R&B sensation Usher delivered a high-energy halftime performance at Sunday’s Super Bowl, featuring collaborations with Will. i.am, Alicia Keys, Ludacris, and a pair of roller skates. A pre-performance disclaimer humorously warned viewers about potential side effects such as “singing, dancing, sweating, gyrating, and possible relationship issues” – all of which the show delivered.
Adorned in all-white and surrounded by a lively dance ensemble, Usher took the stage at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, launching into his well-known track, “Caught Up.” The dynamic performance showcased the 45-year-old’s impressive dance skills and extensive musical catalogue.
Acknowledging the challenge of condensing 30 years into 13 minutes, Usher incorporated many recognizable songs, seamlessly transitioning between club anthems and soulful ballads. The stage featured acrobats and a significant brass band spelling out “USHER” on the stadium grounds.
Usher’s performance included guest appearances, starting with Alicia Keys, who delivered a memorable rendition of her hit “If I Ain’t Got You.” The duo then performed their 2004 duet “My Boo,” creating a heartwarming reunion. Additional guest stars, including Jermaine Dupri and H.E.R., contributed to the diverse musical experience.
Usher showcased his vocal prowess and dynamic stage presence by balancing ballads with club hits. Even during slow jams like “Burn” and “U Got It Bad,” he remained captivating, incorporating visual elements like flames during “Burn.”
H.E.R. was impressed with a guitar solo, while Usher made a costume change, donning a glittery black-and-blue outfit with roller skates for a collaboration with Will.i.am on “O.M.G.” Usher’s roller-skating sequence, reminiscent of his Vegas residency, added a visually striking element to the performance.
Despite a rumoured collaboration with Justin Bieber not materializing, the halftime show reached its climax with appearances by Lil Jon and Ludacris, culminating in a pulsating rendition of Usher’s iconic hit, “Yeah!” The stage was filled with star-studded guests, including Taylor Swift, Jay-Z, Paul Rudd, and former basketball players LeBron James and Shaquille O’Neal.
While the abundance of cameo appearances in the second half raised concerns, Usher’s flawless execution and electrifying performance ensured a memorable Super Bowl halftime show.