When you’ve been in the music game as long as Usher has, you make a lot of friends. For 30 years, the R&B star has been collecting collaborators like Pokémon cards, and on February 11, as he headlined the super bowl Halftime show, it will be time for him to shuffle the cards.
Here are the musical icons we think are most likely to make an appearance during the 13-minute performance.
Lil Jon and Ludacris
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Usher’s “Yeah” is the anthem of nightclubs, frat parties and college dances around the world. There’s no doubt Usher will play him, and to do that he’ll need a little help from Lil Jon and Ludacris. Although Usher’s vocals are a crucial part of the track, some of the most recognizable elements of “Yeah” come from his collaborators. From Lil Jon’s signature growl to Ludacris’ NSFW rap, “Yeah” is a team effort.
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In recent years, Usher has focused more on creating expansive dance tracks and club bangers, but his roots are in R&B. Come Super Bowl, he’s almost guaranteed to return to his prime, and Alicia Keys could help him do it. Their duet, “My Boo,” is a youth classic and a real crowd pleaser.
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If Bieber is in play, a performance of “Somebody To Love Remix” could be a highlight of Usher’s Halftime. Bieber rarely makes official public appearances (most of the photos you see online of him are posted by pernicious paps), so a Super Bowl appearance would be major.
Bieber was already an icon by the time he released the “Somebody To Love Remix,” but Usher’s feature on the track turned the cross-generational collaboration into a pop culture powerhouse.
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Pitbull is one of the music industry’s most prolific artists of the last 20 years, but he has never made a Super Bowl halftime appearance. His collaboration with Usher, “DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love,” could earn him that honor. The song is Usher’s biggest hit after “Yeah” and we can’t imagine a set list without it or an appearance from Mr. Worldwide himself.