Usher’s Super Bowl performance is the halftime show Atlanta should have had

Ludacris, Usher, and Lil Jon perform at the Super Bowl LVIII Halftime Show

Photograph by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

For the rest the world, this may have been Taylor Swift’s Super Bowl but here in Atlanta, we weren’t watching the game for Taylor, or Travis, or Brock Purdy, or Patrick Mahomes. (Shout out to the Chiefs for that win in overtime, though.) No, we were watching the game for Usher, and not only did he not disappoint, he gave us the Super Bowl halftime show we deserved five years ago.

Usher performs during the Super Bowl LVIII Halftime Show.

Photograph by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Remember, back when planning for Atlanta’s Super Bowl LIII was underway, when we breathlessly imagined who among the Atlanta music pantheon might headline our halftime show? Would it be Luda? An OutKast reunion? Migos? And then we found out we were getting Maroon 5, after Rihanna allegedly turned down an offer. Keep in mind—this announcement came in late 2018, a year after Colin Kaepernick wasn’t offered a spot with any NFL team and the same year the NFL enforced a rule (that they later revoked) requiring players stand during the national anthem. Playing the halftime show became controversial, and Maroon 5 allegedly struggled to find anyone else to play with them. Ultimately, Atlanta legend Big Boi and Travis Scott appeared alongside the band, but it wasn’t enough to save what was largely regarded as a very dull halftime show.

Usher and his dancers show off their skating moves.

Photograph by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Usher performs during the Super Bowl LVIII Halftime Show.

Photograph by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

So when Usher was announced as the performer for this year’s Super Bowl in Vegas, where the R&B star recently held a year-and-a-half-long residency, I know I wasn’t alone in thinking, “Damn, that should have been Atlanta’s show.” And while watching the incredible 13-minute performance, I yelled those sentiments at my television. Because it was, beautifully, Atlanta’s show. Usher flawlessly ran through several of his hits (“Caught Up,” “U Don’t Have to Call,” and “Superstar”) before “Love in This Club,” where Jackson State’s marching band Sonic Boom of the South shined. Alicia Keys joined him for her hit “If I Ain’t Got You,” and they teamed up for their amazing 2004 duet “My Boo.”

Usher and Alicia Keys perform “My Boo”

Photograph by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Jermaine Dupri shouted out the 20th anniversary of Confessions as Usher slid into “Confessions Part II,” “Burn,” and “U Got It Bad,” which featured H.E.R. with a killer guitar solo. Skating dancers rolled out for “Bad Girl,” with a bedazzled skating Usher leading the turn into “OMG” with guest Will.i.am. Lil Jon jumped in with a quick performance of “Turn Down For What,” and he and Ludacris joined Usher for “Yeah!”, giving a shout out to the city at the end. We had our Atlanta legends. There were pole dancers. A skating rink. “I turned the world to the A.” It was phenomenal.

Usher and H.E.R. perform “U Got It Bad”

Photograph by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Ludacris, Usher, Lil Jon, and Jermaine Dupri at the end of “Yeah!”

Photograph by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

Jackson State’s marching band performed with Usher throughout the halftime show.

Photograph by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

But don’t take my word for it—Atlanta Twitter (sorry, Atlanta X) erupted with praise for Usher’s performance. Here’s a bit of what they had to say.

Skates AND strippers?! I will be in the Upper Room if anyone needs me.
p.s. ATLANTA TRULY INFLUENCES EVERYTHING

— Errin Haines (@errinhaines) February 12, 2024

“I turned the world to the A!”
Usher was reppin fr

— Trae Young (@TheTraeYoung) February 12, 2024

Atlanta really does influence 𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙧𝙮𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙜 https://t.co/tufW86de3u

— Atlanta United FC (@ATLUTD) February 12, 2024

I TOOK THE WORLD TO THE A.

— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) February 12, 2024

Usher’s show was a W for ATL

— Mike Jordan. (@MichaelBJordan) February 12, 2024

Pole dancing at the Super Bowl. Luda for the Afro out like it’s the early 2000s. A town stomping on stage. Atlanta is proud.

— Jewel Wicker (@jewelwickershow) February 12, 2024

It took five years, but the NFL finally gave us the halftime show thay they should have held in Atlanta.

— Mike Conti (@MikeConti929) February 12, 2024

How was this not the Atlanta half time show????

— Jason Dozier (@jasonsdozier) February 12, 2024

I’ll never forgive the NFL for having Maroon 5 do the halftime show in Atlanta in the ’19 Super Bowl instead of Usher and other hip hop and R&B legends

— Zach Klein (@ZachKleinWSB) February 12, 2024

This is way the halftime show should have been in Atlanta a couple years ago! #SuperBowl pic.twitter.com/ORZElLUP1k

— Donnell Suggs (@suggswriter) February 12, 2024

Have literally never been prouder to be an Atlantan #usher #ludacris #cascade

— Rachel Garbus (@rachel_garbus) February 12, 2024

This man put ON for A-Town pic.twitter.com/Nl90E2lZNO

— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) February 12, 2024

This is so Atlanta and I love everything about it. The roller skates are amazing. The Lil Jon appearance is necessary. #Usher #SuperBowl

— Kelundra (@pieceofkay) February 12, 2024

The A!!!!!! https://t.co/ilAFrc4gF1

— Killer Mike (@KillerMike) February 12, 2024

Use this as like button as @Usher performance was the best ever !atl hoe #SuperBowl

— Ryan Cameron (@ryancameron) February 12, 2024

Oh Atlanta WON tonight #SuperBowl

— J.D. Capelouto (@jdcapelouto) February 12, 2024

THEY COULDVE DONE THIS ALL AND MORE IN THEIR HOMETOWN BUT INSTEAD SOMEONE DECIDED ON MAROON 5 pic.twitter.com/kczujqTYbA

— Brian Floyd (@BrianMFloyd) February 12, 2024

Please tell your lovers and friends
that Ursher, Jon and Luda had to do it again! pic.twitter.com/oqs3jsDbIc

— The Atlanta Voice (@theatlantavoice) February 12, 2024

The best Atlanta performance ever at a Super Bowl https://t.co/rceWvmFnVn

— Greg Bluestein (@bluestein) February 12, 2024

Atlanta representing at #SBLVIII! Congrats @Usher, @Ludacris, @LilJon, & @jermainedupri on a great show! https://t.co/vnUG0wdjBS

— Reverend Raphael Warnock (@ReverendWarnock) February 12, 2024

Can we all agree that is the halftime show that should’ve been in Atlanta? #SuperBowl #Usher

— Santa (@SantaUnited) February 12, 2024

The post Usher’s Super Bowl performance is the halftime show Atlanta should have had appeared first on Atlanta Magazine.

For the rest the world, this may have been Taylor Swift’s Super Bowl but here in Atlanta, we weren’t watching the game for Taylor, or Travis, or Brock Purdy, or Patrick Mahomes. No, we were watching the game for Usher, and not only did he not disappoint, he gave us the Super Bowl halftime show we deserved five years ago.
The post Usher’s Super Bowl performance is the halftime show Atlanta should have had appeared first on Atlanta Magazine. Read MoreAtlanta Magazine

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