Super Bowl 2024: Coco Gauff and Serena Williams Drop Staggering Reactions to Usher’s Halftime Performance

Published 02/11/2024, 9:32 PM EST

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A career spanning 30 years compressed into 13 minutes of his greatest hits. And those 13 minutes had everything from bedazzling outfit changes and surprise performances to powerful vocal solos and dancing. Those 13 minutes were all about Usher proving that he is an unparalleled performer, the King of R&B. Oh, and who could forget the roller skating and the 2011 callback? Usher may have performed at the Super Bowl before, but this was his first time headlining it. As he ensured everyone realized he was right where he belonged, it’s safe to say he blew the minds of Coco Gauff, Serena Williams, and everyone else.

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The San Francisco 49ers may have dominated the first half of Super Bowl LVIII, but it was Usher who brought down the house with his halftime performance. As engaging as that first half was, it was evident from Serena Williams’ tweet that the 45-year-old’s performance was the one she was waiting for. The 23-time Grand Slam champion wrote, What time is it? It’s@Ushertime! #SuperBowl.” If her Instagram stories during the performance were anything to go by, Williams sure enjoyed the show. Especially when Alicia Keys made a surprise appearance.

After Usher lit up Allegiant Stadium, Coco Gauff followed Serena Williams, tweeting her appreciation for the R&B legend. Her highlight, though, was when Usher performed his 2010 hit, “OMG,” on roller skates. Gauff wrote, when he came out on skatesss whewwww so smooth.” Joined by rapper will.i.am (the song’s producer), the song ended with Usher skating through will.i.am’s legs. Interestingly, Usher first performed at the Super Bowl in 2011, when he joined the Black Eyed Peas for the same song.

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While “OMG” was Gauff’s highlight, her doubles partner Jessica Pegula lived for all the guest appearances. Halftime show 10/10 I love Usher and bringing out Lil Jon, Luda[cris], and Alicia [Keys] is iconic forever, wrote Pegula. With Jermaine Dupri and H.E.R. joining the 45-year-old, his performance ended with Ludacris and Lil Jon singing along to a rendition of “Yeah!”

While most eyes were on his bedazzled blue and black outfit, many noticed the custom pair of sneakers he was wearing. Considering how he made the halftime performance a party, they would’ve been easy to miss. But once everyone saw them, they became the talk of the town.

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After bedazzling Coco Gauff with his skates, Usher stole the show with his sneakers

After his “OMG” performance on roller skates, Usher changed into a pair of custom Air Jordan 4s created by The Shoe Surgeon. The chrome design had a metallic silver base with bright blue accents to match his outfit. With a custom tongue tag to go with the Jumpman logo, the sneakers also featured Usher’s bedazzled “U” logo on both heels.

There’s no doubt that Usher made Super Bowl LVIII a night to remember. Yes, the Kansas City Chiefs may have been the headliners after their comeback to win 25-22, entertaining football fans all around. But Usher, with his smooth moves and impeccable singing, entertained not just football fans but millions around the globe watching on.

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Did you tune into Super Bowl LVIII and watch Usher’s performance to remember? And were you as enchanted by his skills as Coco Gauff, Serena Williams, Jessica Pegula, and the rest of us were?

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Written by:

Ripunjay Gaba

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One take at a time

Ripunjay Gaba, a tennis enthusiast-turned-journalist at EssentiallySports, found his way from freelance sports journalism to the publishing house in ES. Here, his writing canvas encompasses the game specifics while finding poetic resonance in covering major sporting events. Ripunjay, a perpetual upgrader, uses avid reading to bring varied flavor to his Tennis reporting.
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Edited by:

Ananya Giri

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