Though the history of the show is filled with massive names like Rihanna, Beyonce and Michael Jackson, Usher absolutely rose to the occasion with his halftime performance at Super Bowl LVIII.
The changing stage and costuming of the big game’s performance has become a “like clockwork” trend each February, and Usher was certainly up to the challenge. Donning a shimmering white number to start before making his way to a Michael Jackson-esque take on roller rink wear, the Atlanta singer’s wardrobe, though spectacular, fell behind the real star in choreography. His vocals themselves weren’t any slouches, but the dance moves that Usher worked his way through were the true jewel in his “triple crown.”
While on paper, the multiple guest stars enlisted for the performance could detract from Usher’s own star power, instead the “Atlanta party” theme was amplified by it. H.E.R., herself a GRAMMY-winning vocalist, instead took the stage, chiefly a guitarist. Alicia Keys, clad entirely in red, brought a quiet moment to an otherwise raucous occasion with a rendition of “If I Ain’t Got You” that would have been star-making for a lesser name. Will.I.Am may have been on stage for a bit shorter than expected, but performed admirably, joining Usher for “O.M.G.” in their throwback to 2010s radio.
“Yeah” Caps Off An Infectiously Energetic Halftime for Usher
And of course, outside of the realm of actual football, the surest bet in Vegas was a performance of “Yeah.” Not backing down from the challenge, both Ludacris and Lil Jon appeared, with the latter chipping in his own “Turn Down For What.” As the lights turned down on the 59th halftime, Usher proved what most already knew. The catalog amassed over the past two decades and highlighted an incredible influence over the airwaves, only heightened by Usher being one of the best showmen the industry has to offer. At the very end, Usher closed his halftime show by echoing a sentiment he brought up a few times before, “I brought the world to the A.” True to and unflinching in his upbringing, he did so in the most explosive way possible.
As the closing graphic promoted, Usher capitalized on the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to unveil his latest album. You can find COMING HOME on all streaming platforms, and read our Alyssa Osorio’s thoughts on the project once you do.