Usher took to the stage for the halftime show at Super Bowl LVIII on Sunday, which takes place at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, pitting the Kansas City Chiefs against the San Francisco 49ers.
The 45-year-old R&B was putting on a major showcase of his decades of hits, even as fellow music superstar Taylor Swift threatened to steal the spotlight from her celebrity-filled VIP box as she cheered on her boyfriend, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce.
But Usher nearly derailed the performance when he came out on roller skates and almost took a tumble while zooming around the stage.
The legendary sex symbol — who was joined by stars including Alicia Keys, H.E.R., Lil John and Ludacris — course corrected by giving the fans what they wanted and stripping off his shirt to showcased his impressive abs.
Usher opened the show on a high note with a super-short excerpt of his song Caught Up, from his hit 2004 album Confessions, followed by U Don’t Have To Call and his hit Love In This Club.
Usher dug through 30 years of hits as he headlined Super Bowl LVIII on Sunday at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. He was making his debut as headliner after first joining the Black Eyed Peas at the show back in 2011. He nearly derailed the show during a roller-skating section when he took a tumble
He lost his footing as he tried to zoom under a singer’s legs, causing him to get caught and lose his balance
The legendary sex symbol course corrected by giving the fans what they wanted and stripping off his shirt to showcased his impressive abs
It was previously reported that Alicia Keys would be joining Usher, and she didn’t disappoint
It was previously reported that Alicia Keys would be joining Usher, and she didn’t disappoint. The songstress appeared in a sizzling red sequined bodysuit to accompany her sinuous red piano.
Lil John and Ludacris weren’t far behind when they jumped in to accompany Usher for Yeah!, his mega hit from 2004, and H.E.R. accompanied him with her shredding guitar work.
Usher opened his performance in an opulent white overcoat draped over his shoulders that was decorated with silver-sequined designs.
He quickly shed it thanks to some backup dancers to reveal his smaller white cropped jacket, which he paired with brilliant white pants.
He was joined by numerous male and female backup dancers, though there didn’t appear to be any clear theme to their first set of costumes.
Some of them seemed to be dressed as circus performers, and one male dancer was seen being launched in the air from one side of the stage to the other, as if he had been fired out of a cannon.
He switched into a slow jam mode with his second song U Don’t Have To Call, followed by an energizing rendition of Superstar and a rocking version of Love In This Club.
The songstress appeared in a sizzling red sequined bodysuit to accompany her sinuous red piano
Usher had to contend with the massive interest that fellowing singer Taylor Swift brought as she cheered on her boyfriend, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce
He opened his performance in an opulent white overcoat draped over his shoulders that was decorated with silver-sequined designs
He quickly shed it thanks to some backup dancers to reveal his smaller white cropped jacket, which he paired with brilliant white pants
He switched into a slow jam mode with his second song U Don’t Have To Call, followed by an energizing rendition of Superstar and a rocking version of Love In This Club
With the massive stage in the midst of the NFL’s final contest of the season, Usher follows in the footsteps of famed luminaries who previously headlined the halftime show, including the late Michael Jackson and Prince, as well as current superstars Rihanna, Beyoncé, Madonna, Lady Gaga and Dr. Dre.
Usher told reporters in Las Vegas on Thursday that he was looking to incorporate the past, present and future when he hits the stage in Sin City, according to the AP, while paying homage to the host city — where he has had a residency — and Atlanta, where he established himself as a leading force in the music industry.
‘It’s been a challenge to squeeze 30 years into 13 minutes,’ Usher said of planning the abbreviated performance, adding that he asked himself, ‘What songs do people know me for, what songs have been a celebration of all of the journey?’
Usher, a mentor to Justin Bieber earlier in the superstar’s career, implied Thursday that his show would feature guest appearances from artists who he has worked with in the past, as he said he’s ‘definitely gone through a lot of ideas’ as to who he ‘would have go through this moment with’ him.
Usher himself has been onstage for the halftime show, accompanying his OMG collaborator will.i.am (and the Black Eyed Peas) onstage in 2011 in Arlington, Texas, at Super Bowl XLV, saying he vividly recalled ‘how amazing it felt to be in front of that many people and feel the energy.’
‘Oddly enough, there was a moment that only I think I remember,’ he said Thursday. ‘My hand got caught in the wire that was holding me 30 feet in the air and I almost missed my first mark. I was like, “Oh my God. Don’t let this malfunction cause me to miss something.”‘
The hitmaker’s fans will get a chance to see his behind-the-scenes preparations for the Super Bowl, as he revealed that cameras for Apple Music have been following him at rehearsals and meetings to craft the high-profile performance.
‘There’s been a documentary crew that has been collecting all of the moments that have happened. There’s cameras around us at all times,’ he shared at an Apple Music press conference on Thursday.
Earlier performances at the Super Bowl included Reba McEntire’s rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner, as well as an emotional performance of America The Beautiful from Post Malone, while Andra Day belted out Lift Every Voice and Sing.
The song, which was composed in 1900, was as the Black National Anthem more than a century ago.
Usher has released nine studio albums: 1994’s Usher, 1997’s My Way, 2001’s 8701, 2004’s Confessions, 2008’s Here I Stand, 2010’s Raymond v. Raymond, 2012’s Looking 4 Myself, 2016’s Hard II Love and this year’s Coming Home, which was released on Friday.
The Dallas native’s greatest professional success to date, both critically and commercially, came 20 years ago with the 2004 album Confessions, which spawned the hit signals Yeah!, Burn, Confessions Part II and My Boo, selling more than 10 million units domestically.
The album — which featured collaborations with Alicia Keys, Ludacris and Lil Jon — was a big winner at the 47th Annual Grammy Awards in 2005, as Usher took home three awards: Best Rap/Sung Collaboration (for Yeah!), Best Contemporary R&B Album (for Confessions) and Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals (for My Boo).
The singer has had nine number-one hits on the Billboard Hot 100 to date with 1998’s Nice & Slow; 2001’s U Got It Bad and U Got It Bad; 2004’s Yeah!, Burn, Confessions Part II and My Boo; 2008’s Love in This Club and 2010’s OMG.
The hitmaker’s fans will get a chance to see his behind-the-scenes preparations for the Super Bowl, as he revealed that cameras for Apple Music have been following him at rehearsals and meetings to craft the high-profile performance. The entertainer, 45, was pictured in Las Vegas on Thursday
The eight-time Grammy winner is prepared to take the stage for the halftime show of the Super Bowl on Sunday, which takes place at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, pitting the Kansas City Chiefs against the San Francisco 49ers
In his personal life, the R&B staple, whose full name is Usher Raymond IV, has been married twice: to Tameka Foster, 53, from 2007 thru 2009; and to Grace Harry from 2015 to 2018.
He is father to four children: sons Usher ‘Cinco’ Raymond V, 16, and Naviyd Ely, 15, with Foster; and daughter Sovereign Bo, three, and son Sire Castrello, two, with girlfriend Jenn Goicoechea, 40.
Following the halftime show, Usher’s focus will be on his 24-city North American tour titled Past Present Future, which begins on August 20 at Washington D.C.’s Capital One Arena.
It’s set to conclude on October 29 at the United Center in Chicago. The tour will also feature stops in major cities including New York City, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Miami and Toronto.