Halftime Show Producer Jesse Collins: “Usher Belongs on Musical Mount Rushmore”

Super Bowl halftime executive producer Jesse Collins says Usher’s performance Sunday proves that he “belongs on that musical Mount Rushmore.”

“He’s one of the elites,” Collins told The Hollywood Reporter moments after the Grammy-winning star performed at the big game near Las Vegas.

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Usher’s performance featured high-energy dancing, strong singing, roller skates and more. Guests including Alicia Keys, Ludacris, Lil Jon, will.i.am, H.E.R. and Jermaine Dupri, and Usher ran through hits like “U Got It Bad,” “Love in This Club,” “U Don’t Have to Call” and “Yeah!”

Collins said he told Usher: “I was like, ‘You got the spirit of Marvin and Michael and James Brown all inside, and all that comes together.’”

“[You’re] watching someone that truly seeks perfection,” Collins adds. “And you get this incredible performer that can sing and dance and captivate an audience, and I think he did all that tonight.”

Collins has produced several halftime shows and won an Emmy for his work on the hip-hop heavy halftime performance starring Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, 50 Cent and Kendrick Lamar.

He said one of his goals was fitting Usher’s 30-year-old catalog “in the time allotted” of 15 minutes. This year’s show was longer than past halftime shows, which are typically about 13 minutes.

When asked how he got the additional two minutes, Collins explains: “No, listen, it’s just telling people to look the other way and [that] Usher made a track that was just so great that everybody was able to make it work.”

With the halftime show ending, Collins competed a production trifecta: Emmy Awards, Grammy Awards and the Super Bowl.

“We were just moving fast and trying to take care of what was in front of us, and we’re just happy that it all worked out,” he said.

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