Usher will be making an amount of money practically unheard of for an artist of his popularity and influence when he leads the Super Bowl — $0 dollars.
Instead of a paid performance, the major broadcast will feature a free show from the 45-year-old R&B hitmaker.
And it’s not a departure from the past, as the NFL has long avoided paying its Super Bowl halftime show performers and instead trading in publicity.
Shortly after Usher (full name: Usher Raymond IV) was announced as the 2024 halftime show performer, sources exclusively told DailyMail.com that he ‘wasn’t the first choice’ to headline the show, after other stars including Taylor Swift, Harry Styles and Lizzo all turned the NFL down.
Usher may have gotten the best of them, though, as he could still make a significant amount of money from the Super Bowl thanks to his dedicated fan base.
Doing them a favor: Usher, 45, will not be paid by the NFL to headline the Super Bowl halftime show next year — just like past performers; seen in March in Beverly Hills
Making up for it: Instead, Usher could see a significant increase in his streaming, downloads and physical music sales thanks to the high-profile performance; seen September 25 in Paris
That’s because his older fans — as well as new ones he converts at the halftime show — will likely be streaming and downloading his music in enormous numbers, while others will buy physical CDs and vinyl LPs of his albums in the days preceding and following the Super Bowl.
Other artists have gotten that bump in post-Super Bowl streaming, including 2020 headliners Jennifer Lopez and Shakira.
According to the streaming service Spotify, streams of Jennifer’s music jumped an eye-popping 335 percent after the show, while Shakira’s music was streamed 230 more.
The two also did well when it came to downloads, which are more lucrative on a per-song basis. The songs that they performed at the halftime show were downloaded 16,000 times on Super Bowl Sunday, compared to just over 1,000 downloads from the previous day, according to Billboard.
That streaming bump was even felt to a lesser degree by Bad Bunny and J Balvin, who were special guests during the halftime show, and by Demi Lovato, who sang the Star-Spangled Banner before the start of the game.
All three artists experience double-digit increases in their streaming figures, according to Spotify.
Other past Super Bowl performers, including Rihanna and Lady Gaga, have even larger streaming bumps that Jennifer Lopez and Shakira.
So even though Usher won’t earn a cent from the NFL, he could still come out of the night with a significant cash infusion.
Huge increase: Past performers, including Jennifer Lopez, Sharkira, Lady Gaga and Rihanna, have seen triple — and even quadruple — digit increases in their streaming figures; seen in 2016 in NYC
Proving them wrong: DailyMail.com previously reported Usher wasn’t the NFL’s first choice, but he’s determined to make everyone forget that with an incredible show; seen in June in LA
No thanks! Taylor Swift has been approached multiple times by the NFL but turned down the Super Bowl because she was too ‘busy’; seen October 11 in LA
The NFL hasn’t been shy about sharing its policy of not paying artists in the past.
In 2016, a spokesperson for the football organization told Forbes: ‘We do not pay the artists.’
However, they did add that the NFL takes care of the performers’ ‘expenses and production costs,’ so Usher likely won’t have to use any of his own money to put on the show.
Usher will be taking the stage after the NFL failed to attract more popular artists.
In late September, one NFL source revealed to DailyMail.com that Taylor Swift had been approached about headlining the halftime show ‘a handful of times,’ but she had turned it down because she was too ‘busy.’
But Taylor, who just scored the biggest debut of her career despite releasing a rerecorded version of an older album, isn’t necessarily in need of an influx of new listeners or publicity.
Another NFL source said that Harry Style was considered as a possible headliner for a show that could include a highly anticipated One Direction reunion.
However, it’s unclear if those considerations went far enough for Styles to be approached about the possibility.
Despite not being the NFL’s first choice, a source close to Usher told DailyMail.com that he planned to ‘prove all the haters wrong’ by putting on the ‘best performance ever.’
‘Usher knows he wasn’t the first choice, but he is here to prove that he is the right choice,’ they said.
‘He has been able to reinvent himself and prove to people that he is an amazing performer with his recent residency in Vegas. He knows he has a tremendous catalog, and his halftime show is going to be one of the best.
‘He has no problem proving himself and if people think he is going to be bad, he is looking forward to proving wrong all the haters,’ they continued.
Options: An NFL source said Harry Styles was also considered, and Lizzo reportedly turned down the show over the controversy about a sexual harassment suit filed against her’; seen September 25 in Paris
Extra bang for your buck: Usher, who was disappointed that news of Taylor dating Travis Kelce overshadowed his announcement, will likely bring out some guests, a source said; seen in June 2022 in NYC
‘This opportunity is incredible, and Usher is looking forward to making it very memorable,’ the source added. ‘It might seem that his back is against the wall and people aren’t that excited, but he is all about proving everyone wrong.’
The insider also noted that Usher was a ‘bit disappointed’ that the announcement of his performance was ‘overshadowed’ by then-recent news that Taylor Swift was dating football star Travis Kelce.
The source noted that Usher would likely get some back up at the Super Bowl halftime show with guests, though they didn’t share who might join him on stage.
The Super Bowl — and Usher’s halftime show performance — will air on Sunday, February 11, 2024.
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