Usher is set to check one more box off his famous musician bingo card, it appears. The 44-year-old R&B star has multiple number one singles, a brief but memorable role in an award-winning film, coaching positions on various reality competition shows, his own line of fragrances, and—since July—a Las Vegas residency. And now the “My Way” singer can add Super Bowl headliner to his list, as the National Football League (NFL) announced on Sunday that he’ll star in the halftime show for the 2024 game, Super Bowl LVIII (or 58, for those of you who do not speak Roman numeral).
The news of Usher’s ascendancy was announced first via a press release from the NFL, which touted the halftime show’s producer, Jay-Z-owned Roc Nation, and sponsor Apple Music, which replaced Pepsi in 2023 for a reported five-year, $50 million annual contract.
“Viewers can expect unprecedented behind-the-scenes access leading to a historic performance on music’s biggest stage,” the release promised, but did not offer up any additional details on what that actually means.
One hopes that it’s not a reference to the way Usher announced the news to his own fans: Via X (formerly Twitter), the singer posted a video in which he seemingly received a telephone call from Kim Kardashian, who informs him “you’re doing the Super Bowl.” Usher, shocked, asks “Are you serious,” then tells her he’ll have to call her back, presumably because he has to fire his management and agency for getting scooped by Kim K.
Since, like the Super Bowl, the star’s full name of Usher Raymond IV also contains Roman numerals, the pairing seems auspicious—and the location of next year’s big game is a pleasant coincidence, too. 2024’s Super Bowl will go down at Allegiant Stadium in Paradise, Nevada, the home of the Las Vegas Raiders (as a Bay Area resident, you have no idea how much it pained me to type that) and a mere five-minute drive from the Park MGM, where Usher’s months-long residency was just extended.
That’s a far easier commute than he had in 2011, when he briefly joined the Black Eyed Peas on stage at Super Bowl XLV. That year’s halftime show, which went down at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, was widely panned, including a scathing review from Houston Press scribe Craig Hlavaty. Hlavaty wrote that when Usher appeared, to briefly run through his song “OMG,” it “just angered us that he wasn’t the actual headlining performer.” As of publication time, Hlavaty has not made a public statement on his level of anger at the 13-years-later grant of his wish.