Usher Reveals 2024 Super Bowl Halftime Show Featured Tons of Easter Egg Tributes to R&B Icons You Probably Missed

Taylor Swift isn’t the only one who’s expert at sprinkling Easter eggs all over the place. In an interview with The Breakfast Club on Monday, Usher said that his Super Bowl LVIII halftime performance was packed with subtle nods to a number of his R&B favorites, many of which you may have missed.

While you probably spotted the empty drum kit that served as an homage to late drummer Aaron Spears, Usher said there were many more subtle nods. “What you don’t realize is that there are so many gems you have yet to unlock. You only caught one,” Usher told Charlamagne Tha God after the co-host noted that Ush paid homage to Michael Jackson’s dance moves during the 13-minute career retrospective.

“You caught Michael. Did you catch Marvin [Gaye]? Did you catch the back leg pop for James Brown?,” Usher asked, adding that his shirtless bit was a nod to Bobby Brown and his tank top was a tribute to R&B icon Teddy Pendergrass. Among the other superstars Usher said he alluded to were Luther Vandross and a “piano moment” that was a tip to Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway.

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“I’m delivering in all things that I do when I bring the culture of what I am and what has made me who I am everywhere I go, even right now,” Usher said, adding that he also slipped in allusions to Ron Isley, the Gap Band, the Jackson 5, Zapp and Earth, Wind & Fire. “If you go back, it’s an entire education that’s happening right in front of your eyes.”

Before the Super Bowl set, Usher, 45, told GMA that he planned to use his time on the biggest night in TV to pay homage to Black artists who paved the way for him. “I think about what our country has kind of represented for Black artists, you know, having to at some point go through kitchens to even be able to perform for an audience, but they had to leave back through that same door, fear for their lives as they went to the next state to do the same thing,” he said. “So I’m coming through the front door with this one.”

The singer told GMA that he was well-aware that he didn’t start where he is now and didn’t get to the Super Bowl stage by himself. “So, everybody that has been a part of it, I’m carrying them with me. All of my fans, my loved ones, the people who may have felt like they have been forgotten, they haven’t. I’m carrying you right with me when I walk on that stage that night,” he said before taking the stage during the break in what became the Kansas City Chiefs’ third Super Bowl win in the past five years.

See Usher’s Breakfast Club interview below.


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