Usher defends Keke Palmer dancing with him at Las Vegas concert, says they were ‘having fun’
The singer doesn’t see anything wrong with the viral moment that drew criticism from Palmer’s boyfriend, Darius Jackson.
Author Maureen Lee Lenker
In a recent interview with PEOPLE, the “Caught Up” and “U Got It Bad” singer said he and the Nope actress were simply “having fun” and called it “a pop moment” — despite what Palmer’s boyfriend and some critics on Twitter had to say.
“I think everybody’s vision or a version of what they felt happened there just leads you back to just really having a good time in Las Vegas,” Usher said. “And that’s what I hope came out of it. Rather, it was a conversation of what was going on with us having fun in front of the audience or conversation about that song.”
Usher and Keke Palmer
Usher and Keke Palmer
| Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images, Noam Galai/Getty
Usher emphasized that the encounter was simply about having a good time, and not something deserving of a “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” stance. “Every night I’m thinking about how the world now is going to react to this moment that I’ll have with whoever I’m choosing to sing to,” he said. “But it was a pop moment, and it was fun to have at least conversation going and we just keep it light. I don’t see anything negative happening in Las Vegas.”
Usher, 44, and Palmer, 29, lit up social media last month when video emerged of them slow-dancing during his show while he serenaded her with his 2010 track “There Goes My Baby.”
Palmer’s boyfriend, Darius Jackson, added to the conversation when he criticized her outfit — a sheer dress and black bodysuit — writing on Twitter, “It’s the outfit tho…you a mom.” There was an immediate backlash to Jackson’s remark, but he stood by it in another tweet, writing, “We live in a generation where a man of the family doesn’t want the wife & mother to his kids to showcase booty cheeks to please others & he gets told how much of a hater he is.”
Palmer has not directly addressed Jackson’s remarks, but in a recent interview with The Cut, she did speak up for new moms and encouraged them to be true to themselves. “Do you, new moms. Do you,” she said. “Girl, if there’s one person on this earth that loves you for sure, it’s that baby. Be happy, because there’s no love like it. Somebody loving you like that, hell, who cares?”
She also shared that she’s found a new confidence in her postpartum body. “ll be honest, I think before I even had the baby, I was really actually quite self-conscious,” Palmer said. “After having my baby, I’ve gotten so much more powerful. We’re going to lean into this new body, and I think that is the whole aura of what’s happening with me in this big boss era as I come into my 30s, and I have my baby boy, and I’m just continuing to spread my wings as a young woman.”
In the weeks since Las Vegas, Palmer and Jackson have unfollowed each other on social media, though no update has been given on their relationship status.
If things don’t work out, Usher isn’t going to worry about people pointing fingers at him. He’s already laughed off the internet’s new nickname for him, the “Domestic Terrorist.”
“The internet is crazy,” he quipped. “You can’t beat the internet.”