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Usher And Alicia Keys Put On Memorable Performance At The Super Bowl Half-Time Show

With assistance from will.i.am, Ludacris, and Alicia Keys, R&B singer Usher performed a hit-filled halftime act during Sunday’s Super Bowl.

A disclaimer shown before the performance jokingly warned viewers it may cause “singing, dancing, sweating, gyrating, and possible relationship issues”. It would go on to deliver on all fronts.

Dressed in all-white and surrounded by a swarm of energetic dancers, Usher emerged on the stage at the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas and launched straight into one of his best-known songs, Caught Up.

It marked the beginning of an exciting performance that made use of the 45-year-old’s considerable repertoire and dancing prowess.

Usher acknowledged that it had been “a challenge to squeeze 30 years in to 13 minutes” prior to his half-time performance. However, the singer did a commendable job of fitting in as many of his best-known songs as he could.

Acrobats and a brass band so big that during his performance, the audience could spell out “USHER” on the stadium’s grounds are featured in the set.

The vocalist skillfully transitioned between his two greatest hits, sex jams and dance choruses.

While some songs lasted only a few seconds, others included a whole verse and chorus. In a brief clip from Superstar, he sang just the lines, “Spotlight / big stage / 50,000 fans screaming in a rage,” as though to emphasize the importance of his Super Bowl performance.

The dancers surrounding him, many of whom had travelled a short distance from their Vegas residency, wore bright, even garish, costumes that accentuated the spectacle and perfectly complemented his main act.

Usher took a backseat as his first guest, Alicia Keys, emerged behind a bright red piano wearing a matching glittery red dress and launched into one of her own biggest singles, ‘If I Ain’t Got You’, once he was a few songs into his set and really into his groove.

The two then came together to perform their duet My Boo’, which produced one of the most endearing moments in a show full of reuni’ons as they joyfully re-enacted their 2004 hit.

The other guest stars began to appear one after the other quickly after Keys was rushed offstage as the song was coming to an end.

As Jermaine Dupri, a producer and rapper, joined Usher for a brief screening of Confessions Part II, several spectators ridiculed the way his outfit showed off his nude legs, sparking one of the evening’s viral trends.

Ballads and club hits mixed together so perfectly that Usher had time to gather his breath, flex his vocal muscles, and—most importantly—take off his shirt.

Usher, however, was unable to remain motionless while performing two of his most well-known slow jams, ‘Burn’ and ‘U Got It Bad’. He would move his body to the beat and captivate the entire crowd.

One of the most visually stunning parts of the evening occurred when flames were projected onto the enormous circular stage he was performing on during Burn.

H.E.R. was among Usher’s other guests. He performed a thrilling guitar solo during U Got It Bad before breaking into the well-known Bad Girl theme while Usher changed into a new outfit.

The singer reappeared with a sparkly black-and-blue ensemble, roller skates included, and introduced will.i.am for their joint song, ‘OMG’, which captured the energy of the audience.

Usher skillfully avoided falling when he reprised the skate routine from his recent Vegas residency that had gone viral.

The singer’s numerous cameo appearances in the second half almost started to work against her, which was the only negative aspect of an otherwise perfect halftime presentation.

Star guests and dancers rushed the stage, almost crowding Usher even as a reported collaboration with Justin Bieber fell through.

Lil Jon made an unexpected but very welcome cameo on his own popular song, ‘Turn Down For What’. But they knew exactly what was going to happen when he stepped onto the stage.

The excitement was building until the flamboyant Ludacris made an appearance. The group started out with a throbbing performance of Yeah!, a song that defined Usher’s career.

An absolute hit and global number one in the mid-2000s, the song served as the ideal capstone for a halftime show jam-packed with highlights.

Former basketball players LeBron James and Shaquille O’Neal, rapper Jay-Z, Hollywood actor Paul Rudd, and US megastar Taylor Swift were all present to watch Usher’s concert.

The half time show was headlined by Rihanna last year (2023).

Catch the full show below:

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