Why Usher Is Getting Paid $0 to Play the Super Bowl Halftime Show

super bowl lvi pregame
Why Usher Isn't Getting Paid for the Super BowlKevin Mazur - Getty Images

"Hearst Magazines and Yahoo may earn commission or revenue on some items through these links."

Usher is performing at the 2024 Super Bowl (quick moment to flail around in excitement), a pretty major gig you'd think would pay him several million dollars. But apparently, nope. Not so much. We regret to inform you that:

Usher Is Not Getting Paid to Perform at the 2024 Super Bowl

Turns out Usher is earning literally $0.00 for giving everyone a free 13-minute concert in the middle of a football game. But before you spiral in a rage, please note the NFL has a long and illustrious history of paying their halftime show artists nothing. As one NFL spokesperson put it to Forbes several years ago, “We do not pay the artists. We cover expenses and production costs.”

If this seems massively unfair and you're left wondering why on Earth anyone would agree to perform at the Super Bowl for free, the NFL pretty much views the halftime show as a extra long commercial in which an artist gets a giant platform to promote their entire body of work. And because of all that "free advertising," it's pretty much a guarantee that....

Usher Will Make a Ton of Money From the Performance Anyway

Usher can expect his streaming sales to skyrocket after the 2024 Super Bowl thanks to everyone simultaneously remembering how much they love his music (as if we could ever forget) and running to Spotify. Here are some stats to support this in case you require evidence:

  • Spotify reported that Jennifer Lopez's streams spiked by 335 percent after the 2020 Super Bowl, while Shakira’s went up by 230 percent.

  • Billboard reported the songs Shakira and J.Lo performed sold 16,000 digital downloads that day (up from ~1,000 the prior day).

  • Billboard also reported that Lady Gaga’s sales increased 1,000 percent after she performed in 2017.

  • Forbes reported that Dr. Dre's album sales increased by 183 percent after the 2022 Super Bowl and Mary J Blige's album sales increased 999 percent.

  • Variety reported that Rihanna's Spotify streams increased more than 640 percent across the U.S., and her hit “Bitch Better Have My Money” increased by more than 2,600 percent.

On top of this, there's also ample opportunity for artists to promote their own brands. Like, remember when Rihanna touched up her makeup with Fenty mid-way through her set? Per Forbes Australia, Google searches for Fenty Beauty increased 883 percent, and in the 12 hours following her performance she generated $88.3 million in "media impact value."

Usher Could Actually Spend His Own Money on the Performance

Production costs for the halftime show run in the millions. But sometimes artists want to take things to another level, so they add their own money into the pool. The Weeknd famously spent $7 million on his show in 2021, while a source close to Dr. Dre told Forbes that he also spent $7 million on 2022's show. TBD on if Usher decides to throw some of his own money into the mix as well, but there is a precedent.

Either way, Usher is pretty much guaranteed to make money on his halftime show performance, so stay tuned for the exact amount! And as a reminder, the Super Bowl airs on CBS on February 11, 2024 and can be streamed on Paramount+. If you have cable, you can watch it on TV like the good ol' days in your parents' basement, and if you don't, you can scam your way to the halftime show with a free live-TV trial of Hulu, FuboTV, or YouTube TV.

You Might Also Like