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Halftime Show Super Bowl 2024: Recap, songs and reactions from Usher’s Halftime Show

Update:
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - FEBRUARY 11: Usher performs onstage during the Apple Music Super Bowl LVIII Halftime Show at Allegiant Stadium on February 11, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada.   Michael Reaves/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Michael Reaves / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

Halftime Show Super Bowl 2024: Usher delivers

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Curtain falls on Super Bowl 2024 Halftime Show

Well what a night we have had! Thank you so much to everyone who has joined me and the rest of the AS USA team for Super Bowl LVIII and, especially, here on the Halftime Show feed. It's been a blast!

Thank you too to Usher and friends who, despite not being everyone's cup of musical tea, gave us plenty to enjoy and talk about. There's a bunch of interesting articles about this show, previous shows, artist valuations, future performers and tour dates lower down so please have a scroll and check them out.

But this is where I say goodbye. Until the next one, which we're sure will be Good Good.

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Did Usher lip sync at the Super Bowl half time show or did he actually sing?

Did you think that Usher may have lip synced his performance? Well our Jen went and found out.

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Usher on skates

It's almost time to bring our coverage of the non-sporting element of the Super Bowl to a close, so here's another look at the skating skills of Usher on the main stage.

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Taylor joy as Chiefs win

OK, so she may not have been singing on stage but we did get to see Taylor Swift celebrate in her VIP box as her Travis and his Chiefs won Super Bowl LVIII in dramatic overtime fashion.

And it's worth highlighting that when the award presentation was being made, she appeared more than happy to stay in the background while the players and coaching staff accepted the plaudits.

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Ludacris love

The rapper from Illinois played an important role in the Halftime Show and posted his feelings on social media once it was all over.

"I'm feeling the energy, feeling the love... I'm on cloud 19 hundred right now.

"Music is to uplift people. I felt the whole stadium vibrate, I felt the whole stadium levitate."

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Halftime 'Sonic Boom' band

I told you earlier about the history of the Super Bowl Halftime Show and the tradition of the marching bands to entertain the crowd at the break in the pre-Michael Jackson era.

But what I didn't expect was that we'd actually see a version of one tonight.

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What songs did Usher sing during the Super Bowl Halftime Show? Here is the full setlist

Let's reflect back on Usher's Haltime Show and gaze at his full setlist:

- Caught Up

- U Don't Have To Call

- Superstar

- Love In This Club

- My Boo (ft. Alicia Keys)

- Confessions Pt. II (ft. Jermaine Dupri)

- Nice & Slow

- Burn

- U Got It Bad (ft. H.E.R.)

- Bad GIrl (ft. H.E.R.)

- OMG (ft. Lil Jon)

- Yeah! (ft. Ludacris)

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Who is performing at the 2025 Super Bowl halftime show?

As the curtain comes down on Super Bowl LVIII, both the game - won by the Chiefs - and Usher's performance in the Halftime Show, we're already thinking about who'll be responsible for the 2025 show.

There are a number of names already floating around, and some big players potentially poised to sign, dance and whatever else. Our Andy went digging.

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The best Super Bowl 2024 memes

The Super Bowl is undoubtedly a huge sporting event in the calendar, with the two top NFL teams lining up against each other in a clash that goes down in history, and some of the biggest stars hitting up the stage.

However, it wouldn’t be 2024 without some top quality internet action to go with the game. Here’s what the genius brains on the internet have cooked up from their bedrooms...

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Usher Cook'd

Apple chief Tim Cook has just taken to X to share his thoughts on the evening's Halftime Show.

"What a performance from Usher! Amazing to see so much star power on the #AppleMusicHalftime Show stage!"

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Who is Jenn Goicoechea? Everything you need to know about Usher’s girlfriend

Jenn Goicoechea, Usher's other half, has an Italian mother and her father is from Puerto Rico, although Jenn herself grew up in Miami. Her LinkedIn profile says that she studied Recording Arts at the Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida.

We sent our Joe away to find out more.

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Usher in front of the stars

The thing about performing at the Super Bowl Halftime Show is that you are always going to be surrounded by some pretty iconic stars of the music scene, some of whom will have already been where you are. Talk about pressure!

For Usher the onlookers included the likes of Gwen Stefani, Lady Gaga, Beyoncé and Jay-Z.

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How much was Usher paid for the Super Bowl 2024 halftime show?

As Usher finished his performance, a few doubts arose once again, with people wondering what fortune he was paid to get the stadium crowd of 65,000 jumping and viewers around the world singing along.

You may be surprised to find out that the artist didn't actually receive a cent, directly at least.

