“It’s Crazy How People Think” | Newly Married Usher Finally Responds To Social Media Backlash Over Alicia Keys Embrace At Super Bowl

Usher’s Super Bowl performance with Alicia Keys created quite a firestorm on social media. As part of the NFL’s winning week, the two music stars put on a show for the ages, ensuring that Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift weren’t the only duet that broke the internet. 

Usher and Keys were so convincing that their embrace during the Super Bowl 2024 Halftime Show sent social media into a frenzy, with some viewers questioning how tight Usher clutched Keys, who has been married to music producer Swizz Beats since 2010. 

Usher finally commented on the ridiculous backlash he received for hugging Alicia Keys during Super Bowl Halftime Show
Usher finally commented on the ridiculous backlash he received for hugging Alicia Keys during Super Bowl halftime show. He also got married to his fiancée Jenn Goicoechea right after the event. (Photos: Getty Images)

It seemed to trigger men the most, as certain celebrities insisted that they would put hands on Usher if that was their “wife” up on the stage. These particular guys displayed an irrational and ignorant understanding of what performing is.

Everyone had an opinion, but as of Wednesday, we had not heard from Usher, who was probably honeymooning with his new wife and thought the entire hubbub was ridiculous — but also revenue-generating. 

Usher Addresses Backlash From Super Bowl Halftime Show Embrace With Alicia Keys

Appearing on “The Breakfast Club,” Usher said that he and Swizz Beatz laughed about the reaction.

“It’s crazy how people think,” he said. “It’s all about how you present things, man, it’s all about love.”

Usher described his interaction with Keys as “literally about having fun because of a song me and Alicia made many years ago and we celebrate it because of the legacy of it”.

To also help calm down all of the emotions flying around, Usher added that there was “no disrespect” intended toward anyone.

Keys’ Husband Swizz Beats Addressed Fallout First

Swizz Beatz, whose real name is Kasseem Dean, already addressed the fallout from the Super Bowl performance, striking back at social media troublemakers: 

“Y’all talking about the wrong damn thing !!!” he wrote on Instagram. “Y’all don’t see that amazing dress covering the entire stadium. Tonight’s performance was nothing but amazing with 2 amazing Giants!”.

With the scandalous dust settled, Usher appeared via Zoom and was able to reflect on what his performance really meant. He shared his thoughts with Charlamagne, DJ Envy and Jess Hilarious.

Usher Says Super Bowl More Watched Than Apollo 11 Landing

“Most watched Super Bowl of all-time,” Usher said in amazement of the event that drew a record 123 million viewers. “More people watched that than Apollo 11 Landing, man. So I’m like blown away. Since 1969, there’s not been a greater viewing than what happened on Super Bowl Sunday.”

“It’s a 30-year plus celebration for me and it was hard as hell to put all of those 30 years into 15 minutes, and I wanted to introduce people to the culture of the past,” said Usher, who in addition to Keys, brought out a “Who’s Who” of Atlanta’s hip-hop history, including Lil Jon, Ludacris and Jermaine Dupri. 

Making the whole fabricated social media drama even more embarrassing for the people who actually chose to comment on that part of the performance is the fact that Usher got married to his longtime fiancée, Jennifer “Jenn” Goicoechea, immediately after the show, in a laidback but intimate true Vegas-style ceremony. 

Usher Marries Fiancée Jenn Goicoechea After Super Bowl Performance

“To put an incredible ending on this chapter of Las Vegas. I proposed to her last year, and she’s been wearing that ring, and I didn’t want to be that guy. We talked about the best time to do it. … Let’s go get officiated by an Elvis impersonator and make it fun. With all the pressures that come with getting married … you’re spending hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars on this moment that’s really about the union of two people and the love of our family. I was happy to have her family there and mine and we did it without the pressure.”

The only pressure, Usher says, was getting into his suit in time for the wedding. 

Just days ahead of the Super Bowl halftime show in Las Vegas, the singer and Goicoechea obtained a marriage license in Clark County, Nevada.

Usher Raymond IV and the record executive from Miami, first sparked dating rumors when they were photographed together at producer Keith Thomas’ 40th birthday party in June 2019. Goicoechea was born to an Italian mother and a Puerto Rican father and grew up in Miami. 

By 2020 they were welcoming their first child together, daughter Sovereign Bo, followed by their son, Sire Castrello, in 2021. Usher also shares two sons, Usher V and Naviyd Ely, with his ex-wife, Tameka Foster.

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