Usher Strips Down His Sound For Tiny Desk Concert

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Usher is getting intimate with those at NPR’s Tiny Desk. For Black Music Month, the Atlanta-based singer performed stripped-down versions of his songs, bringing his personal band of drums, guitar, keys, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, and bass to the small get-together.

Usher is one of many performers that NPR put together for Black Music Month, which takes place in June and was created by President Jimmy Carter in 1979 to celebrate Black musical influences that are a gem of America’s cultural heritage.

NPR took the opportunity to spotlight “these artists [to] represent the past, present, and future of Black music. This month of carefully curated shows is a celebration of Black artists expressing themselves in ways we’ve never seen before, and of the Tiny Desk’s unique way of showcasing that talent,” the media organization shared on their website.

NPR Tiny Desk Producer Bobby Carter said, “We celebrate Black Music Month. This has been Black magic” in terms of Usher’s performance. Usher’s funky renditions catalog his 25 years of fame in a different light. He introduces his band in a slow groove only to kick it off with his 1997 break-out single, “You Make Me Wanna…”

Showing off his vocal range with his throwback hits, Usher garners crowd participation with the horn-studded version of “Nice & Slow.” To keep it candid, he introduces each song and shares a laugh when he accidentally gives the song “Confessions Part II” away. This performance is not one to miss. You can watch it below.

Currently, Usher is prepping for his Las Residency, which begins July 15 and ends in October. You can grab tickets HERE.

Setlist

“You Make Me Wanna…”
“Superstar”
“U Don’t Have to Call”
“Nice & Slow”
“Confessions Part II”
“My Way”

Musicians

Usher: vocals
Eric Bellinger: vocals
Vedo: vocals
Dmitry Gorodetsky: bass
Lemar Guillary: trombone
Brandyn Phillips: trumpet
Jay Flat: saxophone
Darek Cobbs: keys
Erick Walls: guitar
Ryan Carr: drums

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

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