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Transported back in time

There were some fresh touches but there's no doubt that the show was a nostalgic trip for many, with fans of music earlier in this century getting a few treats.

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Positive Usher vibes

There will always be critics out there but it's fair to say that there are plenty of people who loved the show. A recurring comment I've seen - an example attached here - has been around the transitions between tracks.

And that included costume change and skate routine.

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How much did Apple Music pay for the rights to the Super Bowl Halftime Show?

AppleMusic took over as the new sponsor of the Super Bowl Halftime Show after Pepsi’s contract expired. But have you any idea for how much? We checked it out.

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Biebers bouncing to Usher

We've not heard his full opinion on what he thought about it but we at least have a clip of Justin and Hailey moving around to the beat. No doubt someone will get a microphone in front of him soon to get his praise for his friend and mentor.

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Social media reacts to Usher’s Halftime Show performance at Super Bowl 2024

From the sound quality issues, to the lack of singing, to the contribution made by Alicia Keys, our Joe has been taking a look at some of the social media reactions to the Halftime Show.

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Apple happy with Usher show

Three decades of work led to that 15 minutes of showmanship, and Apple are grateful to the man born in Dallas for delivering it in his own clear style. Let's check out what you guys have been saying...

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Usher's Halftime Show

HARRY HOW / Getty Images via AFP

You can check out the Latino view of the Super Bowl Halftime Show from our Spanish language colleagues at AS USA Latino. 

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Usher reaction

So, clearly you're never going to please everyone but one of the most talked about aspects of the Halftime Show was the poor sound quality at the start.

But the whole package had moments to savour, with those first notes on the piano from Alicia Keys a delight, and few could argue that he knocked "Yeah!" sufficiently out the park.

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Cee Lo reminder

OK, don't shoot me... but I've just been told that it wasn't actually Cee Lo in the show. It was actually Atlanta born rapper Jermaine Dupri. I'll blame the lighting and the excitement!!

Here's that video anyway...

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Who is CeeLo Green?

He wasn't on stage for long but Thomas DeCarlo Callaway-Burton - aka Ceelo Green - joined our main man Usher during those few minutes.

You may remember him from that catchy number "F*ck you"

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Justin Bieber and Hailey Bieber, kiss-cam at the Super Bowl

A quick aside before I get back to Usher.

Justin Bieber and wife Hailey Bieber were on the jumbotron at the Allegiant Stadium, as they followed the Chiefs vs 49ers Super Bowl LVIII.

The Canadian gave a thumbs up to the cameras, before leaning in for a smooch with wife Hailey, who seemed less enthusiastic about a cheeky kiss in front of the 60,000 fans in the arena.

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Usher out

He came, he sang, he skated a bit and showed some skin. But, as always, it's over far too quickly.

But don't worry. I ain't going anywhere. More footage and plenty of reaction coming up... and some of the opinions aren't so complimentary.

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Usher goes blue

He keeps it pretty clean but the finale of the show gets everyone on stage and bouncing

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Ludacris goes loud

Giving time for Usher to change

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Ludacris gets his vocals out strong. And while he does, Usher slips into a blue and black light sparkled outfit for the final number.

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H.E.R. with the strings

Guitar skills pre-skates

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Skate time!

No doubt we were going to see it and Usher joins his skating troop to spin along with the light show. Huge cheers from the crowd. Let me grab some footage of that to share with you.

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Usher is clearly feeling the heat out there and strips off to the waist. No doubt he's continued his gym workouts while being away from us all these years.

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My Super Bowl Boo

Here they are making the music flow....

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Alicia hits the Keys

Usher dances his way elegantly across the stage and who's waiting for him? That's right, Alicia on the piano with the intro to "I ain't got you". Beautiful.

Then, as expected, they join harmonies for "My Boo". It's building nicely (after some sound issues to begin with)

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Usher entrance

Here's how it all began...

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The beats from "Yeah!" kicked us off but only for the first few seconds. Then straight into Caught Up! 

I'm so (caught up)
Got me feeling it (caught up)
I'm losing control

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It's show time

He's here!

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Halftime things are kicking off

The noise across social media is at fever pitch as the stage is, literally, set for Usher to bring us his latest show. I want to see what's in place for some mad skating action. As risky as possible to go into Super Bowl history. Playing it safe is quickly forgotten.

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What do you want from Usher?

OK, so it's way too late to influence the show but here's what people have been replying to the question about what they'd like to see:

"nothing, his discography is so mid we don’t want him"

"Respect by Aretha Franklin"

"Yeah Yeah yeah, yeah, yeah yeah"

"Good Good!"

"Who let the dogs out"

"Love story by Taylor Swift"

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It's 'non-game' time

The first half is over!!!! 

