Update: Usher’s “Boyfriend” music video starring Keke Palmer is here. The visuals feature the stars getting ready for a night out in Vegas, sharing a dance break, and even a little bit of Palmer singing parts of “U Remind Me.”
Palmer celebrated the drop with a tribute to the singer on her Instagram. “Usher! I remember when I was 12 and auditioned for ‘In The Mix’ 🤣 You have been killing it all my life. As a true lover of the arts, your talent and craftsmanship are a rare combination that I aspire to achieve as a performer. You are a living legend who is worthy of awe! Thank you for encouraging me and seeing me as the entertainer I am.
“I know I’m a gUrL but when I watched your videos, I never wanted to be the girl in them, I wanted to be YOU. Thank you for making a dream come true.”
The actress even pokes fun at the internet controversy with a skit at the end of the video. She picks up the phone and says, “Dammit I missed the show…I was so tired. I am a mother, after all.”
To quote Usher’s viral Tiny Desk performance, watch this:
As for Palmer’s ex boyfriend Darius Jackson, he has “moved on,” a source told People. The insider added that Jackson is focusing on his acting career and co-parenting with Palmer. “You don’t have to be in the same household to be good parents,” the source added.
Original story: This week in deliciously petty news, Usher has cast Keke Palmer to star in his latest music video over a month after stirring up relationship drama. The R&B icon posted a teaser for his new song “Boyfriend” today featuring Keke in the cinematic-looking visuals, which officially drop tomorrow. To top it off, the audio snippet includes him singing, “Somebody said that your boyfriend’s looking for me.” Whew.
The collab is a chef’s kiss-worthy wink at the online frenzy that Usher, Palmer, and most importantly her boyfriend, Darius Jackson, stirred up in early July. To recap: Usher serenaded and danced with Palmer at his Vegas concert, and Jackson replied with a tweet shaming her for wearing a sheer black dress. (“It’s the outfit tho … you a mom,” he wrote. Jackson and Palmer welcomed their first child together in February.) The internet swiftly came to Palmer’s defense, spurring Jackson to double down on his comments. (“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,” he wrote in another post, cueing eyerolls everywhere.) That only led the public to roast him even harder.
Since then, Palmer hasn’t publicly addressed her and Jackson’s current relationship status, but her freestyle at Broccoli City seemed to hint that she was single. But, ever the business woman, she made light of the scandal with some tongue-in-cheek merch saying “I’m a motha.” Her latest partnership with Usher only further proves that she remains unbothered by Jackson’s sexist comments. If anything, she’s having a little fun with it—and so are we.
Erica Gonzales is the Senior Culture Editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage on TV, movies, music, books, and more. She was previously an editor at HarpersBAZAAR.com. There is a 75 percent chance she’s listening to Lorde right now.