Usher won’t get paid for the Super Bowl halftime show, here’s why


Usher Raymond is an American singer, songwriter, actor, and producer from Dallas who shot to fame following the release of his self-titled debut album in 1994. Scores of his albums also saw him top the U.S. Billboard 200 chart.

He started music at his local church as a choir member. However, his professional music started in Atlanta where he began recording professionally and making guest vocal appearances. Since then, he has performed at some of the world-renowned stages.

This year, the eight-time Grammy Award-winning singer has been selected to perform at the Super Bowl halftime show. The show is arguably one of the most anticipated events in the world of sports. Over the years, A-list artists have been hired to perform during the halftime. In recent times, these artists have included Rihanna, Eminem, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Lady Gag, Kendrick Lamar and Mary J. Blige.

And the heart of the organization is Jay-Z’s Roc Nation. Roc Nation has collaborated with the NFL for five years as their Live Music Entertainment Strategist. The partnership came into being to nurture and strengthen the community through music and is part of the NFL’s Inspire Change program, according to Forbes.

The platform added that before the collaboration, selecting artists for the Super Bowl was problematic. “The process of selection was fractured,” Dan Runcie, founder of Trapital, recently said. “You take four artists and everyone thinks they’re playing the Super Bowl. It’s almost like this interview process. When an artist is finally chosen, now there are three ‘upset’ performers,” he explained.

Super Bowl LVIII will be at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, and the location influenced Usher’s selection this year. He recently became the new king of Las Vegas following a stint of shows in the city including at Caesars Palace.

According to Forbes, Usher wouldn’t be paid for his February 11 Super Bowl gig despite grossing more than $12.9 million in ticket sales for his original 14-show run at Caesars. As is the tradition, he will perform for 13 minutes for free.

The platform explained that the performing talents benefit in other ways. In 2023, the game garnered 115 million viewers, making it one of the most-watched telecasts in U.S. history.

“The potential marketing value of a halftime performance is astronomical, considering the going rate for a single 30-second commercial during this year’s telecast is reportedly around $7 million,” the business magazine noted.

Forbes further noted after Rihanna’s halftime performance last year, her digital song sales increased by 390%. Being one of the biggest stages in the world, the benefits artists get from exposure to fans at the show is more than a paycheck. In 2020 when Jennifer Lopez and Shakira performed, the former gained over 2 million new followers across social media. The two singers also saw 267% and 187% streaming gains days after their performance, Billboard said.

Recently when Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Eminem, 50 Cent and Kendrick Lamar performed at the Super Bowl halftime show, they also saw a major boost to their catalogs. There was a 183% increase in album sales for Dr. Dre a week after the show. Blige’s album sales also rose 999%.

Usher is also using his Super Bowl performance to revitalize his plan for 2024 and will release a new album on the day of the game called “Coming Home”, his ninth studio album and his first since 2016.

Halftime shows can cost more than $10 million to produce. The NFL and Apple Music are expected to pay for Usher’s performance.


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