Why Usher isn’t paid for the Super Bowl half-time show


Usher is set to take the stage during half time of this weekend’s Super Bowl – like many superstar performers have done at the event in previous years.

The Yeah! hitmaker has pledged to roller-skate during his time on stage at the mega sport event in Las Vegas on Sunday, 11 February and said he’ll recreate a skating sequence of his recent Vegas residency.

He claimed the show would be a “crescendo” marking a “new beginning” in his 30-year career.

But Usher will not be paid a penny for wowing the crowds at the event.

Why won’t Usher get paid for the Super Bowl?

While the artists who play at the Superbowl spend months preparing for it, they are never paid by its organisers National Football League (NFL).

But the sports organisation does pay for the costs associated with the artists performances – which in 20202 amounted to $13m (£10.2m) – and they also cover artists’ travel expenses.

A spokesperson for the event previously told Forbes: “We do not pay the artists. We cover expenses and production costs.”

In the past, artists have contributed some of their own cash to make the show even better, including The Weeknd and Dr. Dre, who both forked out $7m (£5.5m).

While performers don’t get paid to perform at the event, it is still a worthwhile experience for them, as it gives them the opportunity to showcase their music to a huge audience.

Performances typically lasts about 13 minutes and are viewed by 100 million people around the world.

Previous half-time performers have seen their sales surge on the back of their performances, including Rihanna, whose Spotify streams soared by more than 640 percent after she took the stage at last year’s Super Bowl.

Who has performed at previous half-time shows?

Some of the world’s biggest artists and bands have played at the event over the years:

2023: Rihanna

2022: Eminem, Dr. Dre. Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar and Mary J. Blige

2021: The Weeknd

2020: Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, Bad Bunny, J Balvin, Emme Muniz

2019: Maroon 5, Travis Scott, Big Boi

2018: Justin Timberlake, The Tennessee Kids

Rihanna performs at the Superbowl in 2023 (Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Roc Nation)

2017: Lady Gaga

2016: Coldplay, Beyoncé, Bruno Mars

2015: Katy Perry, Lenny Kravitz and Missy Elliott

2014: Bruno Mars, Red Hot Chili Peppers

2013: Beyonce

2012: Madonna

2011: The Black Eyed Peas, Usher, Slash

2010: The Who

2009: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

2008: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

2007: Prince and the Florida A&M marching band

TOPSHOT - US singer Jennifer Lopez performs during the halftime show of Super Bowl LIV between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, on February 2, 2020. (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP) (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)
Jennifer Lopez performs during at the 2020 Superbowl (Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images)

2006: The Rolling Stones

2005: Paul McCartney

2004: Janet Jackson, Kid Rock, P. Diddy, Nelly and Justin Timberlake

2003: Shania Twain, No Doubt and Sting

2002: U2

2001: “The Kings of Rock and Pop” featuring Aerosmith, ‘N’Sync, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige and Nelly

2000: “A Tapestry of Nations” featuring Phil Collins, Christina Aguilera, Enrique Iglesias, Toni Braxton and an 80-person choir

1999: “Celebration of Soul, Salsa and Swing” featuring Stevie Wonder, Gloria Estefan, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and tap dancer Savion Glover

1998: “A Tribute to Motown’s 40th Anniversary” including Boyz II Men, Smokey Robinson, Queen Latifah, Martha Reeves and The Temptations

1997: “Blues Brothers Bash” featuring Dan Akroyd, John Goodman and James Belushi (also featuring “The Godfather of Soul” James Brown and ZZ Top)

1996: Diana Ross celebrating 30 years of the Super Bowl with special effects, pyrotechnics and stadium card stunt. Finale featured Diana Ross being taken from the stadium in a helicopter

1995: “Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye” featuring Tony Bennett, Patti LaBelle, Arturo Sandoval, the Miami Sound Machine and stunts including fire and skydivers. Finale included audience participation with light sticks

1994: “Rockin’ Country Sunday” featuring Clint Black, Tanya Tucker, Travis Tritt, Wynonna & Naomi Judd. Finale included flashlight stunt

1993: “Heal the World” featuring Michael Jackson and 3,500 local children. Finale included audience card stunt

1992: “Winter Magic” including a salute to the winter season and the winter Olympics featuring Gloria Estefan, Brian Boitano and Dorothy Hamill

1991: “A Small World Salute to 25 Years of the Super Bowl” featuring New Kids on the Block

1990: “Salute to New Orleans” and 40th Anniversary of Peanuts’ characters, featuring trumpeter Pete Fountain, Doug Kershaw & Irma Thomas

1989: “Be Bop Bamboozled” featuring 3-D effects

1988: “Something Grand” featuring 88 grand pianos, the Rockettes and Chubby Checker

1987: “Salute to Hollywood’s 100th Anniversary”

1986: “Beat of the Future”

1985: “A World of Children’s Dreams”

1984: “Super Bowl XVIII’s Salute to the Superstars of the Silver Screen”

1983: “KaleidoSUPERscope” (a kaleidoscope of color and sound)

1982: “A Salute to the 60s and Motown”

1981: “A Mardi Gras Festival”

1980: “A Salute to the Big Band Era” with Up with People

1979: “Super Bowl XIII Carnival” Salute to the Caribbean with Ken Hamilton and various Caribbean bands

1978: “From Paris to the Paris of America” with Tyler Apache Belles, Pete Fountain and Al Hirt

1977: “It’s a Small World” including crowd participation for first time with spectators waving colored placards on cue

1976: “200 Years and Just a Baby” Tribute to America’s Bicentennial

1975: “Tribute to Duke Ellington” with Mercer Ellington and Grambling State band

1974: “A Musical America” with University of Texas band

1973: “Happiness Is.” with University of Michigan marching band and Woody Herman

1972: “Salute to Louis Armstrong” with Ella Fitzgerald, Carol Channing, Al Hirt and U.S. Marine Corps Drill Team

1971: Florida A&M band

1970: Carol Channing

1969: “America Thanks” with Florida A&M University band

1968: Grambling State band

1967: University of Arizona and Grambling State marching bands

How can I watch the Super Bowl in the UK?

The 2024 Super Bowl will air live in the UK on ITV1 and Sky Sports. There will also be radio commentary on talkSPORT.

You can also live stream the event for free via the ITVX app/website.

Coverage will also be available to subscribers of NOW TV with an NFL Game Pass.

Coverage will start at 10.30pm UK time and the event will kick off at 11.30pm.

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