Lil Jon Says Justin Bieber Was Meant to Perform With Usher at Super Bowl, but He ‘Just Wasn’t Really Ready’

Alicia Keys, Jermaine Dupri and the “Turn Down for What” rapper joined as guest performers in Usher’s halftime show

Usher and Justin Bieber pose in the press room during the 2010 American Music Awards in Los Angeles
Usher and Justin Bieber pose in the press room during the 2010 American Music Awards in Los Angeles (Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

After much speculation over whether or not pop star and former Usher protégé Justin Bieber would perform as a guest during Sunday’s Super Bowl halftime show, the “Sorry” singer ultimately cheered from the sidelines.

But rapper Lil Jon, who performed alongside Usher on their 2004 hit single “Yeah!,” told TMZ Wednesday that Bieber was invited to perform with them on Sunday but he “just wasn’t really ready.”

“We wanted to put Justin in the show, so we had the idea of doing a version of the show with Justin in it,” the “Turn Down for What” rapper said. “But I think Justin just wasn’t really ready. That’s a lot of rehearsal, a lot of responsibility, a lot of time and a lot of eyeballs. I don’t know if he was ready to do all of that, you know?”

Usher’s Super Bowl LVIII halftime show was jam-packed with references to Atlanta culture, and in addition to Lil Jon, he brought in heavy-hitters and past collaborators like Alicia Keys and Jermaine Dupri. However, some people wondered why Bieber wasn’t included in the performance, considering Usher played a pivotal role in the singer’s early career.

Lil Jon chatted about Bieber’s stage absence during a “TMZ Live” appearance.

“I don’t know if he was ready to have that undertaking,” Lil Jon added, saying that Bieber “was thinking about performing in the show.”

While he didn’t make it into the show, he was there supporting the performers in the stands.

“I mean, he definitely was there supporting Ush,” Lil Jon said. “They’re really good friends, and he definitely was supporting him regardless.”

Raymond performed several of his hits from his catalog during his halftime show, including “Superstar,” “Burn” and “Yeah!”

After the show, Bieber showered Usher with praise via Instagram, saying that “no one can sing and dance the way you do.”


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