"I'm trying my hardest not to overthink it," Usher said about his halftime show performance
The “OMG” singer, 45, revealed in his new cover story for Billboard that he is “considering” playing some new songs from his ninth studio album Coming Home, which he released ahead of his performance at the major football event.
“But you know, it’s 12 to 15 minutes. So it’s really hard to determine what moment matters more than others, especially with a new song,” the singer told the outlet.
“But there’s the dance, the wardrobe, the lighting, how long you stay in a song, the fact that the audience may sing along … It’s a lot,” he continued. “So I’m trying my hardest not to overthink it.”
He said that he thought singing a new song at the show “is a bit of a risk,” but noted that several other previous Super Bowl performers including Beyoncé, who performed “Formation” at the Coldplay headliner in 2016, have been able to pull off presenting a new track during the event.
Usher added that a successful halftime show also needed a “singalong moment” to give the audience an opportunity to “connect” with the artist.
“I think every Super Bowl should have a live band and your mic has to be on, or should be, because people want to connect with you,” he explained. “They want to feel it’s live and in the moment. And every halftime performance should have dancing. Even if the artist isn’t doing that, you have to have some sort of choreography.”
The “My Boo” singer said that he was able to get some “pointers” from fellow Super Bowl alumni like 2015 headliner Katy Perry, "who gave me some notes," and “really appreciated" 2023 headliner Rihanna saying “something really incredible” about his qualifications for the event.
“I’ve watched every performer, analyzing how they maximized those 12 minutes,” he said. “But you know, your moment is your moment. And this is a moment I’ve prepared for during the last 30 years.”
As for what fans can expect from him beyond the Super Bowl, he said that Coming Home represented “the first time that I’ve ever felt so comfortable to just be where I am,” and he was ready for audiences to see that.
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“I just want to love what I do, make what I love, allow people to come to my space and see what I have to offer,” he shared with Billboard. “You might identify with it. It may help you deal with some of the s--- you may be going through, or it may be helpful in making a baby or just having a good time.”
He added, “Now I want [the audience] to come back to see me one more time and know that I came home to this space where I’m comfortable.”
The Chiefs play the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday in Super Bowl LVIII, which kicks off at 6:30 p.m. ET.
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