Katy Perry, Missy Elliott and Lenny Kravitz still look like an unlikely trio in theory, but in reality they have a new accolade to share. Their cartoonish Super Bowl halftime show, highlighted by Missy Elliott’s unannounced (and brilliant) hits medley, now stands as the most-watched in history. The show drew 118.5 million viewers, NBC said, as the Financial Times reports.
The improbable triple threat got the benefit of one of most exciting Super Bowl games in recent memory, as the New England Patriots narrowly held off the Seattle Seahawks with a last-minute interception on their own goalline. The previous record was set last year by Bruno Mars, whose show with the Red Hot Chili Peppers pulled in 115.3 million viewers even as the Seahawks blew away the Denver Broncos. In comparison, 110.8 million people watched Beyoncé’s lights-out 2013 halftime show, while Madonna’s performance with M.I.A. and Nicki Minaj in 2012 brought in 114 million viewers.
The Super Bowl XLIX mid-game extravaganza has given a big sales boost to the performers, especially Missy Elliott. The rap and R&B icon might see a sales increase of about 1,000 percent on downloads of her songs, industry sources told Billboard. Perry is reportedly headed toward a possible 75 percent sales gain, though she starts from a much higher base than Missy Elliott, who hasn’t released an album since 2005 amid struggles with Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disorder.
Watch the full spectacle below.