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Culture Shock
<p>Getty Images for Roc Nation</p>
Getty Images for Roc Nation

Roller Skates & Relationship Problems: A Recap of Usher’s Super Bowl LVIII Performance

On Sunday the 11th, we witnessed a thrilling overtime win for the Kansas City Chiefs, earning their 3rd Super Bowl win in the past five years. While many people were recovering from the game and venting their frustrations online, my mind turned back to this year’s halftime show, where Usher rocked Allegiant Stadium with some of his classics.

Usher’s Super Bowl setlist was as follows:

  • "Caught Up"

  • "U Don't Have to Call"

  • "Superstar"

  • "Love in this Club"

  • "If I Ain’t Got You"

  • "My Boo"

  • "Confessions Part II"

  • "Nice & Slow"

  • "Burn"

  • "Bad Girl"

  • "U Got It Bad"

  • "OMG"

  • "Turn Down for What"

  • "Yeah"

I try not to get caught up in being upset that a certain song wasn’t performed because there is only about 15 minutes for these halftime performers to work with. However, I would be lying if I didn’t say I was hoping to hear “DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love.” Aside from that, I genuinely enjoyed the performance from Usher. It felt like a great way to revisit my childhood, as I remember hearing these songs growing up when I probably wasn’t supposed to.

I was impressed throughout the whole show, but I really loved the choreography when they brought out the roller skates. Seeing everyone so coordinated on wheels was insane to say the least, and it felt like my jaw was dropped in the entirety of that segment.

A halftime performance isn’t complete without special guests. Usher brought out Alicia Keys,, Ludacris, Lil Jon, Jermaine Dupri, as well as H.E.R. for a guitar performance. Lil Jon may have been my favorite guest of them all. It felt like I have not seen him since 2013, but hearing “Turn Down for What” again pushed away all those feelings and left me wanting more.

Alicia Keys was another one of my favorite inclusions, but this segment may have been what the “relationship problems” disclaimer in the beginning of the performance was all about. Alicia Keys was introduced by playing “If I Ain’t Got You” then was joined by Usher in singing “My Boo.” A lot of people were alarmed by Usher’s hand placements during their choreography, seeming a bit more close than one may have expected. Alicia Keys’ husband, fellow artist Swizz Beatz, brushed the controversy off in a post on X, saying “We don’t do negative vibes on this side we make history.”

This seems to be another example of the internet blowing things out of proportion, but it reminded people of a situation that happened not too long ago between Usher and Keke Palmer. In July 2023, a video was posted where Usher sang to Keke in a close manner similar to what we saw with Alicia Keys. Keke’s boyfriend, Darius Jackson responded by criticizing her outfit, wishing it had not been worn in public. Users on X went back and forth debating this topic, as well as shining a light on how Usher acted in the video.

Coincidentally, Usher married his longtime partner Jennifer Goicoechea following his performance at the halftime show on Sunday. Fans joked that this was Usher’s way of saving face considering the controversy but congratulations are in order no matter what.

Just as the sports experts turn their attention to the upcoming NFL Draft and beginning of the MLB season, it’s time for us music fans to look forward to next year’s Super Bowl, and who could perform at halftime. Here are some suggestions that have been discussed:

  • Lil Wayne: Super Bowl 59 takes place in New Orleans, Louisiana, and hometown kid Lil Wayne seems to be the favorite to perform at the halftime show. There would have to be lots of thought put to this setlist, mainly because the bulk of his music features lyrics that aren’t very family friendly. However, I still think that this would be a great performance to add hype to the momentous occasion. The list of guests that Lil Wayne could bring out feels endless as well, as he’s been on so many iconic songs as both the main artist and features. Imagine Kevin Rudolf coming out to perform “Let It Rock,” followed by a Young Money reunion with Drake and Nicki Minaj.

  • Post Malone: Posty has already gotten a taste of performing at the Super Bowl, as he performed “America the Beautiful” in the pre-game events this past Sunday. He has really grown in starpower over the years, and I think that he would put on a great show if he were to perform at a Super Bowl. It would also be a good transition away from the nostalgia-based acts from the past few years. Not only does Post Malone have hits with other artists, but he also has some classics of his own across different genres. There would be tons of great songs to choose from if Post Malone is chosen to do the halftime show.

  • Taylor Swift: Go ahead, get your groans out of the way. With Taylor’s involvement in the NFL’s media coverage this season, she has very quickly gotten into fan discussions about performing at the big game. Taylor does have a large catalog to choose from, and I would not be mad at her bringing out Kendrick Lamar to perform “Bad Blood.” One concern that I have if Taylor were to be chosen to perform at halftime is thaat many of her own fans would buy tickets to see her perform, boxing out the football fans wanting to see the real main attraction. I personally think that a Taylor Swift halftime show would be best suited for Super Bowl 60 at Levi’s Stadium. Having one of the biggest artists in the world perform at a milestone Super Bowl adds to the overall spectacle.

Aside from the long planning of this year’s halftime show, Usher has also been working on some new music. He released Coming Home on February 8th, and it serves as a great way for fans to get reintroduced to the man known as Usher. This album is about an hour long and features artists such as Latto, Jung Kook, and 21 Savage.


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