5 viral takeaways from Usher’s Super Bowl halftime performance

These #UsherBowl moments had Atlanta and social media chatting
Usher performs during halftime of the NFL Super Bowl 58 football game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday, Feb. 11, 2024, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Usher performs during halftime of the NFL Super Bowl 58 football game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday, Feb. 11, 2024, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Millions of people watched Usher, Atlanta’s R&B superstar, put on an amazing Super Bowl halftime show.

Plenty of entertainment was packed into his performance, including acrobatics, appearances from celebrity musician friends and plenty of nods to ATL. And plenty of fans are watching and discussing the show again today, still trying to catch everything that happened.

Yet as we know, social media sees all, and those who use it don’t mind sharing their opinions.

Here are some of the most talked about moments:

Usher and Alicia Keys perform during  halftime of Super Bowl LVIII on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2024, at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. (L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Review-Journal/TNS)

Credit: TNS

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Credit: TNS

Usher and Alicia Keys had that energy.

Social media has a considerable level of concern with the current mood of Swizz Beatz, the renowned music producer famous for his collaborations with DMX and the Ruff Ryders hip-hop crew.

Beatz is also the husband of Alicia Keys, which is the part of his resume that matters in relation to Usher. And relations seemed to be on the table to many people observing the playfully flirty, possibly forbidden dance between Keys and Usher during an abbreviated version of their hit single “My Boo” last night.

Usher and Alicia Keys perform during halftime of the NFL Super Bowl 58 football game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2024, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Credit: AP

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Credit: AP

As the two talents walked across stage, in sync with each other and the rhythm of the song’s enjoyable bop, their natural chemistry was on full display, particularly during one very cute embrace. And folks noticed.

While Swizz responded to the internet chatter on Instagram, fully supporting the performance and denying any ill feelings, it didn’t stop the comments.

Jermaine Dupri’s outfit was ... memorable.

Music producer and longtime Usher collaborator Jermaine Dupri made the executive decision to wear what is fair to call an eccentric outfit onstage for the Super Bowl.

Part-suit and part-“short set” (remember those?), the fashion ensemble — and JD’s very unique choice in footwear and socks — caught the attention of viewers, who had plenty to say.

It didn’t stop there.

Then there were those who mistook JD for another famous Atlantan ...

Viewers also let Jermaine know that just because his socks were made by Louis Vuitton didn’t mean they were above judgment (even if slightly above the ankle):

The roller-skating and pole-dancing scenes stole the show.

The stage itself was a marvel of flashing lights and shape-shifting displays, including one scene in which the singer was surrounded by flames while singing. But folks from Atlanta were particularly proud of two moments.

One was during Usher’s performance of the song “OMG,” during which he slid across the stage and with backup dancers in roller skates. The second was near the end of the show, when the camera captured Ludacris and Lil Jon, Usher’s co-stars on the classic club track “Yeah!” walking down a stage lined with poles and talented pole-dancers.

Both were salutes to Atlanta culture, and both were lauded on the socials.

Alicia had a little trouble with the (vocal) keys.

The beautiful, hyper-talented Alicia Keys wore a stunning velvet red outfit with a massive flowing train. As the crowd got its first full view of Keys, sitting down at a dramatically designed red grand piano, we also heard a slight crack in her voice.

Alicia Keys, left, and Usher perform during the halftime show at Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2024, in Las Vegas. (Ellen Schmidt/Las Vegas Review-Journal/TNS)

Credit: TNS

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Credit: TNS

Recovering quickly, Keys carried the rest of the song with confident elegance, and her voice stayed strong for the duration of her time on stage.

Still, social media took notice after hearing that first note.

Then this morning, internet sleuths uncovered a possible vocal-editing cover-up:

But real fans of the “Girl on Fire” singer didn’t let it sway their appreciation for Alicia Keys’ one-of-one talent status.

Usher will get shirtless and start popping and locking if you let him.

There were a number of wardrobe changes for Usher (and maybe not enough for JD), which saw the singer going from a bedazzled white mink to cropped jacket, then to a flashy vest, and finally to a white tank top before he decided to bare his chest.

Shortly after going topless, he then began popping and locking, or “ticking” as some call it, to the beat.

And the audience loved it, even if there were hints of jealousy ... probably nothing new for a man who, despite all the fun-natured jokes and hot takes of social media, is very likely today’s undisputed king of R&B.

All things being equal, it was a captivating show, and Usher deserved his shining Super Bowl “Superstar” moment.

And while what happens in Vegas often stays there, in this case it doesn’t — Atlanta, as the world saw yesterday, is still running the show.

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