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Usher and Taylor Swift make an appearance at the Super Bowl

Photo creds: Teen Vogue, Vanity Fair

Usher headlined the 2024 Super Bowl halftime show on Feb. 12, performing with various singers whom he had previously collaborated with. Taylor Swift also made an appearance due to her public relationship with Travis Kelce, a player for the Kansas City Chiefs.

The 15-minute performance included 14 songs from various artists. Usher performed hit songs throughout the years, including “Caught Up,” “U Don’t Have to Call,” “Superstar,” “Love in This Club,” and more. He also performed alongside, singing “OMG,” a song they collaborated on. Alicia Keys performed her song “If I Ain’t Got You,” then performed with Usher on “My Boo,” a song featuring both her and Usher. The performance was met with ambiguous reviews, with some news sources complimenting Usher’s choreography whilst other social media users expressed disappointment at the lack of some popular songs.

“I have not watched many Super Bowls in the past, but considering this was one of my first experiences, I think the halftime show was fun and very well-made,” Joshua Han (9), football fan, said. “It was really entertaining. However, I think the halftime show last year with Rihanna was more entertaining because it was on a much larger scale.”

Another notable appearance at the event was Taylor Swift, whose relationship with Chiefs player Travis Kelce has garnered attention from news sources and football and music fans in the games leading up to the Super Bowl. She was photographed celebrating on the field with friends and family of the Kansas City Chiefs after their victory. Photos and videos of their interactions, especially Swift and Kelce’s hug after the game, gained thousands of views on social media platforms.

“I don’t think entertainment and sports are as disjointed as some people might assume,” Adam Yannakakis, former college football player and physical education teacher, said. “At that level, the idea is to sell tickets to get the stadium filled out, so if you can offer more in the sense of entertainment, it is just going to help sell out the tickets.”

Rumors of her presumed attendance at the event sparked excitement prior to the Super Bowl, as well. Social media fans calculated the time it would take for the singer to travel from her renowned Eras Tour show in Japan to Las Vegas for the Super Bowl, with one fan even tracking her flight. At the event, she was joined by celebrities such as Blake Lively, Kim Kardashian, Ice Spice, Justin Bieber, Paul Rudd, and more. These appearances contributed to the event becoming the most-watched US TV program ever, with 202.4 million viewers.

“Taylor Swift’s concert in Japan was only a day before the Super Bowl, which raised questions as to whether she would be able to attend or not,” Julie Lee (10), Taylor Swift fan, said. “Speculations and theories ran wild and the world was already buzzing with excitement even before the big game. Luckily, she was able to make it in time which I think many fans were very happy about.”

Singers have played a large role in publicizing and adding to the experience of sports games in 2023 and 2024. Performances at the 2024 National Hockey League All-Star Game featuring Justin Bieber, Tate McRae, and Michael Buble as well as the 2023 World Series featuring H.E.R. and Jordin Sparks have spread across social media and news websites such as Variety, The New York Times, and USA Today.

“When all is said and done, the Super Bowl is still a show,” Mr. Yannakakis said. “They are still selling tickets for entertainment and having music or other entertainers there is just part of the show. When there is a drawn-out break, you can either have people bored or you can have a show where they are entertained.”

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About the Contributor
Grace Lee
Grace Lee, Reporter
Grace is a sophomore reporter for Tiger Times. She is interested in literature, loves watching soccer games with her parents, and listens to pop music during her free time. Feel free to approach her with book recommendations or anything else!

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