On Sunday 11 February 2024, Usher will attempt to fit his 30-year-long career as an R&B artist into a 13-minute set during his Super Bowl halftime performance. The singer has promised great things, including an apparent skating sequence, ahead of the highly anticipated show. But the real question is: who will be his special on-stage guests? And, are the rumours true that Usher’s protégé Justin Bieber will finally make his return to the big stage?
Super Bowl halftime performances have produced some of the most iconic cultural moments in music. We’ve seen the likes of Beyoncé, Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, and Mary J. Blige all pull off incredible shows. There have also of course been moments that were not so fabulous, for example, when Justin Timberlake “accidentally” exposed Janet Jackson’s nipple to the entire world. Honestly Britney Spears, you probably saw that coming.
Can we also take a moment to remember how Rihanna absolutely slayed her 2023 performance? Oh, she also happened to be pregnant at the time. No big deal.
One of the most exciting parts of a Super Bowl halftime performance is the thought of who the surprise special guests might be. So, naturally, everyone has been speculating over who Usher might bring out.
Top among netizens’ guesses are Lil Jon and Ludacris—this is mainly due to the fact that one of Usher’s most popular songs, ‘Yeah’, isn’t really complete without these two who feature on the original track.
Another popular guess has been Usher’s own mini protégé, Justin Bieber. While the Canadian singer hasn’t done a show of that scale in over a year, Bieber has been showing signs of finding joy in performing live again. Recently, fans were pleased to see the 29-year-old living his best life during a recent show and even reminiscing with a performance of one of his OG classics ‘Ennie Meenie’. Moreover, the pair have a few songs they could definitely sing together.
Or will Usher bring out Summer Walker and 21 Savage—two artists who feature on his newest album Coming Home? Usher has definitely been using the Super Bowl performance to promote his new album and subsequent tour.
Some people might be surprised to find out that Super Bowl halftime performers don’t actually get paid for their time on stage, as reported by Forbes. Rather, the appeal comes from the mass exposure artists will receive. For example, Rihanna, who promoted her cosmetic company Fenty during her performance, saw an increase of 883 per cent in Google searches for the brand.
Moreover, the simple act of Rihanna using Fenty’s Invisimatte Instant Setting + Blotting Powder to touch up her face mid-act helped propel the brand to have its best-ever monthly performance.
Only two more sleeps until we get to find out how Usher will make the most of his Super Bowl performance.