Prince’s Legendary 2007 Halftime Show Is Still the Greatest in Super Bowl History

‘”Can you make it rain harder?”

It’s been called one of the greatest Super Bowl performances in the history of the contest. It was seen by more than 140 million television viewers, the largest audience he’d ever received. And it still stands up almost a decade later.

I’m talking, of course, legendary 2007 Super Bowl XLI halftime show. Prince, who died Thursday at age 57, delivered one of the most memorable performances in annual competition’s history without even slipping a nipple.

According to a short documentary published by the NFL in February, the show was almost a total mess. “The morning of the game, I opened the windows of my hotel room and was like ‘Oh my God, it’s like a scene from Moby Dick,‘” said halftime show production designer Bruce Rodgers. “The rain was one of those Miami rainstorms that would not relent.”

When the NFL contacted Prince to warn him of the inclement weather, the eclectic artist had a simple response: “Can you make it rain harder?”

Through heavy winds and a blinding rainstorm, Prince stood tall and played hard, delivering powerful spectacular performances of three Purple Rain tracks and a slew of covers — including a mesmerizing rendition of “Purple Rain” to a backdrop of, well, purple rain on that stormy Miami evening.

He may have been called Prince, but on that day he proved that he’s a king.