7.6 C
New York
Friday, February 23, 2024

Tremendous Bowl LVIII is Usher’s present : NPR


Usher — the chart-topping singer-songwriter — will likely be this 12 months’s halftime performer. With a catalog filled with bangers, how will he squeeze 30 years of music into simply 13 minutes?



ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Now to the Tremendous Bowl, the place a beloved singer will likely be taking heart stage on Sunday.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “YEAH!”)

USHER: Peace up. A-City down.

SHAPIRO: Usher, the chart-topping singer/songwriter, will likely be this 12 months’s halftime performer. It is his first time on stage on the Tremendous Bowl since a visitor look in 2011. So how will he squeeze 30 years of music into simply 13 minutes? NPR music editor Sheldon Pearce is right here to speak about it. Hey there.

SHELDON PEARCE, BYLINE: Hello, Ari.

SHAPIRO: What’s Usher been as much as today?

PEARCE: Nicely, you already know, Usher’s inventory is method up proper now. It is type of fascinating. Within the late 2010s, he was form of simply hanging round. He had a 2018 collaboration he launched with the rap producer Zaytoven that felt fairly low-stakes and did not fairly land…

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “STAY AT HOME”)

USHER: (Rapping) Until you been driving me loopy, until you been driving me loopy, who you been texting each day? Who you been texting each day?

PEARCE: …And in 2019, he returned to his swiveling chair on “The Voice.”

However post-pandemic, he has seen a little bit of a resurgence. He had a viral second proper right here on the Tiny Desk in 2022.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

USHER: Watch this.

(LAUGHTER)

USHER: (Singing) Simply after I thought I mentioned all I can say, my chick on the facet say she bought one on the best way. These are my confessions…

PEARCE: And he is been doing this residency in Las Vegas that has been actually, actually profitable, and he had one other stint in Paris. He simply dropped an album forward of this Tremendous Bowl efficiency, and it nearly feels prefer it exists primarily to bolster that efficiency.

SHAPIRO: What is the response to the brand new album been thus far?

PEARCE: I believe it has been fairly optimistic.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “BOP”)

USHER: (Singing) Do not let this flip right into a bop. Mi amor, ti adore – cannot get you off my thoughts. I take into consideration you on a regular basis. Some days I lay at the hours of darkness and keep within the blind.

PEARCE: It is form of what you’d count on from Usher – this supreme show of professionalism and polish. It explores loads of the acquainted Usher modes, however with nice talent – type of operating the gamut as a R&B masterclass. And since a lot of recent R&B is about vibes and environment, it may be refreshing to listen to a seasoned artist be so, like, craft-focused. On the heart is the club-adjacent pop R&B he has trafficked in all through the late levels of his profession and with songs like “Hold On Dancing,” which feels each type of retro and trendy on the similar time.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “KEEP ON DANCIN'”)

USHER: (Singing) When the music goes off and the DJ’s going dwelling, get again out on that ground and carry on dancing. Bought to maintain on dancing. Even when the music stops…

PEARCE: Lyrics that talk on to Usher’s ethos of staying out on the dance ground as a metaphor for persevering via a turbulent romance – all of it feels deeply linked to every little thing he is achieved up up to now.

SHAPIRO: Each Tremendous Bowl efficiency is a bit bit totally different, comprises some surprises. Any guesses of what we should always count on from Usher’s?

PEARCE: Nicely, you already know, I would not be shocked to see Usher a minimum of type of take a look at the waters for a few of this new music, particularly with a world tour developing later this 12 months. However I believe his set will lean closely on type of the classics of his early discography. I would not count on something crazily groundbreaking – in all probability extra within the realm of dramatic shows of virtuosity. He has a historical past of type of connecting with the music of previous entertainers. He is carried out with James Brown, with Michael Jackson. On the 2020 Grammys, he did a tribute efficiency within the function of Prince.

(SOUNDBITE OF 62ND GRAMMY AWARDS BROADCAST)

USHER: (Singing) Do not need to be lovely to show me on.

PEARCE: So I do count on no matter he does to attach his legacy work with that of Black pop music generally.

SHAPIRO: Nicely, give us your predictions. What do you assume goes to occur on Sunday?

PEARCE: Nicely, you already know, I can not think about a world by which he would not do “Yeah!” So possibly he brings out Lil Jon and Ludacris with him.

SHAPIRO: (Laughter).

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “YEAH!”)

USHER: (Rapping) Yeah.

LIL JON: (Rapping) Hey, hey, Luda (ph).

USHER: (Rapping) Yeah.

LUDACRIS: (Rapping) Be careful, my outfit’s ridiculous. Within the membership wanting so conspicuous…

PEARCE: And possibly there’s an Alicia Keys duet within the works.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “MY BOO”)

ALICIA KEYS: (Singing) I used to be there…

ALICIA KEYS AND USHER: (Singing) And also you have been my child.

USHER: (Singing) It began once we have been youthful – you have been mine.

PEARCE: However I actually do assume it will play strongly off the Las Vegas residency, which – these units leaned into him being type of this grown and horny performer – you already know, tremendous match, abs out, gyrating, some degree of theatricality, possibly pyrotechnics, backup dancers and the like. However he has additionally mentioned that he needs to attach with and honor artists on this efficiency, and the Vegas residency did see him bringing out R&B performers throughout eras – Keith Sweat, Teddy Riley, Robin Thicke, Religion Evans and Ashanti, even – so maybe there’s something in retailer that places his music in dialog with the broader R&B legacy. I believe, in both case, he plans to place the everyday glitz and pageantry of Vegas on full show.

SHAPIRO: NPR’s Sheldon Pearce, thanks quite a bit.

PEARCE: Thanks.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “DJ GOT US FALLIN’ IN LOVE”)

USHER: (Singing) Trigger child, tonight, the DJ bought us falling in love once more – in love once more. Yeah, child, tonight, the DJ bought us falling in love once more – in love once more. So dance, dance, prefer it’s the final, final evening of your life, life, gon’ (ph) get you proper.

Copyright © 2024 NPR. All rights reserved. Go to our web site phrases of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for additional data.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This textual content might not be in its ultimate kind and could also be up to date or revised sooner or later. Accuracy and availability might fluctuate. The authoritative document of NPR’s programming is the audio document.

Related Articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest Articles