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Why Usher won’t be paid for performing unbelievable Super Bowl halftime show

Emily Brown

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| Last updated 

Why Usher won’t be paid for performing unbelievable Super Bowl halftime show

Featured Image Credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images/ Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Roc Nation

Usher's Super Bowl halftime performance has been branded 'one of the best ever' by fans, but the singer didn't earn a single penny for his appearance.

For around 15 minutes last night (11 February), Usher absolutely owned the stage at the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas where the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers fought to become champions.

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He performed multiple hits and surprised the crowd with appearances by Alicia Keys, will.i.am and Ludacris, all while millions of expectant fans watched on, willing the singer to entertain them.

It's a lot of pressure to perform in front of millions of people, but Usher decided to do it all for free. Why? Well, there are a few reasons.

Firstly, those millions of people I just mentioned. The Super Bowl is one of the biggest sporting events of the year, with almost 115 million people tuning in in 2023.

While many of those people will already be fans of Usher, the performance allowed the singer the chance to impress people who might not be too familiar with his songs.

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Usher performed with Alicia Keys and Ludacris. Credit: Lauren Leigh Bacho/Getty Images
Usher performed with Alicia Keys and Ludacris. Credit: Lauren Leigh Bacho/Getty Images

The exposure has previously been proven to lead to an increase in sales for artists, with Justin Timberlake seeing a 534 percent increase in music sales after his halftime show at Super Bowl 52, while Rihanna's Spotify streams were up 640 percent after her gig in 2023.

Usher also conveniently dropped his most recent album, Coming Home, on 9 February, allowing the halftime show to effectively be one long advert for his new music.

It's worth noting here that companies were willing to pay as much as $7 million for just 30 seconds of ad time at the Super Bowl, which only highlights how valuable that screen time is.

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Millions of people tune in to the Super Bowl. Credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Millions of people tune in to the Super Bowl. Credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

As well as his new album, Usher has also announced a world tour - the tickets for which go on sale today.

The singer would probably struggle to get more attention than he has at this very moment, meaning fans will be more desperate than ever to see him perform live and will consequently be clamoring to buy his tickets.

So while Usher didn't get any of the $50 million Apple Music pays the NFL to sponsor the Super Bowl halftime show, the exposure he's received and the money he will ultimately make through album and tour sales ensure his performance will pay off in the long run.

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Plus, it's just pretty darn cool to be able to say you performed at the Super Bowl. It's probably worth it just for the bragging rights.

Topics: Music, Money, Usher, Super Bowl, Sport

Emily Brown
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