Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Roc Nation
Usher headlined Super Bowl LVIII’s halftime show at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Sunday with a career-spanning performance featuring some of the biggest contemporary R&B hits of the past 20-plus years.
Usher kicked off the performance with “Caught Up” while a bevy of dancers and others performed gymnastics and turned the field into a dance party. The set included several surprise guests, among them Alicia Keys, who joined him at a red piano, where they duetted “If I Ain’t Got You” and then they transitioned the medley into “My Boo.”
His performance also segued into his ballads, which included “My Confessions, Pt. II,” and “U Got It Bad,” where he performed shirtless as a band backed him that included H.E.R on guitar.
The stage soon transformed into a roller skating rink. Lil Jon showed up to perform “Turn Down For What” before Usher launched into his iconic “Yeah!,” which also features Lil Jon. The finale featured an entourage of backing musicians scattered throughout the field and stage and included a massive horn section as Ludacris also dropped his verse from Usher’s massive hit.
The singer capitalized on the hype of the show earlier this week, releasing his ninth album Coming Home on Friday.
Usher’s performance featured two drum sets on stage, with a gold one left open in honor of Spears, Rolling Stone has confirmed.
Spears, who died in October 2023, served as a producer on Usher’s 2004 smash Confessions, which earned him a Grammy nomination,
Usher headlined Super Bowl LVIII’s halftime show on Sunday night, bringing over two decades of R&B hits to the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. The 15-minute performance featured a bevy of guest stars, with Alicia Keys joining the headliner for two songs: “If I Ain;t Got You” and “My Boo.”
“Caught Up” was the opening song of the halftime show with Usher backed by what seemed like an army of musicians and dancers. One spot was left empty during the show, however, with one drum kit left open as a mark of respect for Usher’s Confessions producer and drummer Aaron Spears, who passed away in 2023.
The twentieth anniversary of that album was honored during the show, with Usher running through “Confessions Part II” and “Burn.”
— NFL (@NFL) February 12, 2024
— NFL (@NFL) February 12, 2024
Usher leaned into his seductive persona throughout, with a warning that the performance may cause “relationship issues” flashing on screen before the performance began. He removed his shirt during a short run of ballads before being joined by H.E.R. on guitar during “U Got It Bad.”
The energy levels went back up as the stage was turned into a roller rink and Will.i.am appeared for “OMG.” Usher, dancing on skates, underlined his dedication to putting on a show throughout and ended with arguably his biggest hit, 2004 single “Yeah.” Lil Jon and Ludacris both appeared alongside him as the halftime show came to a triumphant end.
Two days before to Super Bowl Sunday Usher released his ninth album, Coming Home. He is due to head out on his Past Present Future tour this summer.