LOS ANGELES (AP) — While Usher gears up for his 2024 Super Bowl halftime performance, the singer will lean on his previous experience of hitting the NFL’s biggest stage to help prepare for the 13-minute set.
The Grammy winner said he’s using his appearance with Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am in 2011 as a “cheat sheet.” He was recently chosen to headline the halftime festivities from Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Feb. 11 — the same day he’s expected to release his ninth studio album “Coming Home.”
“I got a chance to see a bit of what it felt like,” Usher told The Associated Press in a recent interview. In his first Super Bowl performance, he descended from the stadium ceiling to perform “OMG” in Arlington, Texas.
Usher’s appearance lasted less than two minutes, but the moment gave him plenty of insight into conducting a show with such limited time. His album “Confessions” ranks among one of the best-selling music projects of all time and launched No. 1 hits such as “Yeah!” with Ludacris and Lil Jon, “Burn” and “Confessions Part II.” He’s had other hits such as “U Got It Bad,” “U Remind Me,” “You Make Me Wanna” and “Love in the Club” — lots of material to cover during one of the year’s biggest cultural moments.
“Don’t take the moments for granted because you only get 13 of them,” said the singer, who is currently headlining his “Usher: My Way” sold-out residency in Las Vegas. “The hardest part is trying to figure out how to squeeze it all in when you actually have a large catalog, or a lot of records people celebrate and love.”
Usher called his musical opportunities to perform part of “God’s plan to entertain the world.” As he prepares for the Super Bowl stage, the singer is taking a moment to bring awareness to early Type 1 diabetes screening through The 1 Pledge movement, which launched Wednesday.
Usher’s child was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 6 in 2014. He wants to urge those to get screened as early as possible.
“Had I known about this opportunity early, I would feel better,” said Usher, who partnered with healthcare company Sanofi on the campaign. “There’s a range of things that you have to get acclimated to like identifying the doctors, the philosophy of how you want to live your life and manage you blood glucose levels.”
He added: “It’s not just a journey for the child. It’s a journey for the entire family.”