If you're the type to want to plan ahead for the Super Bowl LVIII halftime show, to try to figure out what the exciting program might look like as R&B takes center stage at this year's biggest sporting event, you should know the main entertainer himself—that would be Usher this year—is not sure himself.
Usher was announced as the halftime performer for this year's Super Bowl, but each show typically features another guest or two—depending on the performer and genre. That can make picking songs even more difficult.
For the event, Usher is being given 13 minutes of actual programming to work with, and he even admitted in a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight that he was having a difficult time paring down the set list to accommodate the massive range of hits that fans might want him to sing.
Usher has been announced as the main performer for the Super Bowl LVIII halftime show.
"The hardest part of Super Bowl prep has been choosing the setlist. You've got 13 minutes in order to get through an entire legacy of music," he said.
When it comes to predicting the set and potential guest lists, it makes sense to start at the top. To date, Usher has had 19 songs hit the Top 10 of Billboard's Top 100 at one point or another and 9 of those singles were No. 1 overall—whether solo releases or collaborations of some kind.
For the 13-minute span of time, a typical artist would have time for only two or three songs in that stretch, but of course, the Super Bowl halftime show is more like an awards show medley stringing several songs together than anything else. Few songs are ever played in their entirety, front to back. Just last year, Rihanna had 12 songs referenced or played in part during the halftime show of Super Bowl LVII featuring the Kansas City Chiefs over the Philadelphia Eagles.
For the halftime show, the songs that make the most sense include:
- "You Make Me Wanna"
- "Nice & Slow"
- "U Got It Bad"
- "U Remind Me"
- "My Boo"
- "Confessions Part II"
- "Love In This Club"
- "DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love"
It might also make sense to include a newer single like "Good Good" for younger fans.
Overall, these songs also give us a good idea of who some special guests might be. Pitbull could be called upon to do his part in "DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love", while crowds would obviously clamor to see both Ludacris and Lil Jon come together on "Yeah!". Alicia Keys would provide a much-needed feminine counterpart as a collaborator on "My Boo". Young Jeezy ("Love in This Club") and will.i.am ("OMG") also make sense.
More than anything, Usher says he wants to highlight the best of R&B, past and present, and make it a true international exhibition of the genre's finest, as he told Entertainment Tonight.
"This night was specifically curated in my mind to have R&B take the main stage. Not just R&B music, but R&B performance, R&B connection, R&B spirit," says Usher.