Usher has been a reason many have flocked to Las Vegas for his residency at Park MGM, and he’ll be in the spotlight again for another major Vegas show.
The NFL, Apple Music and Roc Nation Sunday morning announced Usher would headline the Super Bowl LVIII halftime show Feb. 11, 2024, at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. It will be the third consecutive year with Roc Nation’s involvement in a Super Bowl halftime show.
Usher to perform 2024 Super Bowl halftime show
Usher’s songs and dance routines have made him one of the best entertainers in music. It’s the ideal combination for the halftime show, where time is short and fans have to be given a reason not to spend the entire break refilling their drinks or piling up their plates with food for the second half.
Usher has a deep catalog of hits to choose from … so what might we hear? Here’s an early guess, along with potential guest appearances based on those songs. I’ve also included my odds/percentage in each song we’ll hear.
Bonus question: Will Usher perform on skates? This works for his Vegas residency, but I’m not sure it makes sense to be skating when the show will be less than 15 minutes. Chance Usher skates: 10 percent.
This has to open the set, right? It’s one of Usher’s signature tracks. It’s the perfect way to kick things off. It’s high energy and gives us a chance for appearances from Lil Jon and Ludacris. Chance it’s played: 100 percent.
“Confessions, Part II”
The NFL used the music video for this song with appearances from Marshawn Lynch and Deion Sanders in separate ads announcing Usher was performing. It also might be Usher’s biggest hit. No way this doesn’t make the cut. Chance it’s played: 100 percent.
“U Don’t Have to Call”
This is another track that would seem to be a lock. Usher of the early 2000s was the soundtrack for many looking to get out and have a good time, and songs like this are a big reason why. This was an anthem of sorts for fellas who were newly single. Chance it’s played: 95 percent.
“You Make Me Wanna”
Usher cemented his legendary status in R&B in the 2000s, but he broke out in the late 1990s with hits like this one. Hard to imagine a Super Bowl set without it. It’s a reason why his “My Way” album is cemented as one of the best albums from the genre of the era. Chance it’s played: 90 percent.
“U Remind Me”
This is a hit from Usher’s “8701” album. Usher is stuck on an ex-girlfriend who broke his heart while talking to another woman. He just can’t shake her from his mind to the point where he’s passing up another chance at love. The pain is real, but it is a catchy song. Chance it’s played: 80 percent.
Another popular track from the album of the same name. The title alone is a metaphor for Usher breaking away from his youthful, teenage image and embracing adulthood. It wouldn’t be my first choice of songs from the album, but I wouldn’t be mad at it, either. Chance it’s played: 70 percent.
“DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love”
Not every R&B singer can make music for the club scene quite like Usher. This is perfect for a late night in Vegas. It features Pitbull, and that could make for a fun performance. Chance it’s played: 70 percent.
This also wouldn’t be a bad choice to open the show. It has the kind of sound some might expect at a nightclub on the Vegas Strip. Maybe it’s a choice to close things out. Chance it’s played: 60 percent.
This is a perfect club song. It’s another track that feels like it should be accompanied by strobe lights and good times. It’s not Usher’s classic R&B sound, but a snippet during a halftime show could be appropriate. Chance it’s played: 55 percent.
“Love in This Club”
Another song that has the potential for a guest appearance with Jeezy. Like the other possible guests, it would have a tie to Southern hip-hop. We’d just need a reason to get Jermaine Dupri on stage to make it a true Southern party. Chance it’s played: 50 percent.
“Don’t Waste My Time”
This is a groove that features Ella Mai. It feels like early 2000s Usher. He’s back with producers Dupri and Bryan-Michael Cox and the samples — The Jacksons “Show You The Way To Go” and Hi-Five’s “I Like the Way (The Kissing Game)” — are top-notch. Chance it’s played: 45 percent.
Any chance we get Alicia Keys on stage with Usher? They teamed up for this one, and there’s really no way to perform it without her. There are songs that Usher can perform without the featured artist, but this one wouldn’t make sense without Keys. Chance it’s played: 30 percent.
Usher is in full mack mode on this Polow da Don-produced track. But the subject matter of trying to leave the club with two women might be too much for the NFL. Chance it’s played: 25 percent.
Mixing in too many slow jams in a condensed show probably won’t keep the crowd hyped. So what might we miss from some of Usher’s best slow songs?
- “Burn”: I hope I’m wrong on this one. “Confessions, Part II” and “Burn” go together. I just wonder how many ballads Usher will put together in a short set.
- “U Got It Bad”: It really depends on how lovesick Usher wants us to be at halftime if we hear this one.
- “Nice & Slow”: This is perfect for Usher’s Vegas residency to keep fans swooning, but maybe not the Super Bowl.
- “Here I Stand”: I love the arc of this song, but it wouldn’t do it justice to squeeze it into the Super Bowl where we’d only get a snippet.
(Top photos by David Becker and Kayla Oaddams / Getty Images)