Usher has been determined to return to football’s biggest stage following his two-minute routine at the Super Bowl XLV halftime show in Arlington, Texas. 12 years later, he is headlining the upcoming halftime show performance at Super Bowl LVIII when the Kansas City Chiefs take on the San Francisco 49ers at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. He will also release his first independent and ninth studio album before the event.
The eight time Grammy award winner plans to use his performance on this colossal stage to pay homage to Black artists. He credits the artists who came before him for paving the way for his successful career in music. Beyond his music, Usher has been heavily involved in philanthropy and business. He was an original Tidal co-owner and has invested in diverse ventures across the sports industry, health and nutrition, and education, among others.
The halftime show does not pay performers but seeing that most of them are multi-millionaires already, one can safely assume that they do not mind. But as multi-millionaires, these superstars do not usually restrict their earnings to the music they make. Usher is in this category.
Here are six ventures in which Usher has investments:
1. Cleveland Cavaliers
Usher followed pals Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z as another artist to purchase a large stake in an NBA team when Usher became part owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team in 2005. He was part of of a group which bought the team for an estimated $375 million. The Cavaliers have won five Central Division Championships, three Eastern Conference Champions and one NBA championship under his ownership. The team generates an annual revenue of nearly $400 million.
Backed by his mother’s endorsement, Usher invested in Hungry – a startup connecting chefs with companies looking for catered meals. He came on as an investor through the company’s $8 million Series A round. The platform admits professional chefs in licensed commercial kitchens after screening them and tasting each dish they plan to offer. While the chefs cook the meals, Hungry takes care of logistics.
3. RBMG Records
Usher co-founded RBMG Records as a joint venture to mutually manage the career of Justin Bieber. It was established in conjunction with Island Def Jam and has since released the singer’s entire discography. Bieber remains the label’s sole artist, earning $120 million in digital single sales alone.
4. Liquid I.V.
Liquid I.V. is a health-science and nutrition wellness company that specializes in non-GMO electrolyte powders. Its science-based functional beverages support hydration faster than water alone and contain curated performance ingredient blends for added benefits. The company was founded to help children in developing countries suffering from extreme dehydration caused by deadly diseases. Usher invested a collective $5 Million in Liquid I.V. alongside other celebrities in 2019.
5. Mass Appeal
In 2017, Usher contributed to Mass Appeal’s $6 million in Series A funding led by Universal Music Group. The company was founded as a graffiti print magazine in 1996 and has since grown to include television and production arms. It has released several artist’s records and partnered with TBS and TNT to strengthen its position in the television space.
6. New Look
Incredibly passionate about education, Usher founded New Look in 1999 to improve the lives of disadvantaged children and adolescents. The non-profit organization has four basic pillars; talent, education, service, and career. Its program begins in the 8th grade and carries through a student’s high school and post-secondary education. Participants in Usher’s New Look achieve 100% graduation rates and all go on to higher education or job placement.
“Preparing future leaders through my New Look Foundation has always been about having the proper tools to succeed in life. If they don’t have the tools, young men and women from underserved communities can’t even begin to understand the idea of having a new or different perspective,” Usher said about the importance of education.