Home Entertainment 25 Surprising Details Fans Missed At The Super Bowl LVIII Halftime Show

25 Surprising Details Fans Missed At The Super Bowl LVIII Halftime Show

Monica February 13, 2024

During this year’s Super Bowl LVIII halftime show from Las Vegas, fans around the world watched famous artist Usher perform in front of thousands of people. You’re probably familiar with his music, as he’s earned eight Grammy Awards, 12 Soul Train Music Awards, and 18 Billboard Music Awards. All of that culminated in him receiving the honor to perform at the Super Bowl this past Sunday.

Indeed, millions upon millions of people from all walks of life tuned in to watch him do just that. And those fans were delighted to see the many guest appearances he had planned for them. But even if you watched the Super Bowl halftime show closely, there are still several surprising details you probably missed. Not to worry. We dug deep and found the details of the Super Bowl LVIII halftime show that not everyone noticed. Find out what they were right here.


Usher’s Preparation Was Legendary

This year, Usher wanted to perform a longer set consisting of his three decades of hits. While preparing for the Super Bowl halftime show, he said, “I’m so ready for it to happen. I just want to sing louder than I’ve ever sung, and dance harder than I’ve ever danced. I want to celebrate the 30 years of this career where I’m very fortunate to have made songs and moments with people that they will remember forever.” Usher left his longtime record label, RCA. Now, he’s the first independent artist to lead the Super Bowl halftime show, adding another wrinkle to his long list of accomplishments (via Mirror).

The Hollywood Reporter

Usher Sang in Honor of R&B Performers

Usher wanted to perform his best but there was a deeper meaning to his performance. In Usher’s eyes, having R&B on the main stage at the Super Bowl proved just how far the genre has come. Usher said, “To have R&B have the main stage at the Super Bowl is a major thing for me. I think about what our country has represented for a Black artist having to, at some point, go through kitchens to even be able to perform for an audience. They had to leave back through that same door [and] fear for their lives as they went to the next state to do the same thing. So, I’m coming through the front door with this one. I think about all of the R&B performers who I carry in this moment.” This was a big reason why his performance was top-tier (via AOL).

EDI News

Two Extra Minutes To Perform

Usually, the Super Bowl halftime performance is 13 minutes long. But Usher was able to add two minutes to his, making it a total of 15 minutes. While it might not seem like a lot, an extra two minutes on stage is tremendous. Usher admits he was strategic with this. In an interview, he said, “I can’t explain why, but it’s a funny thing that I was able to do and craft. That was a huge strategic thing that happened between me and my agency.” Usher and his team worked hard and long to get those extra minutes (via The Shade Room).


There Was A Faux Pre-Performance Disclaimer

There was a comical faux disclaimer right before Usher’s halftime show, warning against possible relationship issues from watching his performance. Some believe this alluded to the Keke Palmer-Darius Jackson drama from last year. The disclaimer said, “The following performance may cause singing, dancing, sweating, gyrating, possible relationship issues,” and was rated U for Usher (via Twitter).

NBC News

30 Years in the Making

Usher was signed on to perform at the Super Bowl LVIII halftime show in Las Vegas back in September. Usher labeled this performance as “One performance. 30 years in the making.” When they made the performance announcement, it featured a video with a skit involving Kim Kardashian. Usher hyped up his fans by curating a “My Road to Halftime” playlist, with a combination of songs and tunes with other artists, which means you can continue listening to his music long after his performance (via NBC Chicago).

CBS News

Opening With Some Major Hits

Usher opened up the Super Bowl halftime show with his 2005 smash-hit “Caught Up.” He then dived into renditions of “My Boo,” “Superstar,” and “U Got It Bad.” Then, he performed, “U Don’t Have To Call,” “Lovers And Friends” and ” Love In This Club.” He went into other renditions of his breakup ballad and duets with other famous artists (via CBS News).

Buzzfeed News

Justin Bieber Backed Out of the Show

Rumor had it that Justin Bieber was supposed to make a surprise appearance on stage with Usher. But there’s a reason behind why he was supposed to perform, and that’s because Usher signed Bieber at the age of 14. The two have a deep bond. But on the day of the Super Bowl, Bieber backed out. An insider said, “There’s no bad blood between Usher and Justin. Justin just wasn’t up for it — he just wasn’t feeling it.” Furthermore, “Usher tried his best to persuade Justin because he wanted to pay tribute to their history together, but Justin simply wasn’t keen.” At the very least, Justin showed his support by posting a caption on Instagram that said, “LOVE YOU MY BROTHER NO ONE CAN SING AND DANCE THE WAY YOU DO.” He was still able to give his support from his seat at the game (via Buzzfeed News).

