Usher is such an amazing entertainer and performer, it’s easy to forget that the R&B superstar is a great singer. Well, he used his appearance on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series to remind everyone exactly who he is. To wrap up Black Music Month, Usher and his band delivered a smooth, old school R&B set of six of his biggest hits and set the internet on fire.
He opened with a laidback version of his first major hit “You Make Me Wanna...” Though he was accompanied by a full band, and backup vocalists Vedo and Eric Bellinger, Usher still managed to make the track feel stripped down. His crisp, effortless vocals gave the song a more mature tone.
After a short, yet lovely rendition of “Superstar,” the Grammy-winner transitioned into the surprisingly funky “U Don’t Have to Call.” The “Burn” artist is so comfortable with himself and his music that there’s an undeniable confidence in his vocals.
And because this was an Usher concert, things did get sexy on “Nice & Slow.” With the expertise of a veteran performer, Usher had the small audience in the palm of his hand, leading them exactly where he wanted. It was as if the intimate setting made his endless charm even more concentrated and powerful.
As he went into “Confessions Part II,” the former The Voice coach put his storytelling skills on display. His flawless falsetto was the vehicle for the complicated emotions surrounding this tale of infidelity.
Closing things out by celebrating the 25th anniversary of “My Way,” it’s clear Usher is still having fun with these songs, using his immense skills as a performer to make them feel new.
In just under 25 minutes, Usher put all the talk about who runs R&B to rest, reminding everyone that he’s still on top of his game and is not even close to relinquishing the crown–something the internet had no problem with confirming. One user tweeted, “Usher saw these new male singers struggling and decided to embarrass them even more.”
Another person posted the message “Usher said his microphone is ON. 😭 never ever compare this man to these other r&b male singers — he is in a class of his own.”
In case this wasn’t enough Usher for you, “My Way The Las Vegas Residency” is still running at the Park MGM.