This year’s Super Bowl halftime show by R&B star Usher has been hailed as “electrifying” by viewers on social media, even if Justin Bieber fans were left broken-hearted after the Canadian singer’s rumoured guest appearance failed to materialise.
By contrast, The Independent’s Mark Beaumont was less impressed. In his three-star review, Beaumont wrote that “in the end, Usher’s show seems like a fun, half-memorable mess. But, with the likes of Justin Bieber, Paul McCartney and Lana Del Rey watching on from the luxury boxes, it could have shifted so many more tour tickets.”
Here are the most talked-about music moments from the biggest night in American sports:
Usher gets his skates on
Usher’s crowd-pleasing set featured huge performances of hit singles like “Caught Up”, “Love in this Club” and “Yeah!”. However, arguably the most memorable part of the performance was when the R&B singer, who had stripped off his initial all-white outfit piece-by-piece, suddenly reappeared to join his backing dancers in roller skates and a new black-and-blue look seemingly inspired by sci-fi classic Tron.
Truly, an electrifying moment - and he didn’t slip! At least he didn’t try to ice skate - having learned the lesson of Frank Ocean’s botched Coachella set.
Taylor Swift joins in the drinking game fun
Prior to the Super Bowl, the frequency with which NFL coverage has cut to footage of Taylor Swift supporting her partner, Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, has been widely reported on and even joked about at the Grammys. Swift’s many on-screen appearances even inspired a drinking game - and Swift herself seemed to get in on the action. When she appeared on the big screen, she quickly downed her own drink.
Beyoncé breaks the internet (again)
The pre-game musical discussion around the Super Bowl may have focused on Swift’s appearance as a fan and Usher’s nostalgia-filled halftime show, but Beyoncé was not to be outdone. A series of teaser trailers revealed that the pop superstar will return next month with a new, country-themed album, Renaissance Part II. She also dropped two brand new singles, country ballad “16 Carriages” and boot-scooting party song “Texas Hold ‘Em”.
Stars came out in force in Vegas
It wasn’t just Taylor Swift and her crew, which included Lana Del Rey, Ice Spice and Blake Lively, who drew the attention of the cameras in Las Vegas. Jimmy Kimmel, Lady Gaga and LeBron James were all in attendance, while Jeff Goldblum was spotted dancing for the crowd.
Jay-Z and Beyoncé were also at the game. Then there was Paul McCartney, who appeared on the Nickelodeon stream with a caption to help out younger viewers: “He was in the Beatles!”
As usual, the victory is Swift’s
The (English) footballer Gary Lineker once quipped: “Football is a simple game. Twenty-two men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans win.”
Perhaps an updated version would work for American Football: “Twenty-two men chase a ball for four-and-a-half hours and at the end, Taylor Swift wins.”
After an incredible, record-breaking, award-winning year for the pop superstar, there was no way her boyfriend was going to end up not winning the Super Bowl - even if the Kansas City Chiefs did need overtime to do it.