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UPDATE: Usher promised us special guests during the Super Bowl halftime show, and true to his word, there were plenty. The splashy performance included an appearance by Alicia Keys, who sat at a piano for a rendition of her hit “If I Ain’t Got You" (wearing a bedazzled red catsuit!). From there, she joined Usher in a sexy duet of “My Boo.”
Other Super Bowl halftime show guests included rapper Jermaine Dupri (in some very on-trend white scrunchy socks), R&B star and guitarist H.E.R., and—of course—Ludacris and Lil Jon, who came out to join Usher on their 2004 megahit “Yeah!”
Some fans were disappointed that Justin Bieber didn't make a cameo, given their long history, but he chose to hang in the stands with wife Hailey. For more on the guests at and the best moments from Usher's Super Bowl halftime show, head here.
Usher confirmed there will indeed be special guests joining him onstage during his Super Bowl halftime show. Naturally, fans immediately began speculating about who the artists might be.
The public didn’t have to wait very long for answers, though. Sources close to the production confirmed to TMZ that Alicia Keys was spotted rehearsing with Usher inside Allegiant Stadium on Thursday, and rumors of a Justin Bieber appearance were further stoked after he showed up at a Super Bowl party the night before the big game.
On Saturday, February 10, some of the world's biggest stars mingled at Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin's hyper-exclusive Super Bowl Party at Marquee Day Club in Las Vegas, including Khloé Kardashian, La La Anthony, Kim Kardashian, Odell Beckham Jr., and Bieber, who came with wife Hailey. Bieber's presence further sparked speculation that the singer could join Usher onstage during the halftime show, given their long history working together under manager Scooter Braun—not to mention Usher is largely credited with helping get a young Bieber's career off the ground.
Musicians often treat their Super Bowl halftime show as a 13-minute showcase of their discography, filling the set list with tracks that span the arc of their career and creative evolution. It makes perfect sense, then, that Usher may look to some of his previous collaborators to accompany him when the Kansas City Chiefs face off against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. That narrows down our prime suspects to the likes of Lil John, Ludacris, Beyoncé, and Justin Bieber in addition to Keys.
The singer said as much in an interview with Entertainment Tonight, saying he believed it would be foolish not to perform his 2004 hit single “Yeah!” with the featured artists who helped make it: Ludacris and Lil Jon, both of whom are local to Las Vegas. Usher himself has been living in Vegas lately following the success of his Park MGM residency.
“I would be a fool to not play ‘Yeah!’” Usher said. “Let’s just start there. It would be foolish to make it all the way to Las Vegas—Jon is here, Luda’s here—and not play ‘Yeah!’”
During a press conference with Apple Music, Usher confessed it was “a challenge to squeeze 30 years [of music] into 13 minutes.” He also shed light on his thought process in planning the show.
“I was very mindful of my past, celebrating my present—which is here in Las Vegas—and thinking about where we’re headed in the future,” he said. “That was really the idea.”
Originally Appeared on Glamour