The most shocking Super Bowl moment to date was Janet Jackson's famous nipple slip during the 2004 halftime show. But M.I.A was out to top that yesterday as she took centre stage with Madonna and Nicki Minaj,
The British rapper flipped the middle finger and swore into the camera during her solo as tens of millions of fans around the world watched the performance.
With one foot up a podium, the 36-year-old said: 'I don't give a s***' and pulled the rude gesture during the trio's new song, Give Me All Your Luvin, which was released this week as the lead single on Madonna's upcoming album.
The screen briefly went blurred in what seemed like a late a attempt to cut out the camera shot.
The NFL, which produces the show, and the broadcaster, NBC, blamed each other for the incident. Brian McCarty, the league's vice president of communications, said: 'There was a failure in NBC's delay system.
'The obscene gesture in the performance was completely inappropriate, very disappointing, and we apologize to our fans.'
But NBC said: 'The NFL hired the talent and produced the halftime show. Our system was late to obscure the inappropriate gesture and we apologize to our viewers.'
The brief exposure of Jackson's nipple during the 2004 show raised a storm of controversy and put CBS in hot water with the Federal Communications Commission.
She was performing with Justin Timberlake when her right breast came out of her tight black leather costume.
The Super Bowl, shown on NBC this year, is routinely viewed by more than 100 million people, the biggest TV event of the year.
Hounslow-born M.IA. - real name Mathangi 'Maya' Arulpragasam - dressed the part for the show in thigh-hight black boots and a black and red leather ensemble with the letter 'M' on a flap protecting her modesty at the front.
Madonna had declared she had to put on 'the greatest show on earth, during the greatest show on Earth' and she certainly didn't disappoint.
The singer, 53, put on an impressive performance during halftime show of the football game between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots.
As well as her performance with M.I.A and Minaj, she sang her way through classic hits Vogue, Like a Prayer and Music.
While the pressure to perform well was immense and greatly felt, Madonna appeared to rise to the challenge and avoided any Janet Jackson-style wardrobe malfunctions, only suffering one small slip-up throughout the show.
As she was strutting her way across the bleachers to Music, the second song in her set, she was unable to step up onto one of them and had to repeat the dance move to hoist herself up.
But Madonna proved a true professional and laughed the error off throwing herself into the next sequence of the set.
Aside from that trivial mistake, which she styled out, the singer put on an energetic and fun show with help from LMFAO, and Cee Lo Green.
The show opened with a huge procession of Egyptian soldiers carrying a large platform as the intro to Vogue began.