Two weeks after undergoing surgery for fracturing his foot, Usher had a message for Global Citizen CEO Hugh Evans. “I might be a little injured, but I’m gonna make sure that I’m there for you,” he promised. Alluding to his plans he then said, “Listen, I wanna come in style if that’s OK with you.”
Sporting a gold crutch, the R&B superstar impressively hopped and hobbled his way through a two-part 45-minute set at the 2015 Global Citizen Earth Day concert at Washington DC’s National Mall on Saturday (April 18).
At several points, the “I Don’t Mind” singer even bunny-hopped on one foot to properly turn up for a trap remix of “Yeah!” and dance hits like “Without You,” and current collaboration “Don’t Look Down” featuring Martin Garrix, who flew in to appear during Usher’s set.
Continuing with the surprises, Usher covered John Legend’s Oscar-winning song “Glory,” during which Common joined him on stage. He then switched roles helping out the rapper with some hits of his own, “Go” and “The Light,” where Usher took on hook duties in lieu of Erykah Badu.
With the crowd at new levels of hype Usher kept the covers going as he flipped to rock mode, performing The Beatles’ classic “Come Together.” Later, he announced that he would donate his gold crutch to the first person who downloaded the Earth Day app and completed the five actions necessary to help stop climate change. “I’ma give you the crutch off my arm, and I’ma give you the shirt off my back.” But before the ladies got too loud, Usher laughed. “I wanted to just test to see if y’all were ready for me to take my shirt off.” Though he didn’t accommodate that wish, he did provide another unexpected cover, as the crowd of over 250,000 joined him for U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.”
It was a very memorable performance from Usher, but he wasn’t the only R&B star who performed at the concert. The legendary Mary J. Blige helped warm up the DC crowd earlier in the day, with past and present favorites, including “The One” and “Just Fine.”
Check out Usher and Mary’s performances below!