Why Usher Says Justin Bieber Didn't Sing With Him At The Super Bowl

Usher's Super Bowl performance featured cameos from Hollywood's best, including Alicia Keys, H.E.R., Jermaine Dupri, Ludacris, and Lil Jon, to name a few. And while Usher summoned more than enough star power to entertain the robust Super Bowl crowd, for many fans, the performance lacked a certain energy. Of course, we're referring to Usher's protege, Justin Bieber. Prior to the performance, fans pumped themselves up with the hope that Bieber, who hasn't been performing as much in recent years, would make the ultimate grand comeback alongside the star who helped discover his talents.

Plus, TMZ reported that Usher and Bieber had discussed possibly performing together at the big game. Although the musical peers hadn't collaborated in a few years, fans would've obviously appreciated seeing the two perform their throwback, "Somebody To Love." Unfortunately, that hearsay remained just that, as Bieber never took the stage. He did, however, make sure to attend the performance in person and also congratulate Usher on social media. "Love you my brother. No one can sing and dance the way you do," Bieber posted to Instagram in February 2024. "Love you from the depths of my heart," he continued. 

And while Bieber didn't touch on his reasoning for skipping out on the Super Bowl, Usher has since opened up about the situation. 

Justin Bieber may have wanted 'to tell a different story'

During an appearance on "The Breakfast Club," Usher revealed that he requested to have Bieber perform with him for The Super Bowl. However, Bieber didn't bite. "I honor and recognize the fact that my brother... I think it might have just been that he's just wanting to tell a different story right now, and I did understand that," Usher explained. "We did have a brief conversation, and we're gonna do something else in the future." Although Usher and Bieber probably would've broken the internet had they teamed up, Usher isn't holding any grudges. "No love lost or anything like that," added the singer. "It's a lot of pressure for the Super Bowl, obviously, for me to put together a show."

And while Bieber, as mentioned above, hasn't chimed into the conversation to reveal exactly why he decided to bask in the halftime show from the comfort of the crowd — instead of the stage — an insider has revealed that the "Yummy" singer didn't opt out because of any tension or negativity between him and Usher. Bieber simply wasn't in the mood to perform that day. "There's no bad blood between Usher and Justin," shared a source with Page Six. "Justin just wasn't up for it — he just wasn't feeling it." Perhaps he's waiting to headline his own Super Bowl halftime show, which Usher seems confident will come to fruition. "[Bieber is] going to play the Super Bowl... I'll go ahead and give you that for the future," said Usher.

What Lil Jon had to say

Rapper Lil Jon has also contributed to the conversation surrounding Usher and Justin Bieber's missed Super Bowl halftime opportunity. During a video interview with TMZ, Lil Joh — who took the main stage with Usher to perform "Yeah" — revealed that Bieber's heart just wasn't in the process. "We wanted to put Justin in the show, so we had the idea of doing a version of the show with Justin in it," said Lil Jon. "I think Justin just wasn't really ready to — that's a lot of rehearsal, a lot of time, and a lot of eyeballs, and I don't know if he was ready to do all of that, you know what I mean? But he was definitely there supporting us, and they're really good friends."

Fortunately for Justin's fans, the Super Bowl isn't the only place they can see him perform in 2024. In early February, a couple of weeks before the game, Justin performed a medley of his hits during a surprise concert, which Hailey Bieber cheekily compared to his version of Taylor Swift's eras tour on Instagram, as captured by ET. And while Bieber didn't walk the excited crowd through his entire catalog, he did bless them with a few updated renditions of his songs, "Peaches," "Baby," and "Hold On." Bieber also threw in a rather unexpected but totally flawless cover of SZA's "Snooze." And we thought his participation in the music video was enough!