Usher Addresses Cozy Super Bowl Hug With Alicia Keys: ’No Disrespect’

In a new interview, Usher insisted that he didn’t intend for his performance with Alicia to look ‘perverted’ or be ‘viewed as bad.’ 

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Usher and Alicia Keys at the 2024 Super Bowl halftime show
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Image Credit: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images

Usher is silencing those rumors about his on-stage moment with Alicia Keys during his Super Bowl LVIII halftime performance. Although many presumed that their embrace was intimate, the “OMG” artist, 45, insisted that there was “no disrespect” toward Alicia, 43, or her husband, Swizz Beatz. Usher was asked about it during her recent interview with Charlemagne tha God on the radio show, The Breakfast Club. 

“In no way anything done there should have been viewed as bad or in any way perverted or anything like that,” Usher explained, adding that his and Alicia’s hug “was literally about having fun because of a song that me and Alicia made many years ago.”

“We celebrated because of the legacy of it, and [meant] no disrespect to anybody,” Usher concluded. After being asked whether he spoke with the “Girl on Fire” artist or her husband about the online chatter, Usher responded, “Absolutely. We’ve laughed about it. It’s all love.” 

While referring to the social media comments about the situation, the “Love in This Club” singer noted that it’s “crazy how people think.” 

“It’s all about how you present things, man,” he said, adding, “It’s all about love.” 

Alicia performed “My Boo” with Usher during the February 11 halftime show. At one point during their fiery duet, the “Yeah!” hitmaker embraced Alicia from behind, which many viewers took as more than just a friendly moment. Not only that, but Usher also playfully outlined the shape of Alicia’s rear. Some fans assumed that it was steamy enough to cause a conflict with Swizz Beatz. 

“Hoping Swizz Beatz backstage … Usher with that don’t leave your girl around me energy got him on demon time,” one X user tweeted shortly after the halftime show aired. “Nah, Swizz Beatz would be boiling rn [sic],” another chimed in. 

However, Swizz himself put the rumors to rest right after viewers discussed the moment online. The record producer took to Instagram to laugh off the speculation. 

“Y’all talking about the wrong damn thing!!!” he wrote in his caption. “Y’all don’t see that amazing dress covering the entire stadium. Tonight’s performance was nothing but amazing with 2 amazing Giants! Congrats @usher and my love @aliciakeys that song is a classic. We don’t do negative vibes on this side we make history Go see GIANTS at @brooklynmuseum it’s open until July blessings.”