Usher is most likely to use the world's biggest stage at Super Bowl LVIII in February to promote his first major tour in nearly a decade and become the first act to launch a tour from the big game in seven years.
Following the NFL's announcement Sunday that the R&B icon will take over Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on February 11 as the game's halftime show performer, sources say Usher's team has been busy placing holds on arenas around the world, sources tell Billboard.
The team is expected to spend the next four-and-a-half months routing, confirming, and finalizing a 2024 global tour that sources expect will be ready to go on sale moments after he steps off the stage.
Over the past two years, Usher has made a home on the Las Vegas Strip with two residencies "Usher My Way: The Las Vegas Residency" at the Dolby Live at Park MGM and "My Way: The Vegas Residency" at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace.
Combined, the residencies have earned $83 million and sold 374,000 tickets from 79 shows, according to figures reported to Billboard Boxscore, and Billboard estimates that his Vegas earnings should exceed $100 million by early December. That's more than any of Usher's prior tours, topping 2010-11's OMG Tour, which brought in $76 million — and coincidentally lined up with the singer's previous Super Bowl halftime appearance, when he made a cameo during The Black Eyed Peas' 2011 set. His last major tour was 2014–15's The UR Experience Tour.
Usher will also use the halftime show as a platform to launch a new album release. The Atlanta superstar will drop the album "Coming Home" on the same day as the Super Bowl.
"Coming Home" is the R&B icon's ninth studio LP and his first new album since 2016's "Hard II Love".
It has been seven years since an artist took advantage of the Super Bowl halftime show's massive viewership to announce a new tour — the last was Lady Gaga in 2017.
The reason for that is likely two-fold. First, there are more artists touring than ever before, making it difficult for artists to time their touring plans and album cycles around a February announcement date, especially when halftime performers aren't typically announced until September.
The second change was a new partnership with Jay-Z and Roc Nation in 2019 to curate and book the halftime show, which has favored collaborative spectacles over single artist promotion with performances by Shakira and Jennifer Lopez at the 2020 Super Bowl and Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, 50 Cent and Kendrick Lamar at the 2022 Super Bowl.
Looking at the last five Super Bowl halftime shows, from 2018 to 2022, only two were linked to tour announcements:
In 2018, Justin Timberlake announced additional dates for his Man of the Woods Tour including his second American leg for Man of the Woods following his Super Bowl LII halftime performance at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
In 2021, The Weeknd announced the long-awaited rescheduled dates for his After Hours Tour along with 39 new shows in North America and Europe after his Super Bowl performance.
The preceding five-year period, 2013-2017, was far busier — four out of five of the halftime shows from this period were linked to major tour announcements.
The last artist to announce a tour immediately following their performance at the Super Bowl was Lady Gaga in 2017.
The singer began her remarkable set by descending from the top of Houston’s NRG Stadium onto an on-field stage to perform “Just Dance,” “ “Bad Romance,” “Poker Face.”
After her show wrapped, a post on her Twitter account teased out a world tour, and then hours later a follow-up tweet directed fans to a website where fans could buy tickets. Coldplay’s halftime performance in 2016 led to two major tour announcements: one for the band’s Head Full of Dreams Tour and another for their halftime co-star Beyoncé’s Formation Tour.
Beyonce also announced The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour following her 2013 Super Bowl performance, while Bruno Mars announced new dates for his Moonshine Jungle Tour following his 2014 halftime show performance in 2014.