No, Usher didn't tip strip-club dancers with fake money

Claudia Willen
·4 min read
usher
Usher attended the 69th Annual Cannes Film Festival in 2016. Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
  • A Las Vegas strip club denied a dancer's allegation that Usher tipped using fake money.

  • Usher's team left the counterfeit bills to promote his upcoming Vegas residency, per USA Today.

  • The club said he paid the dancers "thousands of real dollars" and left the staff a "generous" tip.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Usher garnered widespread attention on Monday after a dancer accused the 42-year-old singer of tipping with fake money at a strip club.

However, the viral claim about the Grammy-winning artist is false, according to the club's marketing director.

Greg Wilson, the director of marketing at the Sapphire Las Vegas Gentlemen's Club, told USA Today that someone from Usher's team left behind the counterfeit bills, which have the artist's face on them, to promote his upcoming residency at Caesars Palace.

The fake money was not intended to serve as a form of compensation, a source told TMZ.

Wilson confirmed that Usher and his friends paid the Sapphire dancers and staff using authentic money.

"Usher was a true gentleman and a great guest at the club," he told USA Today, clarifying that Usher and the other guests with him "converted thousands of real dollars to tip the girls dancing on the stage" and left a "generous tip" for the club's staff.

Representatives for Usher and the Sapphire Las Vegas Gentlemen's Club did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

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Usher has won multiple Grammy Awards. Noam Galai/Getty Images

The confusion started when a dancer shared photos of fake bills

On Monday, a Sapphire dancer, who uses the Instagram handle @beel0ove, posted a photo of three paper bills featuring a print of Usher's side profile. The cash came in the form of $1, $10, and $100, as seen in the woman's picture.

"Ladies what would you do if you danced all night for usher and he threw this??" she wrote.

"The money does not have a trade in value what so ever," she continued, adding, "Don't y'all think he should be blasted on social media for this s---?"

She did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

The dancer's story went viral, causing Usher's name to trend online

Usher has been seemingly supportive of adult dancers and strip clubs throughout his career.

As Rolling Stone's reporter EJ Dickson noted, the "Love In This Club" artist sang about an adult dancer in the 2014 song "I Don't Mind" and made a cameo as himself in "Hustlers," a 2019 film about a group of strippers during the Great Recession.

So when the Sapphire dancer alleged that Usher used fake bills to tip, particularly after many strip club workers lost their jobs during the pandemic, people were shocked.

"NO F---INGGGG WAY," The Dancers Resource, an app that allows dancers to share and find information on clubs, wrote in response to the Sapphire dancer's post, adding, "Danced all night for usher and this is what he tipped her with?!!!"

Gizelle Marie, a dancer and sex worker activist, wrote: "What a shame that celebs are being that disrespectful to come into the club and paying with counterfeit money @usher you should be ashamed as an entertainer to come in a club where the job of the women working is to entertain you."

Usher's name began trending on Twitter as people reacted to the fake bills in the Sapphire dancer's photo.

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The Sapphire dancer's viral story was the first time many people saw the "Usherbucks," but the singer had already shown off the personalized bills to market his Vegas residency, which kicks off at Caesars Palace in July 2021.

On April 3, Usher shared a series of photos of himself posing with a small suitcase covered in the fake bills. They appear to be same as the "Usherbucks" the woman obtained at the club, which have "Usher: The Las Vegas Residency" and "Usherworld.com" written on them.

After the club confirmed that Usher tipped with real money, the Sapphire dancer said people 'ran' with the story

Shortly after Wilson confirmed that Usher paid with real money and not counterfeit bills, the Sapphire dancer defended herself against criticism.

"I'm entitled to ask any question I want!! I literally asked a question and y'all ran with it. If funny money is being thrown at an establishment where girls dance for $ it should have a trade in value period... but nvm," she wrote on her Instagram story, adding an emoji of a "shushing face."

She continued, "It was left behind for 'promo.'"

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A dancer said that Usher and his guests left behind fake bills at a strip club. Beel0ove/Instagram

Read the original article on Insider