Usher Celebrates Black Music Month in New Tiny Desk Concert: 'This Is Black Magic Right Here'

In a new Tiny Desk Concert by NPR published Thursday, Usher Raymond IV, 43, sang his classic hits in a celebration of music and culture.

He featured vocalists Eric Bellinger and Vedo, artists the Grammy-winner called his "brothers." The band included Dmitry Gorodetsky on the bass, Lemar Guillary on the trombone, Brandyn Phillips on the trumpet, Jay Flat on the saxophone, Darek Cobbs on keys, Erick Walls on the guitar and Ryan Carr on the drums.

"I'm hoping to just really have fun today. This office party that we're having," Usher said before starting off with his first throwback tune — "You Make Me Wanna…" which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.

After performing his 1997 hit "Nice & Slow," the R & B singer smiled and said, "Celebrating Black Music Month. This is Black magic right here, baby."

"This is a lot of fun and I really am happy to just celebrate the years of music and really celebrate my brothers," he said. "I'm really happy to be able to share. I think that if life has taught us anything it's that we should share with each other, not just the music but to understand that life is a collaborative process and be able to lift each other up, stand with each other is all it's really about."


The show could be described as nothing but fun as at one point, Usher got the Tiny Desk crowd singing to his 2002 single "U Don't Have to Call." Unlike most other shows of the series, Usher flipped the camera around and talked to the audience many times throughout. "If you feel like singing, I don't wanna stop you from doing what you wanna do," he told the crowd.

"Being able to sing and just be joyous, there's something about that that just ties us and brings us together," the singer said to the audience.

The singer signed off with "Confessions Part II" and "My Way." Usher's performance also marks the end of NPR's Black Music Month Tiny Desk Concerts, which comprised of curated shows in "a celebration of Black artists expressing themselves in ways we've never seen before."

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