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Usher Says His Super Bowl Halftime Prep ‘Started 30 Years Ago’

"It doesn't get any bigger," Usher says of his Feb. 11 gig.

Usher performs onstage during a taping of iHeartRadio’s Living Black 2023 Block Party in Inglewood, Calif.

Usher performs onstage during a taping of iHeartRadio’s Living Black 2023 Block Party in Inglewood, Calif.


Kevin Winter/Getty Images for iHeartRadio

While Usher‘s blockbuster Las Vegas residency is one reason he landed the 2024 Super Bowl halftime show, he makes it clear in a new interview that his preparation began long before his recent Vegas stint.

“When I got the call, I was like, ‘Man, I’ve been working really hard my entire career,'” he told Extra. “The preparation didn’t start within the last two years of performing in Las Vegas. It really started 30 years ago, and my commitment to it and the journey that I’ve taken musically is why I think I’m given that moment.”


He got that call from Jay-Z — the chairman and founder of Roc Nation, which has produced the Super Bowl halftime show since Jennifer Lopez and Shakira took the stage in Miami in 2020 — and Usher recalled Hov telling him: “It’s your magic moment. This is it. This is your Michael moment.”

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“I was like, ‘That’s a lot of pressure, bro,’” Usher laughed. “But so many incredible artists that I respect played that stage, whether it was Beyoncé, Prince. … It’s like, ‘Wow, it’s the most compact 13 minutes of your life.’”

So what can fans expect from the halftime gig? “You’re going to get hit records,” he teased. “I do want to play the songs that people obviously recognize and the ones that I celebrate. I’ve been able to laugh, I have been able to cry, I have been vulnerable, I’ve been telling and honest. … I found really great ways to help us communicate better through my music and that celebration is inside this curation.”

He also hinted that some guests could possibly join him onstage at Las Vegas’ Allegiant Stadium. “I’ve also collaborated with a lot of people in the process, so… there’s a celebration there. … I just gave it all to you. You gotta decode it.”

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We’ll have to wait until Feb. 11 to fully decode what Usher has planned. “It doesn’t get any bigger,” Usher said of the Super Bowl spot.

This article was originally published by Billboard U.S.

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