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Super Bowl 2024 halftime show: who’s performing?

A handout image of Usher for the Apple Music Super Bowl LVIII Halftime Show.
Apple

If there’s one thing that can be said about the Super Bowl Halftime Show, it’s this: Each year will be bigger than the next. Brighter. Louder. More exciting. And it’s here.

Officially, it’s called the Super Bowl LVIII Halftime Show, and it’s again being produced by Apple Music, the NFL, and Roc Nation — the latter being led by Jay-Z. And one thing that doesn’t change? The talent. It’s always great (OK, almost always great). And Super Bowl 2024 continues that trend with none other than Usher headlining things on Sunday, February 11, 2024, at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.

Usher follows a major Super Bowl halftime show in 2023 that saw Rihanna flying above the field — and debuting a new pregnancy, at that. Safe to say that Usher won’t be doing at least half of that, but it should still be a heck of a performance.

“Usher is one of the greatest performers alive, and his music has touched so many of us around the world,” Oliver Schusser, Apple’s vice president of Apple Music and Beats, said in a press release. “We couldn’t be more excited to have him on board for the second Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show and offer fans so many fun ways to celebrate this iconic moment in his career.”

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“It’s an honor of a lifetime to finally check a Super Bowl performance off my bucket list. I can’t wait to bring the world a show unlike anything else they’ve seen from me before,” the eight-time Grammy winner said in a press release. “Thank you to the fans and everyone who made this opportunity happen. I’ll see you real soon.”

Usher immediately made a mark on the music industry in the mid-1990s, and scored his first of two-dozen Grammy nominations with 1998’s You Make Me Wanna … before getting his first win four years later with U Remind Me. He followed that with wins in 2003 (U Don’t Have to Call), 2005 (Confessions, Yeah, and My Boo), 2011 (There Goes My Baby, Raymond v. Raymond), and 2013 (Climax).

“Usher is an icon whose music has left an indelible mark on the cultural landscape throughout his career — we couldn’t be more excited to have him headline this year’s Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show,” said Seth Dudowsky, NFL head of music. “We look forward to working with Usher, Roc Nation, and Apple Music to bring fans another Halftime Show for the history books.”

Usher also is listed in Guinness World Records for the longest stay at No. 1 on the U.S. Singles chart in a single year, and most consecutive U.S. Airplay chart No. 1s — both in 2004. He landed another accolade in 2010 for the most R&B No. 1s in the U.S.

“Usher is the ultimate artist and showman,” Jay-Z said in the press release. “Ever since his debut at the age of 15, he’s been charting his own unique course. Beyond his flawless singing and exceptional choreography, Usher bares his soul. His remarkable journey has propelled him to one of the grandest stages in the world. I can’t wait to see the magic.”

Apple Super Bowl halftime show promo images on iPhones.
Apple

For those of us who can’t make it to Super Bowl LVIII (that’s 58, for those of you who don’t speak Roman numerals), the game will be broadcast on CBS, with kickoff set for 6:30 p.m. ET. It’ll also be shown on Univision in Spanish, on Nickelodeon with a distinctive kids flair, and streamed on Paramount+, NFL+, and the NFL app. We can’t say exactly when Super Bowl 2024 halftime will occur — it’s halfway through the game. But figure sometime around 8:30 p.m. ET or so.

The CBS part is important because it’s available on most major streaming services, including YouTube TV, which was the new exclusive home of NFL Sunday Ticket for the 2023-24 season. (And is the most popular live streaming service in the U.S., with more than 5 million subscribers. If you’re looking for the cheapest way to watch the Super Bowl Halftime Show, it basically is any of the services that has a free trial, because free is free. But if you’re looking for the least expensive service that’ll have the Super Bowl and is one you want to pay for beyond the game, that’ll be Sling TV.

“The Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show is one of the most highly anticipated music events of the year, and we’re excited to bring this legendary show to fans all over the world in Spatial Audio, along with tons of exclusive videos, interviews, playlists and so much more across Apple Music,” Apple Music’s Schusser said. “We are so proud of what we were able to accomplish together with the NFL and Roc Nation last year, and now with the insanely talented Usher set to take the stage, we’re looking forward to another incredible Halftime Show from one of the world’s all-time greatest performers.”

The Super Bowl Halftime Show is entertainment midway through the game, but that doesn’t mean it’s unimportant for the artists. Rihanna’s performance was nominated for five Emmy Awards, winning for Outstanding Production Design for a Variety Special, and Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special. (Its other nominations were for Outstanding Music Direction, Outstanding Variety Special (Live), and Outstanding Technical Direction and Camerawork for a Special.)

Usher’s Super Bowl Halftime Show setlist

It’s always fun to try to guess exactly what an artist is going to play in their halftime show set. It’s more likely than not, however, is that what we’ll get is a medley of Usher’s best — probably not entire songs. That’s because there’s a limited amount of time for the Super Bowl Halftime Show.

U Don’t Have To Call is nearly a lock, though, right? Same goes for You Make Me Wanna. And we’ll definitely see at least part of Superstar — this is an event full of superstars.

And helping check a box in the special-guest category, TMZ reported that Alicia Keys will make an appearance on My Boo, a song she did with Usher in 2004.

And a dark horse appearance we wouldn’t rule out? Lil Jon and Ludacris showing up on Yeah. The three rocked that one also in 2004.

One song we’d certainly put in as a lock? The 1997 banger My Way — if for no other reason than it took its inspiration from none other than Frank Sinatra, who was, of course, a Las Vegas staple in his day.

Is Taylor Swift performing in the Super Bowl?

Given all the screen time Taylor Swift has gotten in the run up to Super Bowl 2024 — if you’ve been living under a rock, she’s dating the Chiefs’ Travis Kelce — it’s a fair question: Is Taylor Swift going to perform at Super Bowl LVIII?

The short answer is almost certainly not. As the above paragraphs should have laid out by now, the halftime show is pretty much set weeks (if not months) in advance. And this one is Usher’s show. And while there’s the real likelihood that we’ll see star power that extends beyond Usher himself, getting Taylor Swift on stage probably is too much to ask.

Besides: There’s no bigger star in the universe in 2024 than Taylor Swift. (We’re not contractually obligated to keep referring to her by her full, but it just seems like the right thing to do.) You’ve already seen the effect her mere appearance has had on the NFL this season. A Taylor Swift halftime show performance would basically cause a singularity to envelop the entire Earth, and with it, Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, and the Super Bowl with it.

It would be fun, though.