Let's get ready to Usher in the Halftime Show. Are you ready? With so much unknown possible content and so little time to perform, I can't wait!

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Bieber cam

There he is. Justin and Hailey taking in the game.

But will the Canadian be leaving her side to join his former mentor Usher on the field? We're here to keep you posted.

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A Swift pint

Taylor may not be singing tonight but she's getting plenty of impressive reaction to her drinking speed, caught here on the big screen.

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Awaiting Usher

These ladies of leisure are rather impatient, aren't they? We're so, so close.

But the big question is, will Usher live up to the billing?

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Tick, tock, tick, tock

Don't worry, we really are getting close. The two-minute warning has just sounded and after the play is over we'll be preparing for Usher and his chosen friends.

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Apple shows more

Get out your iPhone and open up Apple maps and you can get a little more insight into the Halftime Show. What will they think of next? I'm expecting to be sitting stageside in the coming years from the comfort of my own sofa.

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Halftime Show 2025

Don't worry, I'm totally focused on what's going down in the coming minutes - wow, there's only about five to play in this first half - but this was an interesting comment from Lil Wayne when asked about next year's event. 

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Usher wishes

While I ponder just what Usher is doing right now (will he be taking in the game or warming up his vocal chords?) Adrian is dreaming of this solo choreo forming part of the show.

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Usher announces dates for 2024 Past Present Future tour: full list of cities and venues

If you're sad about just 15 minutes of Usher tonight, then you'll be delighted to know that he's hitting the road for his tour to promote the new album. The eight-time Grammy winner’s Past Present Future tour will see him play a total of 24 concerts in 17 North American cities.

Our Will brings you all you need to know about when, where and how to get your hands on some tickets.

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Bieber fever

The idea of Justin Bieber performing tonight may induce some injuries among his adoring fans at home. If you're going to do this though, Valentina, may I advise you to wear the same uniforms as the players currently on the field. The TV won't survive but you should.

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Usher is in da house!

They lost him. Then they found him. And now he is in the Allegiant Stadium as we edge closer and closer to the show.

 

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How long is halftime during the Super Bowl?

Clearly so much focus goes into the Halftime Show but do you know how long it lasts for? We had a look back over various years to see how they went and a reminder that the artists that wow us usually only have around 13 minutes to cram everything in.

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Multiple Halftime Shows

Usher is going to be joining an elite list of artists with multiple Super Bowl Halftime Show appearances when he takes to the stage tonight.

Gloria Estefan 1992, 1995 and 1999

Nelly 2001 and 2004

Mary J. Blige 2001 and 2022

Justin Timberlake 2004 and 2018

Bruno Mars 2014 and 2016

Usher 2011 and 2024

Among others to have been involved a couple of times, we have the legends of Stevie Wonder and Beyoncé.

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Who's your SBLVIII HTS pick?

Paramount are covering the show and are keen to get your thoughts on who will be added to the performance.

At the time of writing, the voting is as follows:

Alicia - 12.7%

Justin - 26.7%

Lil - 8.2%

Jungkook - 52.5%

Sorry to disappoint all those who voted for the BTS man but he signed up for national service in Korea in December so is rather unlikely to be making it to Las Vegas.

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The complete list of every performer in Super Bowl Halftime Show history

Have you been sitting there discussing with your family, friends or NFL-mad kitty cat who all the previous performers have been in the Super Bowl Halftime Show? 

Wonder no more, we've covered all the aspects you're likely wanting to know.

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Peter sets the bar for Usher

The Family Guy puts out the challenge to Usher.

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My halftime crew

When you don't care about the football, and are just tuning in for the music.

I get ya!

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Bieber talk

The game gets underway but I'm keeping my focus on what happens when this first half is over. Trina here made me laugh with her take on how Justin may react upon arrival.

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Super Bowl 2024 flyover: times, jet models...

As Reba McEntire hit the word "brave", the power of the Thunderbirds cruised over the stadium. Skills in the sky to match the qualities down on the field. Great to see and so much more to know.

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Who is Reba McEntire, the singer who is performing the national anthem in the 2024 Super Bowl?

”He said that they wanted me to sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl, and I said ‘Oh my gosh. Well, let me think about that,’”

Those were the words of Reba before hitting the notes, and what notes she hit. She can be so proud of that.

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Reba McEntire get star spangled

O say can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight
O'er the ramparts we watch'd were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bomb bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there,
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream,
'Tis the star-spangled banner - O long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore,
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion
A home and a Country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash'd out their foul footstep's pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their lov'd home and the war's desolation!
Blest with vict'ry and peace may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserv'd us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto - "In God is our trust,"
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

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Immediately into the national anthem and it's the turn of Reba McEntire...

