Usher to play Dubai in March
The R&B chart-topper, Usher, will hold his first Middle East concert in Dubai this spring.
Tickets will be on sale from this morning for the March 10 concert at the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre, which will be the only stop in the region for his upcoming OMG World Tour.
The Grammy award winner will be promoting two albums released earlier this year, Raymond V Raymond and Versus.
The show was significant because it not only demonstrated demand for live R&B music in Dubai, but also the region's ability to draw big names, said Gordon Masson, the live-concert critic for London-based Music Week magazine.
"More mainstream acts like Usher are starting to recognise the Middle East as a credible market, and that shows that promoters are now able to get the A-list acts," he said. "A lot of people see him as the heir apparent of Michael Jackson, and he's based his career on that, so it must be exciting for the region."
Thomas Ovesen, the chief operating officer for the tour's promoter, Done Events, called Usher "one of the best hit makers in the industry".
"People in this region love Usher's music and I can't think of a more requested performer that hasn't yet played here," he said.
Usher, 31, began his music career in 1994 after being discovered on the US television show Star Search. His second album in 1997, My Way, sold more than seven million copies and catapulted him to stardom.
He has since sold more than 50 million albums, won 17 Billboard Music Awards, eight Soul Train Music Awards and five Grammy Awards. The multi-platinum recording artist has enjoyed 13 consecutive Top 20 singles, seven of which were number one hits.
Raymond V Raymond held the number one spot on Billboard's R&B chart for seven weeks and includes the radio hit OMG, featuring hip-hop singer will.i.am. The song's music video was nominated for MTV's Best Dance Video, Best Male Video and Best Choreography awards.
Tickets for the show are expected to be available through the website, www.usherdubai.com. Regular admission is Dh295, while tickets for the front pit are Dh495 and the VIP lounge costs Dh995.
Tickets also became available online this week for the concerts of Amy Winehouse and Pharrell Williams's band N*E*R*D in February, which Done Events is also promoting. Offline tickets for the shows, to be held at the 15,000-capacity Dubai Festival City concert arena during Gulf Bike Week, should be available sometime next week, the event's organisers said.
General admission for the N*E*R*D show on February 10, with special guest Mike Posner, costs Dh250. The Amy Winehouse concert the following night is Dh300. Tickets for the Rockstar Lounge or Golden Circle are Dh500. Those tickets can be purchased at www.gulfbikeweek.com.
Usher's OMG Tour launched in the US in November and has stopped in 25 cities in North America.