Pop Crush

The Fans Were Disappointed

After hearing rumors of Justin Bieber’s possible surprise appearance, fans got excited. But when he never made an appearance and it was only Usher on stage, they were not happy. Beliebers ran to X (formerly known as Twitter) to share their anger and frustration. According to the Mirror, “One person wrote: “Justin Bieber didn’t join usher on the Super Bowl stage… I need a cigarette.” Another person wrote: “Everyone on Twitter when they finally realized that Usher isn’t going to bring out Justin Bieber during the Super Bowl halftime show.” Memes were also shared, saying “I’ve had enough of this dude.” They took their disappointment upon themselves to call themselves clowns after being fooled into believing Bieber would appear (via Mirror).


Taylor Swift Appeared in Style

While fans were biting their nails and waiting for a surprise performance from Justin Bieber, another fan waltzed into the Super Bowl, and that was Taylor Swift. Even though she didn’t perform, she arrived in style to root for her football star boyfriend, Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce. She watched the Super Bowl in “a courtesy suite alongside Lana Del Rey and Ice Spice. Rather than wearing red Chiefs gear as she has at previous games, she instead opted for a chicer ensemble consisting of crystal-slit jeans from Area alongside a black crochet Dion Lee corset.” At least fans could have spotted another famous artist instead of focusing on the one who didn’t perform (via Yahoo).

The Independent

Alicia Keys, H.E.R., Will.i.am, and Jermaine Dupri Appeared

This year, fans had the chance to watch numerous artists perform on stage. It wasn’t just Usher dancing around up there, other artists joined him for the spectacular performance. Alicia Keys performed on a red baby grand piano and sang her duet “My Boo.” Then, H.E.R. walked out to perform an electric guitar solo with backup dancers on roller skates. Usher then danced around the stage on skates. Eventually, Will.i.am joined for an “OMG” collab. After that, Jermain Dupri made a surprise performance (via NBC Chicago).

The Hollywood Reporter

Alicia Keys Didn’t Nail The Opening

If you listened to Alicia Keys during her opening for the halftime show, you might have heard a slight mistake. She didn’t exactly nail the opening moment of her halftime appearance. According to the Hollywood Reporter, “In the opening note of the song, many fans heard Keys’ voice crack. Clips of the vocal stumble spread across the internet, but many later noticed it was missing from the official recording of the performance later uploaded to YouTube.” It was pitch-corrected before being released on YouTube, otherwise, it would be there forever (via The Hollywood Reporter).


Fans Wanted To Prove The YouTube Change

Many fans wanted to prove Keys’ voice was edited on YouTube by providing side-by-side clips of her performance and what was released on YouTube. Keys’ husband defended his wife by writing fans are “Talking about the wrong d*** thing!!!” He also wrote, “Ya’ll don’t see that amazing dress covering the entire stadium. Tonight’s performance was nothing but amazing with 2 amazing Giants! Congrats @usher and my love @aliciakeys that song is a classic. We don’t do negative vibes on this side we make history.” At least she has her husband’s support. At the end of the day, that’s what matters most (via The Hollywood Reporter).

NBC Chicago

Lil Jon and Ludacris Were Surprise Additions

If fans didn’t think it would get any better than that, they were in for a bigger surprise when Lil Jon appeared to sing a snippet of his “Turn Down for What.” Following that was “Yeah!”, where Ludacris and Will.i.am finished out the song and helped close the show. During the performance, Lil Jon and Ludacris wore shoulder pads and a big afro. They did this as a way to do a 2004 throwback and recreate their roles on Usher’s recording of the original song (via FoxLA).


Usher Danced Around in Roller Skates

During the 13-minute halftime show, we know many stars performed with Usher. But the best moment had to be when Usher made a costume change into a purple and black sparkling suit. He topped it all off with roller skates and then glided around in circles on the stage (via FoxLA).


Alicia Keys and Usher Dressed in Contrast

You may not have noticed that the two main performers wore opposing outfits at one point. It truly added some beautiful aesthetics to the performance. Alicia Keys and Usher joined and sang her “If I Ain’t Got You.” She stood in front of a red piano, which looked more like an abstract sculpture. But when she and Usher sand her duet, “My Boo,” she wore a sparkling red dress in contrast with Usher’s sparkling white. It didn’t last very long because Usher went through yet another outfit change shortly after (via Foxla).


Usher Was Joined By A Marching Band

As Usher raced around on stage, he was joined by a marching band, which surprised a lot of fans as it was unexpected. This was during “U Don’t Have to Call.” He took to the Las Vegas authenticity. During “Love In This Club,” the marching band had a significant presence (via FoxLA).

