Usher will now take the main stage as co-headliner at the annual Roots Picnic, set to take place June 3 and June 4 at the Mann in Fairmount Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The R&B icon replaces Sean “Diddy” Combs, who was initially announced in February as co-headliner alongside Ms. Lauryn Hill. Combs is no longer part of the Roots Picnic “due to unforeseen circumstances.”
Rapper Lil Uzi Vert and award-winning comedian Dave Chappelle remain at the top on the bill.
Other previously announced performers include Ari Lennox, Lucky Daye, Syd, dvsn, Kindred the Family Soul, Adam Blackstone and Mary Mary with special guest Coco Jones, Soulquarians Icons Set featuring Isley Brothers and Roy Ayers, and more.
This Roots Picnic appearance will mark Usher’s third festival booking this year, following Lovers & Friends Festival and the Dreamville Festival.
Usher is not short of material to perform, considering he’s been drawing sold-out crowds as part of his ongoing Las Vegas residency at Dolby Live at Park MGM in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“Glu,” Usher’s current single, boasts a solid return for the Grammy winner on Billboard’s Adult R&B Airplay chart, becoming his 13th top ten hit. It’s No. 6 at the time of the publication.
Elsewhere, “Glu” moves to No. 5 on Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart this week. The sticky song, co-produced by Sean Garrett, Lil Jon, and The Avila Brothers, earned Usher his 34th top-ten hit on this chart, putting him second behind Chris Brown for the most top 10s among male R&B acts.
Garrett, one of Usher’s long-term collaborators, spoke to Rated R&B about the inspiration for “Glu.”
“I felt like the concept had to be extremely unique. It had to be said in a way that was straddling the line a bit but comes across where everyone can enjoy it. And kind of getting back to just making a woman feel good; that’s what Usher does,” Garrett told Rated R&B in an April 2023 interview.
“He goes crazy with the vocals and it’s truly what R&B music is. We took every piece to the song and took our time to put it together properly to make sure that it felt amazing and was an elevation of what R&B has been happening for late. We wanted to make sure that this was gonna be something that everybody would love.”
“Glu” is Usher’s lead single from his hugely anticipated ninth album, set to release soon on the newly-minted Gamma label, founded by executive Larry Jackson.
Usher’s next album will follow his 2018 collaborative project A with Atlanta-based producer Zaytoven. It will mark his first studio album since 2016’s Hard II Love.
Roots Picnic 2023 Lineup
Adam Blackstone w/ Coco Jones & Mary Mary
Akin Inaj & Inutech
Baller Alert Presents Go Go: Backyard Band vs Rare Essence
Black Thought Live Mixtape featuring Busta Rhymes & Eve
Charlamagne Tha God
Dave Chappelle w/ The Roots
Don’t Call Me White Girl
Kindred The Family Soul
Lil Uzi Vert
Lip Service with Angela Yee
Love + Grit
Ms. Lauryn Hill
Off The Record with DJ Akademiks
People’s Party with Talib Kweli
Soulquarians Set featuring Roy Ayers & The Isley Bros
State Property Reunion (Freeway, Beanie Siegel, Young Gunz, Peedi Crakk, Oschino & Sparks)
The Office XIV
Yussef Dayes Experience
**Lineup subject to change
Ticket information is available at therootspicnic.com.