Super Bowl: Usher’s half-time show, the ads, Taylor Swift and everything but the football – as it happened – The Guardian

The R&B star went shirtless, rollerbladed and brought out Alicia Keys, Ludacris and Lil Jon for a career-spanning setlist
So Usher came, conquered and made everyone miss the 2000s. Beyoncé turned a thankless-on-paper Verizon ad into a way to make a major album announcement, dropping two new country tracks. And Taylor had her romantic comedy ending, her boyfriend winning the Super Bowl.
It was a big night for reluctant sport-watchers, given all of the celebrity action, if not a long one for those holding onto see how Taylor would congratulate her fella. If anything, we saw less of her than we expected, probably a reaction to some of the miserly NFL viewers who has been complaining of late.
Anyway, off to go listen to 8701…
The power of TNT, as they’re called, has been so inescapable, so ubiquitous, that the movie rom-com ending of a super bowl win felt inevitable. Here is the big moment, that I’m sure we’ll hear about one day in a song.
A reminder of tonight’s big news:
Can we not?
Just like we drew it up. pic.twitter.com/9NBvc5nVZE
A classic Super Bowl ad combo here of an entertainer – comedian and actor Martin Lawrence – and an athlete – legendary football tight end Shannon Sharpe. They’re trying to Coke Zero yoghurt – AKA turn something typically geared toward a female audience toward men.
Perennial Super Bowl ad favorites the E*Trade babies are back, and taking aim at a worthy target: the adult fixation that is pickleball. “It’s basically tennis for babies, but for adults,” says one of them. “It should be called wiffle-tennis,” says the other. Burnt!
Kansas City team wins – or, more accurately, Taylor Swift wins, and celebrates accordingly.
🚨| Taylor Swift celebrating The Chiefs Super Bowl win! #SuperBowl2024

pic.twitter.com/XOz8FhsQYP
Karma is the guy on the WHAT pic.twitter.com/dBSP7mVunz

Congratulations to Taylor's boyfriend—and the entire Kansas City Chiefs community! 💕🏈
Here’s a look back at some of the big celebs of the night:
Is she gonna make it?
Taylor Swift is taking a private plane down to the field
Daddy Lessons hive, we are so back – the first two songs off of Renaissance Part II, Beyoncé’s country-tinged upcoming album, deliver on her long-teased promise of fitting her peerless voice around some twang.
Texas Hold ’Em, the song teased on the Instagram post and teased in her Verizon ad, is the more straightforwardly country of the two, with lilting acoustic guitar and talk of bars and hoedowns (plus a cocked handgun in the visualizer). Soulful and sassy, Beyoncé promises to “take it to the dive bar we always thought was nice” and, true to her spin on the genre, beckons “don’t be a bitch, come to take it to the floor now”.
16 Carriages is the weightier track, both in production and theme. Though it opens with acoustic chords and steel guitar twang, the song ultimately goes into rock-tinged ballad mode, with verses flowing into hip-hop cadence. A classic, immediately distinct Beyoncé genre-bender, with some seemingly personal admissions about “leaving home at an early age” and being, at one time, “underpaid and overwhelmed”. Some trademark country song grit and struggle here.
Okay this is the last one, I swear:
Kurt Russell yelling at Wilford Brimley in the thing pic.twitter.com/PM8gpdpeCF
Once again, Bic gets Martha Stewart and her improbable friends, famous stoners Willie Nelson and Snoop Dogg, together for a 30-second spot in which Willie borrows (and keeps) Snoop’s EZ Reach lighter for his floating candles and torch wick and presumably other things.

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