Usher is said to be having a hard time trying to convince Justin Bieber to join him for his Super Bowl halftime show – because the Sorry singer, who has been blighted by health concerns, is reportedly eying up headlining the NFL event himself one day.
Usher, 45, will perform in the coveted slot in Paradise, Las Vegas in February, one year after Rihanna debuted her baby bump on stage.
But although the R&B hitmaker has ‘most of his ideas ready’, he’s not having much luck trying to rope in his former mentee, 29, who is said to be ‘focusing on his health’ after suffering from facial paralysis.
‘Usher has been doing his residency in Vegas and has most of his ideas ready for his big halftime show performance,’ a source told DailyMail.com exclusively.
‘He really wants to prove himself worthy of such an honor because he definitely sees that the excitement level for him doing it is not at an all-time high.
‘He has asked some of his friends who are artists to help him out and join him on stage, and he has thrown a few ideas towards Justin.’
The insider continued: ‘Justin is flattered that one of his mentors, Usher wants him to be a part of the Super Bowl, but he is leaning towards letting Usher do his thing and Justin would rather have the opportunity to do the Super Bowl on his own in the future if he were to be asked.
‘That is the more sought-after option for Justin when it has anything to do with performing at the event.’
If Justin accepted Usher’s Super Bowl offer, it would mark one year since his last performance on stage.
The singer, who found fame on YouTube, made a surprise appearance at Rolling Loud California back in March, joining Don Toliver as a special guest.
It was his first public performance since Brazil’s Rock in Rio in September 2022, which ‘took a toll’ on his health and saw him cancel the remaining dates of his Justice World Tour.
Justin, who had earlier been diagnosed with Ramsay Hunt Syndrome – which causes paralysis on one side of the face – told fans: ‘This past weekend, I performed at Rock in Rio and I gave everything I have to the people in Brazil.
‘I realized that I need to make my health the priority right now. So I’m going to take a break from touring for the time being.’
The singer, who married wife Hailey, 26, in September 2018, asked fans to ‘pray’ for him as he revealed the rare neurological condition was making it ‘progressively harder to eat’.
According to the insider, Justin’s determination to focus on his health has changed his outlook on his career – with the popstar now reluctant to embark on another world tour in the
‘He still would love to perform for his fans but more on his own terms and something along the lines of a residency would be perfect because it would allow him to control the dates of his performances and it would only have him be in one place, less hectic of a lifestyle…
‘Now he has been able to slow down and enjoy the life that he has blessed himself with, he gets to think of exactly what he wants to do next.’
Justin and Usher go way back, with the legendary R&B star taking a then-14-year-old Justin under his wing in 2008 when he was on the cusp of his stratospheric rise to fame.
At the time, Usher signed him to his new joint venture, along with talent manager Scooter Braun, and the pair collaborated on Somebody to Love – the second single from Justin’s first studio album, My World 2.0.
Recounting Justin’s talent in a recent interview, the Love in This Club singer told DailyMail.com: ‘I had seen something in him that he could see himself at the time.
‘I’m more invested in our friendship than just having the dynamic to create something together.’
While Justin weighs up his next career move, Usher is continuing to plan his monumental Super Bowl set – which could include pole dancers.
His involvement was announced last month in a trailer which referenced his Confessions Part II video and featured Kim Kardashian.
The reality TV star-turned-business woman, 43, is seen calling him up to tell him the news while he is recording music in the studio.
‘It’s an honor of a lifetime to finally check a Super Bowl performance off my bucket list,’ Usher said in a statement. ‘I can’t wait to bring the world a show unlike anything else they’ve seen from me before.
‘Thank you to the fans and everyone who made this opportunity happen. I’ll see you real soon.’