Immediately following news about headlining the 2024 Super Bowl Halftime Show presented by Apple Music, Usher sat down with Apple Music 1’s Zane Lowe to discuss exclusive details about his upcoming performance.
The Grammy-winning R&B icon will take the stage at Las Vegas’ Allegiant Stadium on Feb. 11, 2024, marking the city’s first time hosting the big game.
“It is definitely going to be a moment to remember,” Usher, 44, told Lowe live from Paris, where he’s launching a brief residency at La Seine Musicale. “This is the most grand stage to ever play on. Those 13 minutes mean everything. It’s been on my bucket list for a long time.”
On that same day, Usher will also release his ninth album, Coming Home, the follow-up to his 2016 album, Hard II Love, which peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard 200. He also teamed up with Zaytoven for the eight-track project, A, in 2018.
Coming Home will feature the Atlanta native’s previous 2023 release “Good Good,” featuring Summer Walker and 21 Savage, which reached No. 12 on Billboard‘s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop songs chart. The set is currently available for pre-order on Apple Music.
This year will mark the fifth year of the partnership between the NFL and Roc Nation to produce the Halftime Show, after a deal struck in 2019. That partnership has resulted in halftime shows by Shakira and Jennifer Lopez (2020), The Weeknd (2021), a hip-hop showcase anchored by Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar (2022), and Rihanna (2023).
The show will be produced by DPS, with executive producers Roc Nation and Jesse Collins, and will be directed by Hamish Hamilton.
Read below for the top 7 highlights from Usher’s interview with Lowe, and watch the full interview here.
A “Bucket List” Item
Usher started off the 17-minute interview by telling Lowe just how excited he is to be playing the Super Bowl Halftime Show. “This is the most grand stage to every play on,” the crooner says. “It’s been on my bucket list for a long time. I’ve been asked many a time, ‘What are the benchmarks? What are the things that matter the most to you?’ Being able to perform on that stage, because so many amazing performers throughout the years have graced it and done an amazing job.”
Getting the Call from Jay-Z
One of the big questions on Lowe’s mind was what it was like getting the call from Roc Nation founder/chairman Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter about headlining the Super Bowl Halftime Show. “Me and the big homie, we talk often,” said Usher, who received the news while doing his My Way the Vegas Residency at Dolby Live at Park MGM. “But when I got this call and he said, ‘It’s time, it’s magic time. You know, it’s time for you to have that moment.’ I’m like, ‘What are you talking about? He’s like, ‘the Super Bowl. You ready?’ Absolutely. It was like this was destined to happen.” Usher is currently booked at the Vegas venue through early December.
Possibility of Super Bowl Guests
Lowe didn’t wait to ask the question on everyone’s mind: Will Usher bring out any special guests during his Super Bowl Halftime Show performance? “Well, one thing I can say is I’ve collaborated with a lot of incredible artists throughout the years,” Usher replied before putting Lowe on the spot and asking his thoughts on potential onstage collabs. “You’re not asking me that,” Lowe laughed. Usher put an end to the question, adding, “There’ll be many more Sundays to talk about this leading up to the grand Sunday of all. I’m so happy that we were able to launch it today.”
“Coming Home” Album Teaser
Usher calls his upcoming ninth album, Coming Home, “a love letter once again to the legacy of my of my career.” The new set — which features previously released single “Good Good,” featuring Summer Walker and 21 Savage — will drop on the same day as his Super Bowl Halftime Show. The artwork for Coming Home features a shirtless Usher holding a peach behind the back of his neck. “I’m coming home, I’m back with my team,” the artist said, noting that he’s working with Antonio “L.A.” Reid. “Even when you see the artwork, you will understand it. When you see the peach. You get it. You understand where I’m from and what we’re doing.” The set is currently available for pre-order on Apple Music.
Legacy of Super Bowl Halftime Show
During the sit-down, Usher took a moment to reflect on the rich legacy of the Super Bowl Halftime Show and the past superstars like Michael Jackson and Prince, who have graced the big stage. “You think about all the people who have played it and just the idea of how Jay-Z and Roc Nation have really brought a mindfulness to our culture,” he said. “Thirty years of a career deserves this kind of moment.” The 44-year-old singer added, “Some people wait an entire lifetime, you know what I’m saying? But I don’t feel like this is my lifetime. I feel like I’m only kind of starting to really, really get comfortable.”
The 20th Anniversary of “Confessions”
Lowe also used the interview as an opportunity to reflect on the Usher’s blockbuster fourth studio album, Confessions, which celebrates its 20th anniversary in March. “It’s the last Diamond album specifically in my genre for any artist,” the singer said, noting that today’s music is primarily consumed through streaming platforms. “10 million albums sold, starting off with 1.1 million units the first week. So really excited about the 20th anniversary of Confessions.” The album spent nine weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart after its release in 2004.
The Secret to His Longevity
Usher has been going strong since the release of his 1994 self-titled debut. During his career, the singer has 18 amassed top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, including nine No. 1’s, with songs like “U Got It Bad,” “Yeah!” (featuring Lil Jon and Ludacris), “My Boo” (with Alicia Keys) and “OMG” (featuring will.i.am). He also has four No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200 albums chart to his name across his career. So what’s his secret to his success? “If you stay motivated and you stay focused on the work and not the stress when there are stressful moments, don’t completely give all the way into it,” the star said. “I guess it’s staying creative. Something about this journey has been about never arriving.”
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