Inside Usher’s epic Super Bowl halftime performance: 400 people, 25 cameras and those roller skates (exclusive)

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Inside Usher's epic Super Bowl halftime performance: 400 people, 25 cameras and those roller skates (exclusive)

it’s safe to say assistant teacher create your own identity Apple Music Super Bowl LVIII Halftime Show Sunday night! singer Overcame all obstacles and demonstrated his acclaimed showmanship The performance paid tribute to his decades-long career – evidenced by the intricate choreography, various callbacks to his iconic discography and, most importantly, the musical walk down memory lane reminiscent of the guest appearance days. TRL.

But this extraordinary performance did not come with magic. It took a team to bring the startup-studded show together, and ET spoke to Jesse Collins, executive producer of the halftime show, to find out how it all happened.

Collins–whoever worked behind the scenes When? Rihanna turned the world upside down with her Super Bowl LVII halftime performanceWhere she revealed that she and her partner, a$ap rocky, Was expecting baby number. 2 — told ET’s Kevin Frazier that his team was focused on bringing Usher’s partying vision to life.

“I think from the beginning Usher wanted it to be a party. He wanted people who had been a part of his entire 30-year career,” Collins shared, referring to the dazzling guest appearances the singer has added. Did. Display.

After opening the show with their classic hit, “Caught Up” and taking time out for “Superstar” and “Love in This Club”, Alicia Keys She appeared on stage with a custom piano, singing her single “If I Ain’t Got You”.

She later joined the leading man in singing their iconic duet, “My Boo”, which showcased the chemistry between them in 2004, when the songstress appeared on the chart-topping hit. For her brief appearance on the field, Keys wore an all-red Dolce & Gabbana look.

And the surprises don’t stop there! As the halftime show continued, Jermaine Dupri took the stage to give a brief introduction and Usher’s clothes began to essentially come off until he was shirtless and singing “You Got It Bad” in front of screaming fans. Following H.E.R.’s guitar interlude, Usher took to the stage on skates to perform “OMG” with will.i.am.

Usher had a homecoming moment when Lil Jon, Ludacris and Jermaine Dupri ended his 15-minute show with “Yeah!” Helped to end with. The group all wore matching blue outfits and ended the show with a bang — and a ode to their hometown, Atlanta.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

“Between us and CBS, there were over 25 cameras,” Collins revealed, adding that Usher wanted a highly organized performance to give the impression of “organized chaos”.

The show’s creator said, “He wanted an HBCU vibe and like he said, he brought the world to an A and that’s what he did.” “It was very difficult to get it on in eight minutes and off in six minutes… We didn’t actually get it on time until tonight, so that was very difficult.”

Reflecting on how the entire production came together, Collins praised Usher for “really thinking about every single second” when it came to his performance. From the Las Vegas dancers to the roller skating segment, Collins emphasized that Usher had a hand in planning it all.

He said: “I mean, for me, [the roller skating] It was easy, I didn’t have to do it, but for him, it was awesome. He changed his entire wardrobe. Well, I mean, he was in pants, but you know he had a wardrobe change, and then he put on those skates; I think it was over in less than 10 seconds or less, and it was amazing.”

Even will.i.am, whose duet with Usher made history by becoming the first song performed by two artists on two halftime shows that appeared on two different halftime shows during the same year Were- praised “Good Good”. Singer for his innovation.

“Usher added a completely different dimension of choreography to the grass,” he told ET after his performance. “She really did her job, I’m really proud of her.”

He added, “You’re lucky to be chosen to play on that stage. It’s the biggest stage in America that’s influencing the world. Michael Jackson started it for us, and Prince was heavenly on it.” . U2 did an amazing job on it. To be added to that list, the Black Eyed Peas played in 2011 and now, Usher – who performed with us in 2011.”

With all the moving elements of the production, Collins admitted that the piece that was hardest to get around was the one over which he had no control – the field. He revealed, “We practiced on a tarp all week. It was the first time we saw grass, so we never really knew what it would look like.” Get a feel for who they’ll be working with at Allegiant Stadium.

Thankfully, it all came together beautifully. “It was a little nerve-wracking, but you know it worked out,” Collins said gratefully. “You know the field is working great for the players tonight, and it worked great for the ushers, so everyone was OK.”

Speaking to ET ahead of Sunday’s big match, Usher shared that he “changed a few things” in his day-to-day routine to make sure he was prepared for the epic performance. “In the process of getting ready for the Super Bowl, obviously I wanted to make sure I was completely healthy,” he said. “I stopped eating gluten. I stopped sugar, alcohol, everything. I didn’t smoke cigars or anything.”

Although it’s been a busy few months of preparation leading up to the big day, Usher shared that for him, it “has definitely been an amazing time.”

“I like all the cameras, I like the energy, I like the people,” he marveled. “More than anything, I remind myself to smile. Most of the time, you’re busy being serious and making sure everything is perfect and there’s a certain intensity. Every day when I come in, I’m positive. “Try to have energy. It doesn’t matter how tired I am, it doesn’t matter how much the day before has worn me down, I’m smiling because I’m here.”

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Roc Nation

He added, “We work to live here and everyone here deserves it.” “Sometimes we need a reminder that we deserve what we have, and we get so caught up in trying to hold on to it that we’re not able to enjoy it, so I really I want to enjoy the moment, smile and enjoy.”

What did they hope viewers and fans would take away from the show?

“There’s more than one way to maintain a career,” he said. “You’re never too old. You’re never too young. It all works together, but the one thing you need is to believe that you can – and Las Vegas represents that to me.” “

Usher said that for him, the Super Bowl is a culmination of not only years of work, but also his headline-making Park MGM residency in recent months.

“There were 101 shows played here – 100 of them sold out,” he said. “And that next one I’m going to do in a few days is a celebration of my belief in this city and my 30-year career.”

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