Lad Bible

A Person Was Thrown Through the Air

If you were focusing too much on the performance during the halftime show, you might have missed when a fan was tossed through the air. At one point, Lil Jon took the mic. He sang a snippet of his collaboration with DJ Snake’s 2013 track, “Turn Down For What.” Of course, the crowd went wild. That’s when a guy in a blue shirt stole the show when he was tossed into the air (via Unilad).

Lad Bible

Limbs Shaking In Mid-Air

You’d think it’d be hard to miss a man soaring through the air during the halftime show, but it turns out most people missed it. During his flight, his limbs were shaking before he belly-flopped back into the crowd. Luckily, the camera caught it all while he was in the air, though people worried if he was okay (via Unilad).


Twitter Had A Lot To Say About The Flying Man

Most people didn’t seem worried that a man was flying through the air. People assumed he was having a blast and that he had the best view in the house for a few seconds. Some people said, “The players are dropping like flies and that dude is having the time of his life.” Another said, “Someone see if this man is okay…” Someone else laughed and said, “He will be fine” People continued to comment and said, “Nah he’s good… took 1 for da team,” while another football fan joked, “He had way too much Redbull.” Luckily, he was fine in the end (via Unilad).


Comparing Usher’s Show to J-Lo’s in 2020

If you remember the Super Bowl performance from 2020, J-Lo and Shakira had inappropriate exposure. Megyn Kelly mentioned this in a Tweet, saying “Not into Usher or this halftime show – however, I do appreciate that my kids haven’t had anyone’s vag exposed to them on screen as they innocently wait for the football to start. (Hi J-Lo, Shakira.).” A lot of fans and families with kids watching were likely happy about this too (via Twitter).

OK Magazine

Megyn Kelly Slammed For Her Tweet

Nowadays, it’s hard to have an opinion without hundreds of others also commenting on your opinion. That’s why several people slammed Kelly for being rude to Usher and all the singers on stage. One person wrote, “Megyn Kelly can’t handle J-Lo and Shakira?!? ” while another said, “This is probably *the best* halftime show in many years. Usher is f****** rocking it. To be fair, Usher is in my top 5. And I am 60!” Then, a third person added, “I’m glad my kids aren’t exposed to you.” Usher isn’t going to make everyone happy (via OK Magazine).


There Were Some Weird Super Bowl Ads

Most of us were so in awe at the Super Bowl performance, that we missed the weird ad about Jesus washing his feet. People were not into it, at all. During the game’s first quarter, a weird ad aired. People washed each other’s feet in various settings. Even though it was a part of the He Gets Us campaign, it was still odd. That, paired with a man flying through the air during the halftime show, made this one of the strangest years in history. People took to Twitter and said, “Jesus confirmed foot freak,” and “If your church can afford a foot washing commercial for the Superbowl it should be paying taxes. Like a lot of taxes.” That’s one way to make the Super Bowl memorable (via Twitter).


Another Strange Campaign Ad

That wasn’t the only weird part about the Super Bowl. Another strange presidential campaign ad appeared where Robert F. Kennedy Jr. mimicked an ad that his uncle President John F. Kennedy ran in the 1960s. Then, he was slammed on Twitter for the ad. Kennedy wrote, “I’m so sorry if the Super Bowl advertisement caused anyone in my family pain. The ad was created and aired by the American Values Super PAC without any involvement or approval from my campaign. FEC rules prohibit Super PACs from consulting with me or my staff. I love you all. God bless you.” His cousin admitted his mother would be appalled by his deadly healthcare views. It looks like they have some serious family drama (via Twitter).

The Guardian

The Weirdness Didn’t End There

We’re not sure what happened this year, but it seems like weirdness was common. Nickelodeon’s coverage of the Super Bowl was the strangest of them all, where they launched a kid’s telecast, featuring Spongebob Squarepants and Patrick Star. Some called it a wildly chaotic splash. It was intended for “lovers of slime and really good sports time.” According to The Guardian, “The set-up is an ingenious feat in Nickelodeon marketing, with brand icons popping up all over the place, along with flying emojis, pineapples that spin out of players’ heads, and countless jellyfish. Slime geysers gush in the event of a field goal or touchdown.” If you missed it, you might want to check it out (via The Guardian).


49ers Linebacker Dre Greenlaw Tore His Achilles Tendon

Even though this didn’t happen during the halftime show, it happened right before it and still needs to be talked about. Injuring your Achilles tendon is no laughing matter. The 49ers’ linebacker Dre Greenlaw was jogging into the field when he injured his Achilles tendon and was taken out of the game. It was later confirmed he had torn his Achilles tendon. He was taken to the locker room on a cart. It’s safe to say he probably had the worst time at the Super Bowl (via ABC News).