Spangled Banner"​

Opening the occasion up, the singer provided vocal histrionics aplenty, giving the national anthem her own unique twist and inspiring a wave of enraptured tweets.

Lady Gaga is one of the world's great musical talents & her super bowl stint did nothing but confirm that. I think she is beeyootiful!

— carl reiner (@carlreiner) February 8, 2016

Didn't get to tweet it at the time but @ladygaga SSB was truly incredible. Just behind Whitney for me for best at the SB.

— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) February 8, 2016

Talk about a high note! Lady Gaga slays the National Anthem at #SB50:

— E! News (@enews) February 8, 2016

And of course, the glitterati were there to watch it all unfold

Including Brooklyn Beckham on, as doting father David noted, his first trip to the Super Bowl. Boxing heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder was also present, as was the rapper Ludacris, who took time out to pose behind a mock Carolina Panthers uniform.


Game time is approaching... @davidbeckham

A photo posted by Brooklyn Beckham (@brooklynbeckham) on

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by @ ludacris on

Editor's pick

Newsweek cover
  • Newsweek magazine delivered to your door
  • Unlimited access to
  • Ad free experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts
Newsweek cover
  • Unlimited access to
  • Ad free experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts