Usher has been on quite the run lately, and that train isn’t stopping anytime soon. The eight-time Grammy-winning singer is currently wrapping up his hit Las Vegas residency after a brief pause in September for a residency in Paris, and gearing up for a new era with his forthcoming studio album “Coming Home.”
After 30 years of being a mainstay in R&B, Usher is taking this time to reflect on what’s in store for him as he enters a new era, one he calls his “magnum opus.”
“[Vegas] brought everybody together,” Usher told me on the inaugural episode of “I Know That’s Right,” HuffPost’s podcast about entertainment news and internet culture. He said his residency and these recent years have put him on a clear path to be able to tackle one thing that has been on his bucket list for a while: a Super Bowl halftime performance.
“I’m very fortunate to have gotten that call from Jay-Z that it was time, and of course, I was ready, and I am ready for it,” the “My Way” singer said. “I can tell you that you should expect a celebration, a celebration of life for those people who are not able to be here with me for this performance. I’m going to be celebrating for them. ... We’ll be celebrating for the 30 years of a career that I stand on. I’ll be celebrating because music has been this connective tissue between me and people, because for every experience that I’ve had, I put it into music and maybe that gave us something to cry to, that gave us something to be vulnerable and transparent to.”
During the interview, Usher took time out to honor the life of his friend and drummer Aaron Spears, who died last month at age 47. He also put an emphasis on cherishing the life of his children. The musician has partnered with Sanofi to encourage families to test early for type 1 diabetes with “The 1 Pledge.” His child, who he asked not to be identified, was diagnosed with the disorder at age 6. It was a shock to Usher, but he said he wants to be more vulnerable about their story to help other families.
“If I had this opportunity, I would have really felt more prepared,” he said. “The greatest preparation is the fact that I was available. I love my babies. I love my children, and I want them to live an incredible life that flourishes and allows them to do each and everything that they want to do, and gives them the tools that they need in order to do it. So this journey starts with informing yourself.”
Usher gets vulnerable about fatherhood, his residency, the 20th anniversary of “Confessions” and his forthcoming album (dropping on Feb. 11, the day of the Super Bowl) in this intimate interview.
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