Facebook Twitter

Usher embraced the code word ‘Utah’ to keep a super-sized secret from his kids

Usher will headline Super Bowl halftime show on Sunday in Las Vegas. Here’s how he kept his upcoming appearance on one of the world’s biggest stages a secret from his kids for more than a month

SHARE Usher embraced the code word ‘Utah’ to keep a super-sized secret from his kids
Usher will perform at the halftime show for the 2024 Super Bowl on Sunday.

Usher performs at the 51st annual Songwriters Hall of Fame gala at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel on June 16, 2022, in New York. Usher will perform at the halftime show for the 2024 Super Bowl.

Charles Sykes, Associated Press

In mid-August, Usher learned that he would headline the Super Bowl halftime show.

But the eight-time Grammy winner had to keep it a secret until Sept. 24 for the much anticipated public announcement.

“As of August the 11th, I knew and I had to keep it a secret up until the grand unveiling for the world and I couldn’t let my kids know. So, like any kind of documents I’m receiving, you know, we had like a code word that we would only talk on the telephone to let it be known that we were discussing ‘Utah,’ you know,” Usher told “CBS Sunday Morning’s” Tracy Smith.

“Was that the code word, ‘Utah?’” Smith queried.

“That was the code word,” Usher confirmed.

When he was able to reveal he would be the featured halftime performer for the 2024 Super Bowl in Las Vegas, Usher told Smith it was like “Christmas.”

“You don’t get a chance to surprise your kids that often anymore. It’s like, there’s no fantasy moments,” he said.

Usher’s kids had suggested in the past that he play the Super Bowl, and he had advised them “to pray” about it.

“I’m like, Oh, really? That’s a good idea. I want to pray about that. You should pray about that, man. If you feel like I really deserve it, man, let’s just say a prayer together. So I’m like, (this) is the sweetest truth, right?” he told “CBS Sunday Morning.”

This will be Usher’s second time on the Super Bowl stage. He performed his hit song, “OMG,” alongside will.i.am, who headlined with other members of the hip-hop musical group Black Eyed Peas in 2011.

The network also announced that Usher will release a new album titled “Coming Home” on Friday and tour two dozen cities this summer beginning in August, although Salt Lake City is not among them. The tour is dubbed Past Present Future.

When Usher takes the field on Sunday, Usher will join a star-studded list of headliners from the past decade:

  • Rihanna (2023).
  • Eminem, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige (2022).
  • The Weeknd (2021).
  • Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, Bad Bunny, J Balvin, Emme Muniz (2020).
  • Maroon 5, Travis Scott, Big Boi (2019).
  • Justin Timberlake, The Tennessee Kids (2018).
  • Lady Gaga (2017).
  • Coldplay, Beyonce, Bruno Mars (2016).
  • Katy Perry, Lenny Kravitz, Missy Elliott (2015).
  • Bruno Mars, Red Hot Chili Peppers (2014).