When Usher hits the stage for what is sure to be a jaw-dropping 13-minute halftime show on Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 11), he will be doing so in honor of all of the Black artists who helped pave the way for him to reach stardom.
With a career spanning three decades, the entertainer hopes that his performance will make those who have impacted his career most feel seen. “I didn’t start where I am now, and I didn’t get there by myself, so everybody that has been apart of it, I’m carrying them with me,” he told “Good Morning America” reporter Kelly Carter in a new interview about the career feat on Friday (Feb. 2). “All of my fans, my loved ones, the people who, you know, may have felt like they have been forgotten — they haven’t — I’m carrying you right with me when I walk on that stage that night,” he continued.
Though still tight-lipped about special guests set to join him on stage, Usher shared that the momentous occasion — that likely almost every artist aspires to reach — is bigger than just celebrating his own legacy. “To have R&B have the main stage at the Super Bowl, it’s a major thing for me. I think about what our country has kind of represented for Black artists, you know, 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, you know, fearing 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,” said the global music icon. “I think about all of the R&B performers who I carry in this moment.”
Usher is set to release his ninth studio album, Coming Home, days ahead of the Super Bowl on Feb. 9. “I just want to make something that’s going to move the needle… I think it’s a love letter in some ways and a reminder that no matter how far you may go, you will find your way back home eventually,” he said about the project, which is his first LP in eight years. Thus far, he has released two singles, “Good Good” and “Ruin,” which came out on Friday.