Celebrity Portrait

Yeah! Usher’s Ready

Confessions of Usher. How a surprise meeting led to a Las Vegas residency and what the superstar singer brings to The Colosseum stage.
Caesars Player - Yeah! Usher’s Ready

Photo courtesy of Wes and Alex Photography

  Words by Mark Gray

The Colosseum is ushering in a new era this summer, and it couldn’t come at a better time. On July 16, global megastar Usher kicked off his highly anticipated Las Vegas residency at Caesars Palace, a show appropriately called “Usher: The Las Vegas Residency.” Tickets were in such demand, dates had to be added even before it opened.

The residency marks one of the first headlining events in Las Vegas since the Covid-19 pandemic thrust the world into lockdown.

“This is a moment for everybody to come back into life,” Usher told Caesars Player in the lead-up to the residency. “This is one of the first performances where people will come back into a room and see a formal production live. Vegas is back. We want to do it big. I wanted to do it big.”

If there’s something Usher knows about, it’s going big. Not only is he an eight-time GRAMMY® winner and one of the best-selling music artists of all time, but he’s also dabbled in just about every aspect of entertainment, having appeared in movies, sitcoms and reality shows. Of his diversified career, he simply says, “If you have the opportunity, go for it. Open as many doors as you possibly can, until you can’t open them anymore.”

When it came to his Las Vegas residency, he had the same attitude—then again, the offer was a complete surprise. He recalled how his manager convinced him (pre-Covid) to get on an airplane and fly to a destination unknown. After ending up in Las Vegas, a confused Usher was wined and dined at Nobu and eventually taken into a private room where several hotel executives were waiting.

“We sit at a table and they asked me, ‘What do you think about planning your Vegas residency?’” he remembered. “I’m like, ‘You guys brought me all the way here and you surprise me this way?’ I was overwhelmed with appreciation. I welcomed it with open arms.”

The Usher experience in Vegas will be different from other Usher events. The Colosseum, he said, allows him to do things he wouldn’t normally be able to do at arena shows.

“These intimate settings allow you to be close to your fans and allow you to be more creative and even reminisce and utilize some of the dance and musical aspects of things that people have celebrated from your past,” he said. “When you’re in a stadium or you’re in an arena even, to some extent, there’s such distance. So, I feel like I’m a lot closer and kind of going back to the beginning when I was very close to my fans and very connected to them.” Likewise, his setlist reads somewhat like a step back in time.

“I’m playing the hits. I’m going back to the beginning. I’m reminiscing for my fans that have been there from the beginning,” he said, referring to songs such as “Yeah!” “Confessions Part II” and “U Remind Me.” Still, he’s incorporating more recent hit records, too.

“I’m covering all bases. I wanted to play the hits. I want to give people something that they can remember. Something that will be memorable,” he said. “I can’t wait to give people the treat of the show. Give them a memory that hopefully will last a lifetime.”

For tickets to “Usher: The Las Vegas Residency,” visit caesars.com/shows or ticketmaster.com/ushervegas.

Usher performs his residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace.
July 16, 17, 21, 23, 24, 28, 30, 31
August 4, 6, 7, 11, 13, 14
December 28, 29, 31
January 1
Tickets: caesars.com/shows or ticketmaster.com/ushervegas

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