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Time for America the Beautiful

Post Malone steps up and takes the mic. Join him if you feel like it...

First up... America the Beautiful - 
Oh beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife
Who more than self, their country loved
And mercy more than life
America, America may God thy gold refine
'Til all success be nobleness
And every gain divined
And you know when I was in school
We used to sing it something like this, listen here
Oh beautiful, for spacious skies
For amber waves of grain
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain
But now wait a minute, I'm talking about
America, sweet America
You know, God done shed his grace on thee
He crowned thy good, yes he did, in brotherhood
From sea to shining sea
You know, I wish I had somebody to help me sing this
(America, America, God shed his grace on thee)
America, I love you America, you see
My God he done shed his grace on thee
And you oughta love him for it
Cause he, he, he, he crowned thy good
He told me he would, with brotherhood
(From sea to shining Sea)
Oh Lord, oh Lord, I thank you Lord
(Shining sea)

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Here's Andra

Hear it for yourself...

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Ahead of our next song (which will be America the Beautiful), the players are being announced to the stadium crowd.

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It was certainly Andra's Day

Another example of the positive feeling to that song.

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Andra Day reactions

There seems to be a consistent reaction across social media on that performance. A big thumbs up!

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Andra Day

Solid singing there from Andra. That was stunning.

Here she is talking ahead of her performance.

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Lift Every Voice and Sing

Well, it's time... The songs start here. Andra Day (the song commonly known as the Black National Anthem):

Lift every voice and sing
Till earth and heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise
High as the listening skies,
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us,
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun
Let us march on till victory is won.
Stony the road we trod,
Bitter the chastening rod,
Felt in the days when hope unborn had died;
Yet with a steady beat,
Have not our weary feet
Come to the place for which our fathers sighed?
We have come over a way that with tears have been watered,
We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered,
Out from the gloomy past,
Till now we stand at last
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.
God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears,
Thou who has brought us thus far on the way;
Thou who has by Thy might
Led us into the light,
Keep us forever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places, Our God, where we met Thee;
Lest, our hearts drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee;
Shadowed beneath Thy hand,
May we forever stand.
True to our GOD,
True to our native land

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The playlist

Here's a quick summary track-by-track of "Coming Home" which has a runtime of 67 minutes:

"Coming Home" (with Burna Boy) – 3:11

"Good Good" (with Summer Walker and 21 Savage) – 4:07

"A-Town Girl" (with Latto) – 3:33

"Cold Blooded" (with The-Dream) – 3:17

"Kissing Strangers" – 3:00

"Keep On Dancin'" – 3:09

"Risk It All" (from the Motion Picture The Color Purple; with H.E.R) – 3:22

"Bop" – 3:43

"Stone Kold Freak" – 3:35

"Ruin" (with Pheelz) – 3:02

"BIG" – 3:08

"On the Side" – 3:04

"I Am the Party" – 3:39

"I Love U" – 3:18

"Please U" – 2:58

"Luckiest Man"

"Margiela"

"Room in a Room" – 2:18

"One of Them Ones" – 3:14

"Standing Next to You" (remix; with Jungkook) – 3:34

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Good Good album song

Featuring a star-studded lineup of collaborations with artists like Burna Boy, Summer Walker, 21 Savage, Latto, The-Dream, H.E.R., Pheelz, and Jungkook, it gives an impression of how Usher has evolved as an artist.

The lead single, "Good Good," has already had some positive noises from fans. Usher himself said that a lot of creativity and effort had gone into making the record "to tell a story that is open to interpretation." The album explores themes of love, passion, and self-discovery.

Like his music that went before, the tracks can fit into certain moods but certainly not for all.

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Usher is Coming Home

Have you heard it yet? Usher's ninth studio album, "Coming Home," dropped a couple of days ago and marks his return to the solo scene after an eight-year hiatus since his last album, "Hard II Love," in 2016. Hitting the Super Bowl stage feels like a pretty decent promotional campaign, right?!

Let’s take a look at what’s inside the album.

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Justin Bieber arrives in Las Vegas: will he perform with Usher in the Super Bowl Halftime Show?

What a reaction there will be if Justin Bieber joins up with Usher once again.

The two have a strong bond and given that it was only July 2022 when Bieber revealed his diagnosis with Ramsay Hunt syndrome, it could be an emotional night.

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Alicia Keys 'My Boo'

If Keys does indeed strut her stuff in Las Vegas, it's more than likely to be a version of My Boo which you can remind yourself of in this video.

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Who's appearing with Usher?

There has been loads of chatter about who will be hitting the stage with our headliner later with some collaborators, those mentioned earlier, almost certainly being involved.

