Usher Wraps Up Black Music Month with NPR Tiny Desk Concert
Image via Zimbio
Iconic R&B artist, Usher, took to NPR’s beloved Tiny Desk to round out Black Music Month on Thursday. He got the office grooving with six of his greatest hits over the years. The songs reminded folks of the longevity and iconicity of his 25+ year career. Songs like the one off his second album, My Way, took the audience as far back as the 90s and into the early 2000s.
Among the other songs performed were:
“You Make Me Wanna…”
“U Don’t Have to Call”
“Nice & Slow”
“Confessions Part II”
Usher performed in a long black trench coat with silver and black accessories. During “Superstar,” he removed his pitch black shades slowly in sync with the lyrics. The rest of the band and background singers also sported all black outfits, giving the performance a cool and classy feel.
The R&B star also heavily spotlit his background singers, Vedo and Eric Bellinger. “I brought my brothers with me. Two of the most incredible voices of this time. I wanted to share this moment with them, and with you, share their talent.”
Both artists graced Usher’s songs with smooth runs in falsetto. Usher breathed life into his older tracks by acknowledging Eric Bellinger’s creation of the “Usher Climax Challenge” on TikTok where users tried to recreate a difficult falsetto riff off of “Superstar.” Usher himself perfectly executed the riff while casually laying on his couch. “I even took the challenge, I took my own challenge. I was like ‘okay, I’ll do it!’ It was an incredible moment.”
He also took the time to acknowledge the significance of Black Music Month. He gushed about how grateful he was to have the opportunity to participate in the culmination of the month-long celebration after performing “Nice & Slow.” “This is ‘Black magic’ right here, y’all” he said as he motioned to his band.
Usher closed his 24 minute performance with the groovy track, “My Way,” which comes off of his second album, My Way. The record celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. The camera panned to the audience frequently, showing not a single still body in the house. Usher’s discography spans over almost three decades making him equally well known and appreciated by many generations of listeners, and undoubtedly, an R&B legend.