Who is performing and what songs will they sing?

Who is performing and what songs will they sing?

LAS VEGAS, Nevada – Super Bowl VXIII (that’s 58 for you non-Romans) is hours away, taking place on Sunday, February 11th at Allegiant Stadium in Paradise, Nevada, and airing live on CBS. Aside from the inevitable disappointment of the three-hour litany of very expensive but mostly underwhelming commercials, most non-football fans are interested in the halftime show, which for the 2024 Super Bowl features R&B veteran and pop star Usher or “Ursher” as he is known. for the fans.

You can watch Usher’s halftime show live for free on FuboTV or DirecTV Stream, which each offer a free trial for new subscribers. Also, Sling TV has promotional offers.

This year marks three decades since the then 16-year-old Usher Raymond IV released his self-titled debut album. The album was a sales disappointment, but the Texas-born, Atlanta-based young singer didn’t have to live with that disappointment for long. His sophomore effort, “My Way,” from 1997, took him to the top of the R&B and pop charts with hits like “You Make Me Wanna…” and “Nice & Slow.” From there, Usher had more than a decade of best-selling albums and singles, many of which will hopefully be played — or at least referenced — in his Super Bowl set.

Some people will surely be disappointed on Sunday if they see Taylor Swift cheering in the luxury box rather than performing on stage. (You know, she should take a day off and watch her gorgeous boyfriend at his work, right?) But Usher will be fine. He has 30 years in popular music and a catalog of hits that are sure to fill those precious 13 minutes of primetime that annually gathers one of the biggest audiences on television.

Coincidentally (for you folks born yesterday), Usher released his ninth studio album, Coming Home, on Friday, February 9th.

He’s also announced his “Past Present Tour,” which kicks off August 20-21 at Capital One Arena in Washington, DC and concludes with a three-night run on October 28-29 and October 31 at the United Center of Chicago. No Cleveland dates have been announced yet, but the tour stops Sept. 12-13 at Detroit’s Little Caesars Arena.

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Monday, February 12, via livenation.com.

WHAT WILL ALBANIANS DO?

Usher recently completed a sold-out 100-date residency in Las Vegas that began in 2021 at Ceaser’s, but after 18 shows had to move to the larger room at MGM Park to accommodate more of his fiery ( and lady-centric ) fan base. Although many fans missed the show, there have been several viral videos of Usher getting close to some of his celebrity guests, including Kim Kardashian.

With that in mind, it’s safe to assume Usher’s 13-minute set will stick to the ringers and maybe a guest or two. Ballads are generally kept to a minimum in the first half, but Usher’s hits include some slow jams and boisterous tunes like “You Make Me Wanna…”, “Confessions II,” “There Goes My Baby” and “U Remind”. Me,” that are easy to use for what is likely to involve a large mix.

Let’s be honest: If Lil’ Jon doesn’t show up on the court at some point, it’s going to be a huge disappointment and a missed opportunity. I vote for the Atlanta producer to sit from the rafters of Allegiant Stadium in a bowl of over-the-top, bemused, beautified pimps, yelling his signature “OH-KAY!!!” Lil’ Jon’s presence would ensure we got an ad-libbed version of the strip and dance club staple “Yeah!”

With the crowd completely hyped, the duo can slow things down with “Lovers & Friends,” the hit by Lil Jon and The East Side Boyz, featuring Usher and Ludacris.

Speaking of potential guests, the list is long; Chris Brown might show up for their duet “Party,” Nikki Minaj might want to remind people she has a recent album, “Pink Friday 2,” by spitting her verse on “Lil Freak.” Maybe Alicia Keys will show up for “My Boo,” but that might be a very slow jam.

Besides “Yeah,” other potential uptempo tunes include the synthpop “Scream” (should keep all those dancers busy) and the pulsating Top 5 hit “Without You” and “U Don’t Have To Call” by David Guetta. K-pop superstars may not have the buzz they did a few years ago, but Usher’s appearance on BTS member Junkook’s disco-tinged track “Standing Next To You” could produce a fun dance duel between both wild and flexible pop stars and give the band another up-tempo track.

Let’s not forget that Usher is in comeback mode and has a brand new album coming out, so fans should also expect to hear at least one of the two tracks, either the ballad “Good Good” featuring (possible guests) rapper 21 Savage and singer Summer Walker, released last summer, or the soft new single “Ruin,” featuring Nigerian rapper-singer-songwriter-producer Pheelz, released last week.

With a young business taken care of, it should be hit after hit, no doubt accompanied by energetic, anaerobic dances from the 45-year-old and his cadre of dancers. Also, somewhere deep in the NFL halftime card is a request for some kind of pyro display, which would easily make for catchy visuals for the ballad “Burn.”

Usher has plenty of hits to choose from, but it’s going to take some setlist engineering to keep the overall pace of his 13-minute set from a bit too long in Slow Jam Land. Here’s hoping for an extended remix and a solid 13 minutes of “Yeah.” The world needs more Lil’ Jon.

Usher is free from his successful residency, has a brand new album and is unlikely to appear pregnant, so fans should just enjoy the show and wait to see him on the road on his tour of the future.

Oh, and go Niners!

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