Does Usher Have the Clout to Headline the Super Bowl Halftime Show?
Super Bowl halftime show headliners are always big names: Madonna, Justin Timberlake, Rihanna – and the list goes on. Across
Super Bowl halftime show headliners are always big names: Madonna, Justin Timberlake, Rihanna – and the list goes on.
Across a wide variety of genres, these hitmakers are chosen for their ability to stir a crowd and to bring songs to the stage that people can sing along with and tap their toes to.
Twitter is currently embroiled in a battle over one artist who is rumored to be eyeing the 2024 halftime show: Usher Raymond.
Does Usher Have What it Takes to Entertain?
I know y’all think Usher should perform the next SB but I don’t think he has enough pop/hip-hop hits. — Dear Ashley… (@asj519) February 13, 2023
The criteria for what a Super Bowl halftime performer needs is somewhat vague, but undeniable: they need superstar quality. Ultimately, they need enough hits to entertain for 13 minutes – either alone or in a collab. And Usher certainly has the hits to cover 13 minutes.
And he’s even hit the halftime stage before, alongside the Black Eyed Peas in 2011.
So Twitter was somewhat surprised to awaken Monday morning to people debating whether or not the great User has what he needs to take the halftime world by storm.
After all, Usher just wrapped up a 20-date sold out residency in Las Vegas’s Ceasar’s Palace. It was so popular that he recently announced plans to return for a 23-date run at Dolby Live at Park MGM.
Y’all are being intentionally obtuse. Not R&B. Pop. Crossover hits. He doesn’t have enough *pop* hits for a *13* min medley performance. It’ll be ok. That’s not a diss to Usher the artist. Bc you don’t think they would’ve considered him? 🙄. Beyoncé would be a better choice.— Dear Ashley… (@asj519) February 13, 2023
And he has marked nine Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles (all as a lead artist) and 18 Hot 100 top-ten singles.
Usher has sold over 23 million albums in the United States alone, and over 65 million worldwide.
Usher is a certified six-time platinum artist, and “My Way” rocketed him from relatively niche R&B singer to mainstream superstar nearly overnight.
If an artist like that doesn’t have the clout to perform, who does?
Why is There Even a Debate about Usher Star Quality?
The Usher disrespect has gotten out of hand. To say that Usher doesn’t have enough hits for a 13 minute set is ridiculous. https://t.co/9tZ25ZXr2M— kevikev (@KevCoke6) February 13, 2023
So with a portfolio like that, why are people even trying to claim Usher doesn’t have the pull for a Super Bowl halftime show?
The reasons you’ll find online are varied.
Some claim that Usher simply isn’t mainstream enough, or that he’s somewhat of a has-been. However, Usher returned to the top 100 charts in 2022 with the release of “Good Love,” a collab with rap duo City Girls.
So it’s not like he’s ancient history.
Others claim something far more sinister is behind the Usher hate: racism. Or, more specifically, the idea that R&B is not mainstream enough for football audiences.
While it’s true that R&B is somewhat of a niche genre, there are enough crossovers with rap, hip-hop and pop music to allow Usher’s music to permeate multiple genres – and fan bases.
Whether or not Usher will be offered the spot remains to be seen, but the artist is certainly interested in the prospect.
As part of the announcement about his new set of residency dates, Usher has been on a press conference whirlwind ride, including a sit-down with Los Angeles’ Power 106 FM’s ‘Power Mornings‘.
When asked if he was interested in performing for the halftime show, Usher responded, “‘It would definitely be on my bucket list of things to do. I’ve been bitten a little bit by what that feeling is. To be a performer on that stage is a historical moment. I can’t say there’s anybody who’s had a career that wouldn’t want to celebrate with their fans there.”
He added, “‘I wish there was a petition that could start though.”
You heard the man, get the petition started – and safe money is on the bet that he has the clout to make it happen.