Usher can turn in a slow-burning ballad as effortlessly as a dance floor nugget. The eight-time Grammy-winning singer will headline the halftime show of Apple Music Super Bowl LVIII Halftime Show on February 11. It’s one of the most awaited events on the calendar, one the 44-year-old singer considers a “bucket list” item.
“It’s an honour 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,” said Usher.
The big call came from singer Jay Z. “Me and the big homie, we talk often. But when I got this call… he said: ‘It’s time, it’s magic time. It’s time for you to have that moment.’ I’m like, what are you talking about? He’s like ‘the Super Bowl’,” Usher told Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1.
Apple Music’s multiyear partnership with the NFL and Roc Nation brings together the Super Bowl Halftime Show, which is often the most-watched musical performance of the year. At this year’s edition, Rihanna stole the show. The performance garnered five Creative Arts Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Variety Special (Live). Usher has sold over 80 million records worldwide, collecting dozens of awards. He has also helped raise tens of millions of dollars for various causes and uplifting youth via his New Look Foundation.
The show will be held at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas and Usher has a strong connection with the city. Speaking to Lowe about Vegas and his My Way residency, the singer said: “There’s a whirlwind of life experiences that lead you to the songs. And that song or those songs are the soundtrack for a lot of people’s lives. So when I look out in that audience and I see my fans who made a decision to have this be their destination with their loved ones, or either their friends and have an amazing time, it just really re-energised my passion for what I do. I’ve always loved the live aspect of it more than anything. If Vegas had ever become a place where artistes came to just preserve their past legacy, I don’t look at it as that. I’ve always looked at it as an opportunity to open new doors and new opportunities.”
Besides the big show next year, he is also excited about 20th anniversary of his album, Confessions, which has sold millions of copies. “We’ve now gone to a place of streaming. It’s the last Diamond album specifically in my genre for any artiste.”
Also, coming up is his new album, Coming Home. “A love letter once again to the legacy of my career. I’ve been coming home in a lot of different ways. The choice of music and reconnection to some of the people that I’ve worked with from my past. And I always wanted to work with writers that I’ve actually made hit number-one records with. I’m coming home because I’m in that comfortable space. When you’re at home, you’re comfortable. When you’re at home, you feel connected.”