Just before heading into the event, Jones told Variety that she’s eagerly anticipating another concert — the Super Bowl LVI halftime show featuring Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Eminem and Mary J. Blige.
“‘California Love,’ that’s what I would want to hear,” Jones said, referencing Tupac and Dr. Dre’s iconic track. “And anything from Mary.”
While the comedian is known for her live commentary of the Olympics, it’s up in the air whether she’ll tweet the Super Bowl.
“It depends. If they give me some tickets, I’ll come; if not I’ll be at home in front of the TV cheering like everybody else,” Jones quipped.
The exclusive event, presented by DirecTV, took place at inside the Super Bowl LVI arena in Inglewood, Calif. immediately following the NFL Honors broadcast, with host Keegan Michael-Key among those hustling between venues for the concert.
Just before 10 p.m., Usher took the BET-branded stage for a set featuring some of the 8-time Grammy-winner’s biggest hits, including “Yeah!” “You Make Me Wanna…,” “My Boo,” “U Remind Me,” “DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love” and more.
“All of you wonderful people have traveled from far and wide. It’s going to be one of the best Super Bowls ever, right? This is only the beginning of an incredible weekend,” Usher said to the cheering crowd.
“It’s a very important time when all of us need hope. These games have meant so much,” he added. “The league has had its moments during these tumultuous times. Now, with us being all together in this room and stadium together, it’s the purpose of hope.”
Maria Bakalova walked the blue carpet with stylist Jessica Paster, while John Lithgow, Jenna Dewan, Erika Christensen, Rita Ora and Taika Waititi also made appearances.
In addition to the Hollywood stars, football royalty in attendance included Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Fame running back Jerome Bettis and current Steelers standout Ray-Ray McCloud. Olympic silver medalist — and current UCLA competitor — Jordan Chiles and her teammate Sekai Wright were also on hand to celebrate the Super Bowl coming to LA.
The party was held at The Canyons, one of the lower decks at SoFi Stadium, with an outdoor area for eating, drinking and dancing and a view overlooking the field, which has been outfitted for the big game. Photo ops included a chance to pose near the Vince Lombardi trophy and the opportunity to head down through the players’ tunnels and pose on the turf.
Los Angeles Super Bowl Host Committee chairman Casey Wasserman explained how the organizers have embraced the opportunity to spotlight Los Angeles as the perfect home for one of the big nights in all of sports.
“You start with this facility [SoFi Stadium], but then you think about all the other events are gonna happen this weekend. Other cities are great Super Bowl hosts, but L.A. is a special place,” he explained. “We are the entertainment capital of the world. To have Usher tonight and big performers every night all over the city really showcases the best of what we do.”
Before the performance, Entertainment Tonight host Kevin Frazier was on hand to emcee as DirecTV awarded a $25,000 grant to Kids in the Spotlight organization as an extension of the Super Bowl 56 Legacy Program.