If you missed Usher’s Las Vegas residency, then you’re in luck tonight (Feb. 11) as he headlines the Super Bowl LVIII halftime show. The chart-topping “King of R&B” promises that the moment he’s been preparing for his entire career is one fans will not soon forget.
In a new Vanity Fair interview, he told the publication, “Something very magical happened here in Las Vegas during my residency, where I was able to bring all of my worlds together. I basically turned Las Vegas into Atlanta. I brought that melting pot that is Atlanta in a culture to Las Vegas. I wanted to bring that to a stadium.”
The big game is hosted by Sin City’s Allegiant Stadium, a mere two miles from his former home, Park MGM, where he ended his highly successful stint on the Vegas Strip in December.
If fans who caught his residency in person thought that was the apex of his showmanship, expect bigger and better. “So, what I did for the show [was] I put my residency on steroids, and I brought it to another level. For those of you who didn’t get a chance to make it to the residency, this will be like the level above 10 times of what that was,” he told the publication.
With a career spanning 30 years, narrowing down his setlist to showcase decades of hits across his nine albums was no easy feat. “It is hard; the bane of my musical directors’ existence. IZ and Bobby Avila and Lil Jon were the musical directors for this Super Bowl. I thought a lot about the moments that people remember and also took the opportunity that I would have to create a memorable moment,” said Usher.
“What you should expect from a live artist’s performance, I tried to push that forward, but that’s a lot to do in 12 minutes. I wasn’t able to fit in as many of the songs I wanted to, but I gave you enough of each of the songs that had a meaningful impact on my career. And that’s it. I tried some new things and introduced a few things that probably people wouldn’t have expected,” he continued. It has since been revealed that the singer managed to score a 15-minute show.
The Coming Home artist previously stated that Rihanna’s bar-raising halftime show during the 2023 Super Bowl was a great “deal of inspiration,” especially noting her choreography that made the performance feel like a concert. Thus far, fans can seemingly expect to see Lil Jon and Ludacris join him for “Yeah!”