The Reason Why Justin Bieber Apparently Turned Down An Appearance In Usher’s Super Bowl Halftime Show Is Perhaps The Most Justin Bieber Reason Ever

People were convinced that Usher was going to bring his former protégé out during his halftime show, but now Justin is being praised for setting healthy boundaries.

Pretty much as soon as it was announced that Usher would be headlining the halftime show at this year’s Super Bowl, people began to speculate that Justin Bieber would come out as one of his surprise guests.

Usher and Justin pose together for a photo on the red carpet

In case you didn’t know, Usher is widely credited for Justin’s ascent into superstardom, with the R&B star mentoring the teen after a chance meeting in 2008.

Usher and a teen Justin smile for a photo

Usher even appeared in the music video for Justin’s first ever single, “One Time,” and they have collaborated on other musical projects in the years since.

The two dancing onstage

So, with it a known fact that the Super Bowl’s halftime performer will normally bring out a famous guest or two, it’s unsurprising that many immediately thought of Usher’s former protégé once his name was announced.

Closeup of Usher

This would have marked Justin’s first live performance in almost a year, with the 29-year-old star largely retreating from the spotlight in 2022 due to health concerns. In June of that year, Justin was diagnosed with Ramsay Hunt syndrome, which causes temporary paralysis in half of his face.

Justin Bieber onstage

Justin ended up canceling the rest of his Justice world tour as a result, and has kept his public appearances to a minimum ever since.

Justin walking outside while holding a to-go coffee cup

However, at the start of this year, Justin appeared to tease a much-anticipated comeback when he shared photos of himself in what looked like a makeshift studio alongside the caption: “Excited for this next year. New beginnings.”

Closeup of Justin Bieber

He followed up with photos of himself seemingly rehearsing a performance, fueling growing excitement that he was going to join Usher on stage on Sunday.

Closeup of Justin Bieber

But, as I am sure you are aware, Justin did no such thing.

Justin Bieber walking with a coffee

While he did attend the Super Bowl, and was shown enthusiastically watching the game from the crowd, he didn’t go anywhere near the halftime stage — with Usher bringing out a bevy of other stars, including Alicia Keys and Ludacris, instead.

Hailey and Justin Bieber at the Super Bowl

And the reason why Justin opted out of an appearance has now been revealed, with a source confirming to Page Six that he was invited by Usher.

Usher onstage at the Super Bowl

The insider then explained: “There’s no bad blood between Usher and Justin. Justin just wasn’t up for it — he just wasn’t feeling it.”

Closeup of Justin Bieber

They went on to say that Usher tried his best to persuade Justin because he wanted to pay tribute to their history together, but Justin simply wasn’t keen.

Closeup of Usher and Justin Bieber

And it appears as though Justin actually preferred being able to watch the show from his spot in the crowd, with the star sharing a photo from Usher’s performance to his Instagram page on Monday and writing: “LOVE YOU MY BROTHER NOONE CAN SING AND DANCE THE WAY YOU DO.”

Usher onstage at the Super Bowl


Closeup of Justin and Usher embracing

In the post’s comment section, many admitted to feeling hoodwinked by Justin’s no-show as they made reference to the fact that he has been teasing a return to the stage.

Justin Bieber onstage

“You played us like a fiddle,” one person commented. Another echoed: “You KNEW we were waiting for you to get on stage 🤬.”

Hailey and Justin Bieber at the Super Bowl

“Justin that was heart wrenching lowkey babe,” somebody else wrote. One more added: “Did you get lost on the way to the stage?! Where were you 😭😭”

Closeup of Justin Bieber giving the thumbs up

But others have praised the singer for refusing to bow to public pressure or expectations, and instead setting a healthy boundary. Discussing Justin’s decision on a Reddit forum, one person wrote: “Good for him for not pushing himself to do something that he wasn’t up to.”

Closeup of Justin Bieber

Another agreed: “Good for him. That’s usually why I decline plans, it’s reasonable to just NOT want to do something. It’s powerful to put yourself first and actually decline, instead of doing what society demands.”

Usher onstage with his dancers and guest performers

“That is 100% valid!” somebody else said. “I turn down stuff all the time for the same reason - and I don't have an audience of millions ready to critique or criticize every move I make.”

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