Super Bowl halftime show: why did not Usher get paid for performing?

The Super Bowl LVIII is finally over, with the Kansas City Chiefs defeating the San Francisco 49ers in Las Vegas. Patrick Mahomes and Co. secured a last-minute score to win their back-to-back Lombardi trophies.

Usher graced the stage with his iconic presence during the recent Super Bowl halftime show. He delivered a memorable performance that included hit songs and celebrity appearances. However, despite his contribution to the spectacle, he didn’t get a paycheck, and fans might be wondering the reason behind that.

Why did Usher not get paid for the Super Bowl halftime show?

The reason behind Usher not getting paid lies in the NFL’s long-standing policy. The NFL covers all expenses and production costs related to the halftime show, but performers themselves do not receive monetary compensation, per league spokesperson Joanna Hunter. This policy has been in place for years and applies to all artists who take the stage during the Super Bowl halftime event.

This may seem like a missed opportunity for Usher to earn a hefty paycheck, but the exposure gained from performing at the Super Bowl can be invaluable. Millions of viewers tune in worldwide for this event. Artists like Usher have a unique platform to showcase their talents and promote their latest projects.

The NFL may not compensate halftime performers monetarily, however, the investment in production details such as LED panels and extravagant entrances highlights the significance of the halftime show.

Meanwhile, the timing of his Super Bowl performance couldn’t have been better for Usher. Just days before taking the stage, he released his first solo album in eight years, titled “Coming Home.” The singer aimed to capitalize on the massive viewership of the Super Bowl. This move will boost his album sales and generate buzz for his upcoming tour, “Usher: Past, Present, Future,” set to kick off later this year.

Notable gains by artists through Super Bowl halftime show performance

The Super Bowl halftime show has long been a platform for artists to showcase their talent to millions of viewers worldwide. The event has become a launching pad for significant gains in music sales and streaming numbers for the featured artists.

Artists like Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna, and the star-studded lineup of Mary J. Blige, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Kendrick Lamar, and Eminem have all experienced notable spikes in their music sales and streaming figures following their halftime performances.

Lady Gaga experienced a remarkable 1000% surge in digital catalog sales following her electrifying show in 2017. The trend continued in 2018 as Justin Timberlake’s music sales soared by an impressive 534% on the day of his halftime performance, per NBC Chicago.

The impact of the halftime stage on music streaming platforms was evident in 2020 as well. Spotify reported a substantial increase in streams for Shakira and Jennifer Lopez after their Super Bowl LIV performance. Shakira’s streams rose by 230%, while Jennifer Lopez witnessed a remarkable 335% spike.

The trend continued in 2022, when a stellar lineup featuring Mary J. Blige, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, Eminem, and Dr. Dre took the stage. All five artists experienced a surge in music sales, including Snoop Dogg and Blige. Their music streams jumped to 143% and 132%, respectively.

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Rihanna showcased her talents despite being pregnant during the halftime show last year. The result was a massive jump in music sales, becoming the most-watched television event in U.S. history. It reached an estimated 115 million viewers. Forbes’ data revealed the substantial impact on Rihanna’s digital album and song sales, climbing by 301% and 390%, respectively.


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Maliha is an insightful sports writer with over a year of experience focusing on the NFL. Initially venturing into both NFL and NBA coverage, her journey began without a particular affinity for American football. However, her passion for the sport blossomed as she started following football more. Now, a huge NFL fan, Maliha meticulously follows every development within the league. She always wants to ensure her analysis is comprehensive and up-to-date to fellow readers.


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