Usher appeared at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas for the Super Bowl halftime show sitting on a throne, accompanied by a marching band and a group of Las Vegas performers, but remained center stage. It was an immediate confirmation of his position as the ideal mid-tempo performer: one with timeless, well-known hits, masterful choreography and a devoted audience.
It started with “Caught Up”, moving on to “U Don’t Have to Call”, “Superstar” and “Love in the Club”. Alicia Keys then joined in front of a bright red piano to perform her song “If I Ain’t Got You,” which morphed into “My Boo,” and Usher lost a glove in an apparent tribute to Michael Jackson, notable for a performance during Black History. Month.
“They said I wouldn’t make it,” he told the crowd, dedicating the set to his “mom.”
For 13 minutes during the halftime show sponsored by Apple Music, Usher brought together several guests, including HER, Jermaine Dupri, Lil Jon (for “Turn Down for What,” which became “Yes!”, and included a special appearance by Ludacris).
Over the course of three decades, the R&B superstar had an endless trove of hits to draw from, and he did so with costume changes and a rolling rendition of “OMG” while wearing roller skates, at one point sliding between the legs of will.i.am. .
His album “Confesiones” is among one of the best-selling musical projects of all time and this year it turned 20 years old; “Burn” became a highlight of the performance.
For the past two years, Usher, 45, has made Las Vegas a home for his unique talents, with his sold-out residency, “Usher: My Way,” at Dolby Live at Park MGM, making him the perfect choice for Sunday’s game.
The eight-time Grammy Award winner is no stranger to the Super Bowl stage either: he made a special appearance with Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am in 2011.
“I got a chance to see a little bit of what he felt like,” Usher told The Associated Press in a recent interview. In his first Super Bowl performance, he descended from the stadium roof to perform “OMG” in Arlington, Texas.
“Don’t take the moments for granted because you’ll only have 13,” he said before his 2024 performance, referring to the usually allotted 13-minute runtime. “The hardest part is trying to figure out how to squeeze it all in when you actually have a big catalog or a lot of records that people celebrate and love.”
With a hesitation, he figured out exactly how to do just that.