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Do Super Bowl halftime performers get paid? How much Usher stands to make for his 2024 show

FULL INTERVIEW: Gayle King and Usher
FULL INTERVIEW: Gayle King and Usher 22:06

When Usher took the stage for the halftime show of Super Bowl 2024, he had one of the world's biggest audiences — but the eight-time Grammy winner won't be taking home one of the world's biggest paychecks. In fact, he'll follow other major performers in earning less than the price of admission — if anything at all.

How much do Super Bowl halftime show performers get paid? 

Sunday's matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs will have multiple entities raking in money, but the same can not be said for Usher, who will not be getting paid other than union scale, a minimum guaranteed in a union contract, according to published reports

Assuming the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists union's most recent contract applies, that would translate to about $1,000 a day, People Magazine reported.

How much does the Super Bowl halftime show cost? 01:15

Why doesn't the NFL pay Super Bowl halftime performers?

The NFL has a long-standing policy of only paying union scale for halftime performers that in the past have included Beyoncé, Rihanna, Prince, Madonna, Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney. The NFL not only has a solid track record of never paying big bucks to performers, it has gone as far as to try to charge artists for the chance to bask in the limelight of a Super Bowl audience. The NFL in 2015 solicited fees to perform from Rihanna, Cold Play and Katy Perry, who in the end rejected the notion. 

Perry agreed to perform but not to pay for the opportunity, telling Forbes: "I want to be able to say I played the Super Bowl based on my talents and my merit, thank you very much." 

Why do Super Bowl halftime performers do the show for free?

Why would musicians accustomed to earning six or seven figures a show agree to perform for nothing or a pittance of their usual take home? For one thing, they are essentially getting to showcase their music to more than 100 million people without having to pay any of the costs, as the NFL does cover travel and production expenses. And that can be pricey. The NFL reportedly spent about $13 million to cover the costs of Jennifer Lopez and Shakira's 2020 halftime show

In Usher's case, the highly anticipated 12-minute performance on Sunday will help promote the singer's upcoming world tour and a new album release, and should be personally memorable for him as well.

"It's gonna be a celebration. I'm gonna try my hardest not to cry, break down and cry on the stage," he told "CBS Mornings" co-host Gayle King. 

Super Bowl LVIII is airing on CBS and Nickelodeon and streaming on Paramount+ on Feb. 11 from Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.

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