R&B and pop sensation Usher revisited the biggest hits of his past, singing and dancing his way through a high-energy Super Bowl halftime show performance packed with big-name cameos.
He opened a nostalgia-heavy set Sunday with “Caught Up,” teamed up with Alicia Keys for a steamy rendition of “My Boo” and concluded alongside Ludacris and Lil Jon for their crowd-pleasing, club-centric collaboration “Yeah!”
Usher also welcomed will.i.am, Jermaine Dupri and H.E.R. during the career-spanning set, running through hits including “Confessions Part II,” “Love in This Club” and “Burn” at Las Vegas’ Allegiant Stadium.
“They said I wouldn’t make it,” Usher boasted. “They said I wouldn’t be here today. But I am.”
Usher’s performance began on the field, where he navigated audio issues on his headset mic while dazzling with his dance moves. He sounded much clearer upon moving the performance onto his stage at midfield.
Surrounded by dozens of backup dancers and, at one point, a full marching band, Usher leaned into the Super Bowl spectacle with frequent outfit changes – including going completely shirtless at one point.
Usher’s performance came several weeks before he celebrates next month’s anniversary of his seminal 2004 album “Confessions,” which won the Grammy Award for best contemporary R&B album and remains his best-seller.
The halftime show came two days after the release of Usher’s latest album, “Coming Home,” which rave reviews lauded as a return to the superstar singer’s R&B roots.
The Dallas-born, Atlanta-bred Usher, who boasts nine No. 1 hits but none since 2010, hadn’t released a solo studio album since 2016.
“I went through an entire world of experience from being a married man to a single man, to having and finding true love myself, and then finding a partner, and then the journey of what that is and what that has become, and is still becoming,” Usher, 45, recently told Entertainment Weekly.
“The idea of that journey felt like me finally coming back home to this place that I’m very comfortable to just share and know I’m being vulnerable in. I’m ready.”
Sunday’s show marked a return to the big stage and, through a medley of his biggest hits, offered a reminder that Usher has plenty more music in him.