Super Bowl halftime: Usher goes from 2011’s special guest to 2024’s headliner

Usher during the Black Eyed Peas’ halftime show in 2011; Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Bringing out special guests during the Super Bowl halftime show has become a thing in recent years — except for Rihanna, unless you want to count the baby in her belly at the time as a “guest.” This year’s Super Bowl halftime performer, Usher, was even a guest back in 2011.

After several years of classic rock artists, 2011 marked the year pop music returned to the Super Bowl, with Black Eyed Peas playing halftime. Usher was a guest during the show, performing “OMG” after making his entrance from the ceiling on a wire, which he says could have ended in disaster. 

At a press conference February 8 in Vegas, Usher recalled, “My hand got caught in the wire that was holding me, like, 30 feet in the air. And I almost missed my first mark. I was like, ‘Oh my God, don’t let this malfunction cause me to miss something!'”

But Usher said he also recalled “how amazing it felt to be in front of that many people and feel the energy — so much so that it made me really passionate about eventually getting this moment.”

The idea of having big-name stars perform during halftime only dates back to 1991, when New Kids on the Block did it. Before that, marching bands, older stars like Chubby Checker or the vocal troupe Up with People were the norm.

But what changed the game was Michael Jackson‘s 1993 performance, featuring an inflatable globe and a choir of over 3,000 local children. Thanks to Michael, the ratings increased between halves during the game. From then on, stars and spectacle were the rule.

Here’s a look back at who’s done the halftime show since 1991:

1991 — New Kids on the Block
1992 — Gloria Estefan
1993 — Michael Jackson, performing with 3,500 children
1994 — Country stars Clint Black, Tanya Tucker, Travis Tritt, Wynonna Judd and Naomi Judd
1995 — Patti LaBelle, Miami Sound Machine and Tony Bennett
1996 — Diana Ross
1997 — ZZ Top, James Brown, the Blues Brothers featuring Dan Aykroyd, John Goodman and James Belushi
1998 — Boyz II Men, Smokey Robinson, Martha Reeves, the Temptations, Queen Latifah
1999 — Stevie Wonder, Gloria Estefan, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
2000 — Phil Collins, Christina Aguilera, Enrique Iglesias, Toni Braxton
2001 — Aerosmith, *NSYNC, Britney Spears, Nelly, Mary J. Blige
2002 — U2
2003 — Shania Twain, No Doubt, Sting
2004 — Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Nelly, Kid Rock, P. Diddy
2005 — Paul McCartney
2006 — The Rolling Stones
2007 — Prince
2008 — Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
2009 — Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
2010 — The Who
2011 — Black Eyed Peas
2012 — Madonna
2013 — Beyoncé (and Destiny’s Child, briefly)
2014 — Bruno Mars feat. Red Hot Chili Peppers
2015 — Katy Perry, Lenny Kravitz and Missy Elliott
2016 — Coldplay, Beyoncé and Bruno Mars
2017 — Lady Gaga
2018 — Justin Timberlake
2019 — Maroon 5, Travis Scott, Big Boi
2020 — Jennifer Lopez and Shakira
2021 — The Weeknd
2022 — Dr. Dre, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige and Snoop Dogg with 50 Cent and Anderson .Paak
2023 — Rihanna
2024 — Usher

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