Is Usher immediately going to get the crowd jumping? Or does he want to take it “Nice and Slow” to start?
The anticipation has been building for which song the R&B titan will start with during his Super Bowl 58 halftime performance. The Grammy-winning artist has a collection of hits dating back to the mid-1990s. He’s expected to provide a mix of dance jams to hype the crowd before pivoting to slower songs where he’ll serenade the fans and viewers.
Early signs indicate the 2004 classic “Yeah!” will be first on deck at Allegiant Stadium. Sounds fitting, since it became one of his biggest hits and is considered a club/party anthem.
But did close friends Lil Jon and Ludacris blurt out this would be Usher’s first song on Sunday?
Lil Jon and Ludacris Already Featured in One Super Bowl Teaser
Usher himself gave this answer away to Entertainment Tonight on Thursday, noting he’d be a “fool” to avoid playing “Yeah!”
“I would be a fool to not play ‘Yeah!’ let’s just start there,” he admitted to ET’s Kevin Frazier. “It would be foolish to make it all the way to Las Vegas — Jon is here, Luda’s here — and not play ‘Yeah!'”
That means hitmaking, verbose producer Lil Jon and rap legend Ludacris will be expected to hit the stage alongside their fellow Atlanta native Usher.
Does that officially mean it’s the first song on deck?
Usher has been tight-lipped on which song he’ll start with. However, there have been some subtle hints that “Yeah!” will be first on deck. After all, both Lil Jon and Ludacris, alongside Oscar-winning actress Taraji P. Henson, provided this humorous teaser ahead of his halftime show produced by Apple Music.
What Other Songs Could Usher Start With? Exploring Possibilities
If it’s not “Yeah!,” Usher has plenty to choose from to start his show.
He has a collection of No. 1 singles he can set the tone with. But perhaps there could be some surprises. We’ll theorize and come up with what other songs are fully capable of being played first when Usher hits the stage:
- “U Don’t Have to Call” — Say Usher is saving Lil Jon and Luda for the final act in “Finding Usher.” Perhaps Usher will roll out his famed 2001 club smash hit that was produced by legendary musician Pharrell Williams to begin his set. The song featured an electronic feel through Pharrell. Although, the remix to this song off his “8701” album featured Ludacris. Perhaps a double dose of Luda could occur?
- “Love In This Club” — If Usher wants to spread love right away in Vegas, perhaps he wants to “make love in this club” immediately inside Allegiant. The 2008 hit produced by Polow da Don was off his “Here I Stand” album. It does contain a Las Vegas-inspired synth-driven beat. This song could even bring out another Atlanta legend in Jeezy, who provided the rap lyrics for the hit.
- “DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love” — Usher would really get the crowd amped up and on their feet with this dance/euro-pop crossover hit from 2010. While not considered his biggest hit, this crowd-pleasing favorite alongside rapper Pitbull does get the speakers jumping.
- “OMG” — Maybe, Usher goes with a Super Bowl flashback here. He performed alongside the Black Eyed Peas for this smash hit produced by BEP member Will.i.am in the 2010 season’s big game down in Dallas.
- “My Way” — Or finally, Usher takes it way, way back … when he was a fast-rising teenage musical talent in 1997. “My Way” was one of his biggest hits during a time he was 18. That song off his second album also showed his mic skills as a rapper and helped catapult a dominating 1997-1998 run for Usher.
These are obviously faster-tempo songs that were made famous by the R&B icon. However, there’s one more possibility thanks to her confirmed appearance.
Usher Has “Confirmed” Guest Arriving to Allegiant
Per TMZ Sports Friday, Alicia Keys is heading to Vegas to perform alongside Usher.
This solidifies that their famed 2004 duet “My Boo” will be sung by the legends. That song also becomes an added possibility for the first song at halftime.
Keys is no stranger to the big game stage. She recently performed “Lift Every Voice and Sing” ahead of Super Bowl 55 between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs in Tampa. She also sang the national anthem before Super Bowl 47 between the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens down in New Orleans.
Keys additionally sang “America the Beautiful” before Super Bowl 39 in Jacksonville featuring the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles.
But, back to Usher.
Perhaps he goes with a “Nice and Slow” start by kicking off with his revered 1997 R&B slow jam. Or, he releases his “Confessions” on stage by starting with that famous 2004 hit. Perhaps Lil Jon and Ludacris immediately join him on stage to start the show. Regardless, Usher has plenty of personal hits to choose from … and he won’t be alone on the stage.
As the 2023 NFL season comes to a close, the 2024 NFL Draft is on the horizon. Pro Football Network has you covered with everything from team draft needs to the Top 100 prospects available. Plus, fire up PFN’s Mock Draft Simulator to put yourself in the general manager’s seat and make all the calls!