After closing out a two-and-a-half-year residency in Vegas, most people would take a long, well-deserved break. But Usher is just getting started. The singer wrapped up his Sin City gig in December and is gearing up to release his ninth album (his first in eight years) on Feb. 11, the same day he headlines the Super Bowl Halftime Show for the first time.
When it comes to pop prophesying, our track record is pretty good. Our musings about Rihanna's 2023 Halftime Show setlist correctly clocked 11 of the 14 songs the pop princess performed. But she surprised us by squeezing a whopping 24 of her hits into just 13 minutes, reminding us of just how many chart-toppers she has in her arsenal.
Usher harbors a stockpile of hits himself, and he'll probably want to remind his audience at Allegiant Stadium audience and the millions watching at home of his almost 30 years of pop prowess. We sorted through his discography to craft a setlist that combines his early work, fan favorites, and club bangers.
The club heaters set: OMG, Love in This Club, DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love, and More (RedOne Jimmy Joker Remix)
All Usher has to do is sing the opening words of "OMG" and watch the crowd go wild. The 2010 track was a staple of middle school dances and radio DJ sets alike, peaking at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The original features will.i.am, but we think Usher should hold off on bringing out a guest this early and instead move on to another No. 1 hit, 2008's "Love in This Club."
The banger "DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love" deserves a spot in the set and so does Pitbull, who features on this track. It'd be Mr. Worldwide's first-ever Super Bowl Halftime show appearance, one that's long overdue for the Miami-born hitmaker.
Another club hit, "More" (the RedOne Jimmy Joker Remix, specifically) would be a smart addition to the set. It's bursting with energy and sure to induce dancing, hand-clapping, or toe-tapping from even the most the most curmudgeonly viewer.
The throwback set: My Boo and Confessions Part II (feat. Alicia Keys), There Goes My Baby, Burn, U Got It Bad, Caught Up
Time for Usher to throw it back to his early years. If Pitbull doesn't beat her to it, Alicia Keys can join Usher onstage as the first celeb cameo of the night to perform 2004's "My Boo." Is a "Confessions Part II" duet in the cards? We'd love to see it.
Once Keys exits, a medley of sizzlers commences: 2010's "There Goes My Baby," 2004's "Burn," and 2001's "U Got It Bad."
Time to pick up the tempo ahead of the final set of songs. The chorus of "Caught Up" will do the job.
The megahits: Somebody To Love Remix (feat. Justin Bieber), Yeah! (feat. Lil Jon & Ludacris), Without You
We can't think of a more epic Super Bowl Halftime Show moment than one that reunites Usher and Justin Bieber. We may not see them recreate the dance moves from the Somebody To Love Remix music video (released 13 years ago!), but this cross-generational collab would go a long way in satisfying millennial and Gen Z viewers alike.
There's no question that Usher perform his most popular song, "Yeah!" and it's just as likely that he'll bring collaborators Lil Jon and Ludacris out to help.
Last but not least, "Without You" is a David Guetta song and an Usher hit. The track's simple, soaring chorus is a perfect sonic background for a confetti-filled finale.