But noise around Alicia Keys and Justin Bieber has also been growing.

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WATCH: Taylor Swift has brought Ice Spice and Blake Lively to Super Bowl LVIII

Swift emerged at the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas with her entourage and there were two special guests with her, Ice Spice and Blake Lively.

You can watch them in this quick video clip.

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Who is in the box with Taylor Swift at Super Bowl LVIII?

Snagging tickets for this year’s Super Bowl was not an easy task, even for the family members of the teams and even for the great Taylor Swift herself, who has made quite the effort to be back in time to watch her boyfriend, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce play in the Super Bowl against the 49ers tonight.

Not only did she have to make a trip around the world after her concert ended in Tokyo on Friday, but she also had to spend a pretty penny to make it there, as well as to get a spot in a suite.

But with Travis unable to fill the slot, who else will be enjoying Taylor's box over the next few hours? Our Jen dived in for a look.

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Taylor Swift watch

So, there's no getting away from the Taylor Swift chat with her devoted fans - some of whom have recently started taking an interest in this gridiron stuff - having been pondering the idea of her getting down from her VIP box and joining Usher on stage during hte interval. Here's my take on why that won't be happening:

1. She will not be wanting to distract Travis in any way. Can you imagine if you're girlfriend takes over the world's imagination while you're stuck in the locker room?

2. There's no way Swift would hand a freebie like that to the NFL (or has a deal been done already?)

3. Surely she must be exhausted from her Era's Tour gigs and her frantic travel schedule

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“I’ve been able to bring a great deal of Atlanta and the melting pot that it is, musically and culturally, to Las Vegas. It wasn’t easy to do but I turned Vegas into Atlanta. I took the V and turned it upside down”

Usher, Apple interview

Taylor Swift

Amidst swirling rumours that Taylor Swift would grace the stage at the 2022 Super Bowl halftime show, speculation turned when TMZ reported that sources close to the artist disclosed her decision to decline the invitation.

The reason? Swift opted to channel her energy into rerecording her first six albums after the rights to her masters were sold by Scooter Braun in 2020. Given her tight end romance with a certain Chief, there are Swifties around the world gasping at the prospect of her getting on stage tonight... but I cannot see that happening for a few reasons...

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Adele

The powerhouse vocals of Adele undoubtedly have the potential to captivate a Super Bowl audience, but the British singer dismissed rumors of her performing, citing that the show wasn't in line with her musical style. During a stop at Los Angeles' Staples Center on her 2016 tour, Adele candidly addressed the speculation, telling her audience: "First of all, I'm not doing the Super Bowl. I mean, come on, that show is not about music. And I don't really… I can't dance or anything like that. They were very kind, they did ask me, but I said no."

Adele's honesty and focus on her musical authenticity resonated with fans who appreciated her commitment to staying true to her artistic identity.

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Jay-Z

Although Jay-Z is the executive producer of the halftime show for tonight's Super Bowl, he once declined to perform after he was told who he had to perform with.

“I said, ‘No, you get me.’ That is not how you go about it, telling someone that they’re going to do the halftime show contingent on who they bring,” he told The New York Times in a 2020 interview. “I said forget it. It was a principle thing.”

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Rihanna

In 2019, Rihanna candidly revealed to Vogue that she had turned down the NFL's invitation to headline the halftime show. Her reasoning was unapologetically principled: "I couldn't dare do that. For what? Who gains from that? Not my people. I just couldn't be a sellout. I couldn't be an enabler," she declared to the magazine. The artist expressed disagreement with certain aspects of the organization that she was not willing to support in any way.

However, in a surprising turn of events, Rihanna performed a complete u-turn, taking center stage as the star performer for the 2023 Super Bowl Halftime Show. The unexpected reveal on stage left fans and spectators alike in awe, showcasing that sometimes even the most resolute decisions can evolve, setting the stage for a spectacular halftime comeback.

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Halftime Show snubs

As the excitement builds for Usher's headline performance stealing the spotlight between the on-field action, it's quite astonishing to think that certain stars have, in the past, declined the opportunity to grace the Super Bowl's Halftime Show.

Reasons range from disagreement with the sports league's political stances to a disinterest in the extravagant theatrics of the show, or simply being too preoccupied on game day.

Let's take a look at some prominent artists who opted out of being part of the grandest day in football.

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Has Usher performed at the Super Bowl before?

Did you know that this is not the first time that tonight's headline act has performed in a Super Bowl Halftime Show?

He was actually a special guest just over a decade ago when The Black Eyed Peas invited him onstage to join them for their 2011 performance.

