Pop Culture

Super Bowl 2016 halftime: Coldplay, Beyoncé, Bruno Mars pay tribute to show history

Coldplay delivered some of their greatest hits in a colorful Super Bowl 50 halftime show that leaned heavily on previous headliners Beyoncé and Bruno Mars.

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Chris Martin of Coldplay performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California.

Martin opened the Sunday night show with the refrain of "Yellow" — "Look at the stars / look how they shine for you" — before hoping onto a colorful stage whose platform was backlit by LED lights. He segued into the band's hit "Viva La Vida," then invited the audience, "Wherever you are, we're in this together! Let's go!"

From there, Coldplay shifted into the 2011 hit "Paradise" and their latest charter, "Adventure of a Lifetime." Soon thereafter, they stepped aside as Mark Ronson appeared behind two turntables to play the familiar refrain of his monster jam with Bruno Mars, "Uptown Funk."

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Bruno Mars performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California.

Mars emerged with a group of leather-clad male backup dancers to perform the hit. Beyoncé soon followed and figuratively (and perhaps literally) tore up the turf with her own dance crew, dressed in matching leather outfits, stockings and heels to perform her new single, "Formation."

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A choreographed battle of the sexes ensued as Mars and Beyoncé's crews approached one another and met in the center of the stage, where Martin rejoined the fray and sang the coda to "Uptown Funk."

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Beyonce, Chris Martin of Coldplay and Bruno Mars perform during the Pepsi Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California.

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Martin returned to the piano to play a medley of the Coldplay hits "Clocks" and "Fix You," which accompanied a video montage of memorable moments from Super Bowls past, starting with Bruce Springsteen's shouted inquiry from 2009: "What I want to know is: Is there anybody alive out there?!"

Streeter Lecka / Getty Images
Beyonce hugs Chris Martin of Coldplay while Bruno Mars hugs fans following the Pepsi Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California.

Clips of halftime performers Katy Perry, the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Michael Jackson and U2 were among the many music icons who appeared in the montage. Whitney Houston's memorable Super Bowl XXV national anthem also was featured.

Beyoncé and Mars rejoined Martin for the final stanzas of "Fix You" to wrap the halftime performance.

RELATED: 10 most unforgettable Super Bowl halftime shows

Follow TODAY.com writer Chris Serico on Twitter.

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