US musician Usher Raymond, known mononymously as Usher, is set to perform at the upcoming Super Bowl Halftime showtime set for February 11, 2024.
Speaking to Apple Music’s Zane Lowe, Usher talked about the call he got from friend, colleague and Roc Nation founder Jay-Z and how this opportunity makes sense for his career.
Usher on why he’s excited to perform at the Apple Music Super Bowl halftime show…
It’s happening. It has happened, ladies and gentlemen!! It’s been a lot like to keep secrets from my own kids at home. Yeah. A very, very close-knit group of people knew and were really excited about the entire thing. Obviously a legacy. But more than anything the fact that this is the most grand stage to ever play on, man. Those 13 minutes mean everything. Been on my bucket list for a long time. I’ve been asked many times “what are the benchmarks or what are the things that matter the most I guess to you?” It’s obviously performing, but being able to perform on stage because so many amazing performers throughout the years have graced it and did an amazing job. So of course the obsession of that starts. But man, just the excitement in this moment like to really be able to savour this moment. You remember the first time you ever heard your record play on the radio. You remember the first time you ever heard your voice, you know, on a on a format or radio, Right? This is like that for me. Yes, it’s one of those….I’m very, very happy…
On getting the call from Jay-Z…
Well, I mean, you know, me and the big home, we talk often. But when I got this call… 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.” I’m like, Oh, you for real? Absolutely. But no question. Yeah. And it was like this was destined to happen. I think that everything that led up to that moment, going to Las Vegas for my Vegas residency for the last two years. The legacy, obviously, that is the music, the celebration of entertainment in that place is the City of Lights. You know, it’s always been a place where, you know, entertainers go and find love and passion, connection to their fans. So for the Super Bowl to have made its way to Las Vegas while we were in Vegas, having such an amazing two years.
On the unmatched legacy of the Super Bowl halftime show
I mean, 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. You know, 30 years of a career deserves this kind of moment. But to have curators like them, like Jay-Z, like Des and like Roc Nation to come in and manage to make certain that the entire world understands our culture, understands where we come from, understands the feeling and celebrates entertainment in the way that that they do. I mean, it’s just it just feels like it was, you know, I guess if you try to create a playbook in your mind, like 30 years after you start, you potentially play the Super Bowl. 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.
On growing up watching the Super Bowl halftime show, joining that legacy, and why it will be a moment to remember.
Yeah, I think being able to see performances from artists like Michael, you know, Prince and then even, you know, more modern-day artists and, and to be perfectly honest, to see artists that, you know, even started before, you know, started after I did get it, I was like, man, at some point, I need to get a call with what’s going on now. But I’m really happy that I’m joining that short list of legacy artists from my genre who deserve this moment. And I’m really happy that Jay-Z and also to Roc Nation, you know, really put thought into making certain that they could bring to the world this kind of experience. It is definitely going to be a moment to remember.
Watch the entire interview below.