Beyoncé has played just about every major gig you can play. But even she has never performed for more than 100 million. Now she can check that off her bucket list, since, according to estimates from the Nielsen company, her halftime show at Sunday's Super Bowl drew an average of 104 million viewers.
Billboard estimates the half-hour that included Beyoncé's 14-minute extravaganza was one of the most-watched parts of the game, which Nielsen said drew an estimated viewing audience of 108.41 million. The blackout-spiked thriller between the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens ended up as the third most-watched show in TV history.
The halftime show got a 48.2 rating, which translates into around 104 million viewers, though the estimate could fall when final numbers are crunched. All great news, but, alas, not a record.
Last year's Madonna halftime show rang up 112.5 million viewers, which bested the previous high-point, Bruce Springsteen's 2009 performance, which got 95.7 million pairs of eyeballs.
Regardless, Bey was incredibly pumped by her gig, which included a reunion with her Destiny's Child homegirls Michelle Williams and Kelly Rowland. "I'm feeling so proud, it was a really beautiful day," she told "Extra" after the performance. "All the hard work, five months of preparation, and it was really great." She was also thrilled about sharing the stage again with Michelle and Kelly, adding, "It really was a magnificent night for me and the girls."
The reunion didn't just pump Queen B up, it also got her fans excited enough to go out and grab tons of downloads. By Monday afternoon, 16 Beyonce/Destiny's Child singles and 12 solo and DC albums had jumped onto the iTunes sales chart. Though iTunes does not release sales data, industry sources told Billboard that in the week ending on Sunday Beyoncé's digital sales were up by more than 230 percent and DC's sales exploded by more than 600 percent.
Sales were not only goosed by post-Super Bowl interest, but also by discount pricing on the iTunes and Amazon stores, with digital albums going for $5 to $7.99.