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THAT oven door clip

As mentioned earlier, Usher's 2004 smash hit Yeah! is GOING to be on the list tonight (possibly even more than once we reckon). It's made it to mega viral status, including the Oven Door meme. Here's the full story...

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“I think I made it easy for myself when I decided to have featured artists on songs that became hit records. That gave me the greatest inspiration”

Usher, Apple interview

Halftime stars keep shining bright

The Super Bowl halftime show has witnessed an infusion of international flair over the years, with musical luminaries like Phil Collins, Paul McCartney, Coldplay, The Rolling Stones, and U2 gracing the stage. In a poignant moment, the 2002 Super Bowl was dedicated to the victims of the 9/11 attacks, showcasing the power of music to heal and unite. Prince's unforgettable performance in the rain in 2007 and Madonna's 2012 appearance, breaking a national TV audience record with 114 million viewers, further solidified the halftime show as a star-studded and unforgettable spectacle.

Of course, the halftime show's journey has also been marked by iconic moments like Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" with Justin Timberlake, the mesmerizing mirror madness from The Weeknd, and the most recent "bump" reveal by Rihanna in 2023, to name but a few. The Super Bowl halftime show is indeed a rollercoaster of entertainment, offering unexpected twists and turns that keep fans eagerly anticipating the next headline-making performance. What a ride it has been!

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Ross, Brown, Aerosmith...

Michael Jackson set a standard so exceptional that attempting to follow his act seemed akin to a Herculean task. The quest for even more grandiose halftime performances kicked off with Diana Ross headlining the 30th-anniversary game in 1996. Ross initiated her set with classic Supremes hits while elevated on a mechanical platform, surrounded by a multitude of dancers in a meticulously orchestrated spectacle. After delivering several songs and undergoing costume changes, Ross made a stylish exit, vanishing into the night sky via helicopter.

The momentum continued in the 1997 halftime show, featuring the incomparable James Brown, ZZ Top, and the Blues Brothers, who collectively stole the spotlight. As the new millennium dawned, halftime extravaganzas evolved into even more dazzling spectacles. Aerosmith headlined Super Bowl XXXV, culminating in a vibrant rendition of "Walk This Way" that featured NSYNC, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige, and Nelly, creating a star-studded crescendo that echoed the ever-increasing extravagance of Super Bowl halftime shows.

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Halftime Shows reborn

Jackson, taking a poised stance at the center stage for a riveting minute and a half, held the audience spellbound before his band kicked off a five-song medley of his greatest hits: "Jam," "Billie Jean," "Black and White," "We are the World," and "Heal the World."

A staggering television audience of 133 million tuned in, captivated from homes worldwide, setting a record as the most-watched Super Bowl halftime show on a global scale—a resounding testament to the extraordinary success of this iconic performance.

The electrifying fusion of music, visuals, and Jackson's unparalleled stage presence left an indelible mark on Super Bowl history, forever changing the expectations for halftime extravaganzas.

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Jackson time

Recognizing the necessity for a transformative halftime show in the era of the MTV generation, the NFL turned to the seasoned show producers at Radio City Productions in 1992. Proposing an unprecedented concept, they envisioned the world's biggest artist, Michael Jackson, headlining a meticulously choreographed 15-minute mini-concert.

This groundbreaking performance, fully produced for broadcast with special video effects, featured 'Jackson' lookalikes popping up on the gantries of the video scoreboard and a breathtaking cascade of fireworks. The real King of Pop then made a grand entrance onto the main stage, ascending through a trap door reminiscent of a Jack in the Box. This visionary halftime show not only captivated the audience but also set a new standard for Super Bowl entertainment, marking a turning point that would redefine the halftime experience for years to come.

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Decline in Halftime Show interest

Nevertheless, in the subsequent two decades, halftime entertainment predominantly showcased groups such as Up with People, university bands, and drill teams. As the early '90s unfolded, a noticeable decline in television audiences emerged, with viewers frequently changing channels during the halftime interval. In a mere 12-month span, between Super Bowl XXIII and XXIV, the national television audience plummeted from 81.59 million to 73.85 million viewers.

This shift in viewer engagement reflected a need for a revitalized and captivating halftime experience to rekindle audience interest.

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Back in the day

Here's a trip down memory lane as Super Bowl IV (that's number four for those of you less au fait with Roman numerals) breaks the gridiron play with some nifty performances.

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Tributes between the Super Bowl

Three years later, the halftime show continued its tradition of paying homage, this time honoring Fitzgerald's former collaborator, the legendary Duke Ellington.

These tributes not only showcased musical excellence but also contributed to the rich and diverse tapestry of performances that define the Super Bowl halftime experience.

