Usher wows Macau

Usher wows Macau

Young Post intern Charmaine Li got up close with Usher at a recent press conference before joining the screaming fans for the final night of the star's first Asian Tour

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Photo: Sony Music
Usher started the last show of his debut Asian tour on Tuesday night at Macau's Cotai Arena an hour late. But his rousing rendition of Caught Up more than won the crowd over. This was followed immediately by the song which gave him his first Grammy nod, You Make Me Wanna, and the hits didn't stop coming, all accompanied by sizzling choreography and Usher's undeniable charisma.

The lighting, laser and smoke effects added to Usher's solid performance, Michael Jackson-style footwork and caramel-smooth vocals. He segued effortlessly between tracks from his six albums. Burn, Confessions, and U Remind Me all made an appearance, as did the huge single Love In This Club, U Got It Bad and Yeah! - the last of which topped the US Billboard singles chart for five consecutive weeks.

When the King of R&B was asked if he enjoyed performing other styles of music, he replied that he's just 'looking to make a meaningful contribution to music... be it a king, a pioneer, a motivator, an artist.

'Music,' he said, 'is all of it... It conveys a collective experience... Nobody is left out.'

Despite his last album only being released in March, Usher fans can look forward to Versus, a new mini-disc which will be released in late August. It will contain a repackaged version of songs that were welcomed enthusiastically online (usherworld.com) but didn't make it into Raymond V Raymond. Three songs have already been recorded, one of which is a collaboration with Jay-Z and a female artist who Usher referred to as 'the big secret right now, so look out'.

While clearly tired after his whistle-stop tour of Asia, Usher was excited to be with his Hong Kong and Macau fans. 'You get the treat of the last show,' he told the crowd. 'The last stop is always the best one.'

One thing missing from the night was a collaboration with a Chinese star. At his Beijing show, the American performed a duet with Chinese singer-songwriter Lee Hom. The song, The One and Only, was sung entirely in Mandarin.

'It was very difficult to sing in Chinese,' Usher said, 'especially since I learned it all in a crash course over one day ... But we really wanted to do something really special for our fans ... We made history in Beijing.'

But those of us in the South China region shouldn't feel too put out - Usher hinted he'd be back.

'This Asia Tour is so that I can get familiar with fans and thank them for their support,' he said. 'I sure want to come back and see you all.'

The show wrapped up with the five-time Grammy Award winner's new hit, OMG - a blend of Will.i.am's crisp beats, a seductively repetitive melody and lyrics that everyone in the crowd seemed to know, leaving them still dancing and reluctant to leave when the lights finally came up.

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