Usher brought the songs and the celeb appearances to the field during his Super Bowl halftime performance Sunday and while he shouted out pride for making it to the massive stage, there was one thing he didn't get: paid.
There may have been a giant marching band, dancers on roller skates, a red piano, a lineup of major stars and more during the 13-minute performance, but it turns out the singer didn't get a cut.
Why didn't Usher get paid to perform at halftime at the Super Bowl?
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You may be thinking that the NFL will be willing to pay top dollar to get such an iconic lineup of halftime performers. The truth is, artists that perform at a Super Bowl halftime historically make nothing.
In a 2016 interview with Forbes, NFL spokesperson Joanna Hunter said: “We do not pay the artists. We cover expenses and production costs.”
If they don't get paid, what's in it for the artists?
While halftime performers don’t get a paycheck from the NFL for their time and efforts, ultimately, they reap financial benefits through their guaranteed exposure to millions of people.
Through the halftime performances, artists are given an unmatched opportunity to promote their newest albums or singles, driving traffic to their upcoming tours or latest projects.
In 2018, Justin Timberlake’s halftime show increased his sales gain by 534%.
In Usher's case, the Grammy-award winning musician and entertainment icon will embark on a 2024 tour titled "Usher: Past, Present, Future," beginning in late summer. The tour is set to make a multi-night stop in Chicago.
Tickets go on sale to the general public Monday, one day after the Super Bowl performance.
His latest album, "Coming Home," was also released Feb. 9.
See photos from Usher's Super Bowl LVIII halftime show
How much do Super Bowl halftime shows cost?
While Super Bowl performers are not paid by the NFL, the production details can be quite pricey. Whether it’s for fireworks, LED panels or extravagant entrances, here are some of the most notable halftime shows we have seen and the costs involved:
- 2001: Aerosmith, NSYNC, $11 million
- 2007: Prince, $12 million
- 2013: Beyoncé, $600,000
- 2017: Lady Gaga, $10 million
- 2020: Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, $13 million
Who performed with Usher during the Super Bowl halftime show?
First up was Alicia Keys performing on a sparkling red baby grand piano to sing their duet, "My Boo."
Next was H.E.R. walking out playing a solo on an electric guitar with backup dancers and singers on roller skates while a shirtless Usher had a costume change, in which he, too, glided around the stage in skates.
will.i.am joined in for an "OMG" collab as he reunited with Usher onstage in a notable moment.
Another guest appearance came as Jermaine Dupri made a surprise performane hyping up the crowd between songs as Usher prepared for "Confessions" and "Burn."
Then the crowd went wild when Lil Jon appeared on stage singing a snippet of his "Turn Down for What" before Usher began to perform one of his biggest hits, "Yeah!" filling the stadium speakers.
Ludacris and will.i.am then joined the stage with Usher and Lil John to finish out the song as the R&B star danced amid a bedazzled crowd to close the show.
Usher spoke about what it meant to him to be in the Super Bowl halftime show, which he labeled as "One performance. 30 years in the making."