Why We’re All Looking Forward To Usher’s Super Bowl LVIII Performance

Source: Instagram/usher

Feb. 9 2024, Published 8:10 a.m. ET

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Super Bowl LVIII, taking place in Las Vegas February 11 between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs, is expected to give viewers a good show. And with Usher as the main entertainment headliner on the big night, many fans will be tuned in just for that.

The R&B star’s halftime show comes on the heels of residencies in Paris and Las Vegas that were wildly popular among women – including actress Taraji P. Henson, who shared videos of her experience on Instagram, KeKe Palmer, whose dance with the singer went viral and sparked real-life drama, and actress Issa Rae, who was serenaded on stage.

When discussing his upcoming Super Bowl performance with Good Morning America, Usher expressed his desire to honor the sacrifices of Black artists before him.

“To have R&B have the main stage at the Super Bowl, it’s a major thing for me. I think about what our country has kind of represented for Black artists, you know, having to at some point go through kitchens to even be able to perform for an audience, but they had to leave back through that same door, fear for their lives as they went to the next state to do the same thing. So I’m coming through the front door with this one.”

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Successful Career And Hit Music Collaborations With Women

Taking things even farther, Usher’s latest album, “Coming Home,” is scheduled to drop the Friday before the Super Bowl and he’s set to embark on a 24-city tour starting in August. And the eight-time Grammy winner and platinum-selling artist is no stranger to working with powerful women. His 2004 hit with Alicia Keys, “My Boo,” spent six weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100, and his 2010 hit with Nicki Minaj, “Lil Freak,” marked Usher’s 16th top 10 hit on the Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs list. He also has had recent hit collabs with artists including Summer Walker, H.E.R., and City Girls.

As Usher prepares to take the stage, he comes after a slew of prolific and history-making performances by our favorite women entertainers. Most recently, Rihanna’s 2023 Super Bowl performance, during which she announced her pregnancy went viral both for its choreography as well as the ASL performer who signed her entire set. It was the most-watched of all time, with 121 million viewers, surpassing the previous record, held by Katy Perry for her 2015 performance.

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In 2016, Beyonce’s “Formation” performance at stole the show from Coldplay at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. Her 2013 Super Bowl performance with her fellow “Destiny’s Child” members Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams was one of the few that did not rely on guest performances from other artists.

In 2017, Lady Gaga stunned fans and by jumping off of the top of NRG Stadium in Houston as she began her performance, landing gracefully on a tower that had been constructed on stage. Madonna’s 2012 Super Bowl performance at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis was also one for the record books, with guest performances from LMFAO and Cee Lo Green accompanied by a gospel choir.

Millions are expected to be tuned in this year, and fans will be on the lookout to see how Usher will add his stamp of R&B star power to the hall of fame of historical moments of half-time shows, adding to the allure of his continued evolution as a 30-year entertainment industry veteran.

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By: Gillian Smith

Gillian Smith is a professional communicator by day and night, leveraging more than a decade in the news industry to share stories that have a positive impact on society. Gillian believes everyone has a story worth telling, and she has made it her professional mission to tell those stories in a responsible way. Gillian received a BA in journalism from Ithaca College and a Master's in Journalism Innovation from Syracuse University. She is currently the director of external communication and media relations at Suffolk University.

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