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Jazz class for Halftime Show

In 1972, the sixth edition of the Super Bowl featured a remarkable tribute to the late musical partner of the First Lady of Jazz, Ella Fitzgerald. Trumpeter Al Hirt took charge as Fitzgerald, in a historic moment, became the first Black woman to grace the stage at a Super Bowl halftime show. In a poignant homage to her late partner Louis Armstrong, Fitzgerald delivered a powerful rendition of her 1960 hit, "Mack the Knife."

This momentous performance not only celebrated jazz greatness but also marked a significant milestone in Super Bowl halftime history.

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Usher is trending

On most of the popular GIF servers, Usher is trending as people get hyped for his Halftime Show performance. 

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How much was a ticket to the first ever Super Bowl?

Talking of that first ever Super Bowl, and consider the many thousands it costs fans to get to today's game, can you guess how much it cost for a ticket to see the Green Bay Packers against the Kansas City Chiefs that day in 1967?

I went back and had a look for this article.

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The Super Bowl saints were marching

In the very first Super Bowl held in 1967, halftime entertainment took a more traditional turn, showcasing the talents of two university marching bands and the acclaimed trumpet player and bandleader, Al Hirt. The bands delivered a medley of familiar tunes, with the timeless "When the Saints Go Marching In" taking center stage, complemented by the dynamic performance of an 80-member troupe of high kickers executing their vibrant drill team routine.

Although I wasn't there, they say that this spirited and visually captivating spectacle (relative to the day, of course) succeeded in keeping spectators thoroughly engaged during the halftime break.

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Halftime Shows: the early years

For the younger generation accustomed to flashy displays, pyrotechnics, and sensationalism, it might be surprising to learn that the earlier years of the Super Bowl featured halftime entertainment dominated by marching bands playing popular tunes, and on occasion, no musical performance at all.

However, the landscape underwent a profound transformation in 1993 when Michael Jackson graced the stage at Super Bowl XXVII in Pasadena, California. His unforgettable five-song set became a pivotal moment in Super Bowl history, captivating audiences and securing its status as one of the most enchanting spectacles ever witnessed at the event - a legacy that continues to endure.

We owe a debt of gratitude to Michael for reshaping the Super Bowl halftime experience!

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Past Halftime Shows

Right, now you've got some knowledge of Usher's backstory... let's consider Super Bowl Halftime Shows in years gone by.

Everyone has their own favourites, the scandals clearly get more attention than the music, and Usher knows that his will be held up for comparison so will be out to impress.

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Does Usher have children?

He sure does! Usher is dad to four children and they go by the names of Usher "Cinco" V (check in the earlier post why that is just following on with the family's naming convention), Naviyd Ely, Sovereign Bo and Sire Castrello.

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Usher's 'New Look'

Usher's philanthropic endeavors include founding the New Look Foundation, focusing on empowering youth through education and mentorship. Here's a short news report from a few years back when it celebrated 20 years of activity.

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DJ Usher at the prom

OK, so you don't see a whole lot of Usher here - Freddie Prince Junior and the prom's dancing crew hogging the limelight - but keep a close eye out for the school’s resident DJ.

What are the chances of us seeing a dance-off similar to this in Las Vegas tonight?

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The actor Usher

Throughout his career, Usher has adapted to evolving musical trends, incorporating elements of hip-hop, electronic, and dance music into his repertoire. Beyond music, he has pursued acting, appearing in films like "She's All That" (1999) and "In the Mix" (2005).

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“For everybody who heard about my show in Las Vegas, you’ll now get a chance to see some of what I did here but you’ll get the best of it”

Usher, Apple interview

Yeah! It's coming

Here's "Yeah!" from a live show almost two decades ago. I can't wait to see how he delivers it this time around!

Yes, I'm betting the house that we hear those famous tones at some point this evening.

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Usher turns into the century in style

The early 2000s marked a period of significant success, with the release of his fourth album, "Confessions" (2004), that some fans have described as masterpiece exploring love, heartbreak, and personal struggles.

This album produced hits like "Yeah!" and "Burn," propelling Usher to international superstardom. Usher's influence, however, extends beyond his chart-topping music and videos. He is also renowned for his dynamic live performances.

What's that? You want to see some? Let's do it...

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Eyes on the Halftime Show

I'd hope that you'll stay with me here so that we can share the moment together but it would be remiss of me not to mention that you can also watch a live stream of Super Bowl LVIII and the Halftime Show on fuboTV, which offers users a free trial.

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You're reminding Usher of something

Here's "U Remind Me" which, seems to just be Usher going around telling a number of beautiful women why he doesn't want to be with them.

Check out his little solo dance at minute 2:20 with some lite acrobatic moves.

