Swizz Beatz Defends Alicia Keys’s Super Bowl Performance

Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Getty Images

Swizz Beatz is doing just fine, thank you. On Monday, as memes about Usher and Alicia Keys’s flirty Super Bowl performance made rounds online, the producer — who is married to Keys — made it clear that he’s nothing but supportive of his wife.

“Y’all talking about the wrong damn thing,” Swizz wrote on Instagram alongside a series of photos of Keys, including a viral one of Usher hugging her from behind. “Y’all don’t see that amazing dress covering the entire stadium.” Swizz went on to say the 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.” Swizz isn’t the only chill partner: Jennifer Goicoechea, Usher’s longtime girlfriend, was so unbothered, she married the singer shortly after the performance.

Keys and Usher’s chemistry — 19 years after their song “My Boo” dropped — wasn’t the only reason people were still talking about Keys after the game. For anyone watching the broadcast on Sunday night, it was clear that her voice cracked when she sang the first note of “If I Ain’t Got You.” But it seems like the NFL and Apple Music would like everyone to forget the slipup. In the official video posted by the league on its YouTube channel, the singer’s voice sounds like it has been smoothed over and corrected.

Robert Komaniecki, a college music-theory teacher, shared side-by-side videos of Keys. In the first, the vocal crack — which many shared live during the performance — is hard to miss. In the second video — shared by the NFL on Monday — she sings the note flawlessly. Ironically, the editing of the note seems to be bringing more attention to the incident. Explaining his disappointment, Komaniecki wrote, “Part of what makes live singing commendable is that mistakes may happen, and you’re vulnerable.” Agreed!

Swizz Beatz Defends Alicia Keys’s Super Bowl Performance