Usher made it clear he doesn’t regret intimately hugging Alicia Keys during their Super Bowl halftime performance while clapping back at his critics.

“It’s crazy how people think,” Usher, 45, said about the backlash he and Alicia, 43, received for the moment while appearing on the Monday, February 19, episode of “The Breakfast Club” radio show. “It’s all about how you present things, man, it’s all about love.”

The “OMG” singer explained that their performance was “literally about having fun because of a song me and Alicia made many years ago and we celebrate it because of the legacy of it.”

After insisting that he and Alicia didn’t intend to “disrespect” anyone with their performance, Usher added that he and her husband, Swizz Beatz, were on the same page about the situation. “We laughed about it,” he shared.

Meanwhile, Swizz, 45, also clapped back at the backlash from the performance in an Instagram post on February 12. “Y’all talking about the wrong damn thing!!! Y’all don’t see that amazing dress covering the entire stadium,” he wrote alongside several photos of Alicia during the performance. “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.”

During the halftime performance at the Super Bowl on February 11, Alicia joined Usher on stage to sing their duet, “My Boo.” The “Girl on Fire” singer stunned in a red jumpsuit, while Usher shocked fans when he intimately wrapped his arms around her from behind.

As the performance was playing out, several viewers rushed to social media to question if their behavior was appropriate. “Rubbing up on a married woman is crazy,” one person wrote via X. Another noted that the pair had “undeniable chemistry.”

Usher Claps Back at ‘Crazy’ Criticism of Intimate Hug with Alicia Keys at Super Bowl
Ryan Kang/Getty Images

Not only did Super Bowl weekend mark a major performance for Usher, but he also married his longtime partner, Jennifer Goicoechea, that same day. The pair obtained a marriage license in Clark County, Nevada, which is where the game was held and where they have been living since he started his first residency at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in 2021.

Usher and Jenn, 39, began dating in 2019. They welcomed their first child together, daughter Sovereign Bo, on September 24, 2020, and continued to expand their family when she gave birth to son Sire Castrello on September 29, 2021.

Even before they tied the knot, Usher was never been shy when it came to gushing about Jenn. “I have an amazing partner, a support system,” he told People in November 2023. “We have an amazing dynamic between our relationship where I’m able to be passionate still about what I do and have an incredible partner to work through some of the harder times as a young man dealing with children.”

Have a tip? Send it to us! Email In Touch at