Usher isn't getting paid for the Super Bowl (and this isn't as uncommon as you think)

Why would a performer play the Super Bowl halftime show if they are not getting paid?

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If you did not already know there was an NFL football game on Sunday, February 11, well...there is. The game features the San Francisco 49ers playing the Kansas City Chiefs and will be played at Allegiant Stadium in Paradise, Nevada. This is just outside Las Vegas. But most importantly, the halftime show will be performed this year by the iconic Usher.

Usher has performed at the Super Bowl halftime once before. That was in 2011. But he was only a mere guest of the main act, the Black Eyed Peas. Usher did not get paid for his showing up then, but neither did the Black Eyes Peas. In fact, Usher won't get paid for being the entertainment at Super Bowl LVIII either. That is because no halftime performer does.

I guess technically the musical artist gets paid a small amount. That is part of being in the SAG-AFTRA union, though. The amount they will receive is extremely little compared to how much the artist would normally get paid for playing a gig.

Usher, like other Super Bowl halftime entertainment, won't get paid for his performance

So why would someone spend all that time preparing for a concert they do not get paid directly for? There is an easy answer: Money and lots of it. While the NFL nor halftime presenter Apple Music gives a check to the artist, the artist recoups any lost time hundreds of times over because of all the publicity the show brings.

In 2023, Rihanna was the Super Bowl Halftime Show act and within the two days that followed the game, Rihanna's digital album sales increased by 301 percent. The 12 songs she performed sold a combined 27,000 downloads between Sunday and Monday, up 976 percent from the days leading up to the Super Bowl, according to CBS. On game day itself, her catalog saw an increase of 140 percent over the previous days.

This happens with every modern artist. They show up to do the halftime show, sing some songs they have performed a million times before, and then rake in the money over the next couple of days. In Usher's case, there might be a slight change to the normal setlist, though.

This is because he is dropping a new album on February 9 called Coming Home. He is likely to sing a song or two from that album as well as favorites from his catalog. Usher is going to make a lot of money from his Super Bowl appearance not just on older tracks, but new ones too.

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