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Inside our main man Usher

So, as you already know, Usher - for my purposes I'll not be going full capitals - is our headline act tonight. Let's dig a little into his background before moving into his latest works.

Born Usher Raymond IV on 14 October 1978, he is known for his singing, songwriting, acting, and dancing with a huge following across contemporary R&B and pop music. A life that began in Dallas, Texas, he was quickly of to Chattanooga, Tennessee, and then Atlanta, Georgia, where Usher burst onto the music scene in the early 1990s with his smooth voice, charismatic stage presence, and pretty snazzy dance moves.

His breakthrough came with the release of his second album, "My Way" (1997), featuring the hit singles "Nice & Slow" and "You Make Me Wanna." However, it was his third album, "8701" (2001), that solidified his status as an R&B icon, highlighted by the Grammy-winning single "U Remind Me" and the chart-topping "U Got It Bad." His music videos are pretty eye-catching.

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“I was very mindful of my past, celebrating my present, which is here in Las Vegas, and thinking about where we’re heading in the future”

Usher,

Halftime Show: schedule

Let's take a look at what lies ahead of us tonight with the times (all ET) you'll need to know:

- 6:10 p.m. Musical intros: Post Malone set to deliver a soulful rendition of "America the Beautiful," Reba McEntire follows with the national anthem, while Andra Day brings her magic to "Lift Every Voice and Sing," with Shaheem Sanchez signing alongside.

- 6:30 p.m.: Super Bowl LVIII kicks off with Dane Arlauckas and Jennifer Bubel bringing you the best commentary and analysis.

- 8:00 p.m. The Apple Music Super Bowl LVIII Halftime Show begins, featuring the electrifying Usher performing a medley of his greatest hits. Once the stage is cleared up, the second half will kick off...

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Halftime Show Super Bowl 2024 en vivo: Actuación de Usher en el medio tiempo, en directo

For all you out there who'd rather following the Halftime Show information in Spanish, we've got you covered. Jump over and join my lovely colleagues Daniela and Corina. I won't take it personally! 

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Apple's 15-minute bite of Super Bowl

The full title of today's sporting interval is the Apple Music Halftime Show and Tim Cook's company is putting all its promotional might behind it and Usher.

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Halftime Show Super Bowl 2023 live reactions: is Rihanna pregnant

I'll be looking more closely into previous Halftime Shows - the best, the worst, and the controversies - but as a little reminder, here's our coverage of last year's performance, which grabbed the attention of non-sports fans with the Rihanna bump reveal.

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Rings lighting up Las Vegas

The man headlining our show tonight is known to bling up his outfits and I'll be keeping a close eye to see if he's found a way to get a Super Bowl winning ring on one of his fingers.

The Vegas Sphere was showing them off earlier.

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My Road to Halftime, by Usher

Back when the 2024 Super Bowl Halftime Show still in its early days, 'My Road to Halftime' was created, where Usher explained the songs in his playlist that are getting him hyped for the big day.

This exclusive collection features hits from the artist himself, plus tracks from past performers and collaborators. You can check out Usher's Road to Halftime playlist and get yourself in the mood.

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Where's Usher?

In case you're joining me having not caught up on events since Apple's "Where's Usher?" teaser, don't worry... they did find him like Tim Cook said.

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Super Bowl 2024: Halftime Show welcome

Hello and a very warm Super Bowl Halftime Show welcome to our live build-up, coverage, and reaction blog, that will run from now until, well, until you all disappear because you've had enough. I, for one, am in it for the long haul. Pizza order in, refreshments cooled, morning appointment with the finger rheumatologist booked.

Some would say that the focus should be on the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers who are currently gearing up for a gridiron showdown in Super Bowl LVIII - Dane and Jen are bringing you their inimitable chat on that here - but the real MVPs on this feed are not the players on the field but the Halftime Show maestros plotting a musical spectacle to turn even the heads of gladiator-fanatics in Rome's Colosseum 18 centuries ago. Sure, touchdowns and tackles are cool, but have you seen a pop sensation rise from the stage like a phoenix, surrounded by pyrotechnics that make Fourth of July fireworks question their life choices?

It's a battle between end zones and high notes, pigskins and sequins, and we all know where the real championship ring is won: the halftime stage. The Chiefs and 49ers get a chance to shine every single year, and have had this option for several decades, but our headline act for the gap those guys leave between halves likely has just one opportunity to go down in the annuls of entertainment history.

Pass the nachos, cue the glitter cannons, and may the best performer steal the show, potentially on a pair of skates. Right here, it's tunes over touchdowns, although I can't guarantee there won't be an overlap on the shoulder pads fashion choice...

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Rules