Superstar Usher is one of the most successful musical artists in history. The R&B singer has a slew of top hits, multiple movie appearances, his own fashion line, and, of course, the hearts of many millennials securely in his pocket. Hits like "Yeah!" and "My Boo" still play on our radios -- and in our minds -- on repeat. In 2024, millions will tune in to watch him perform live at the Super Bowl. "He's a great singer/dancer/entertainer and has the hits catalog to back it up," said a fan on a Reddit thread discussing the NFL's choice of performer. "A solid choice."
All of this recent hype surrounding the talented singer we have listened to (and crushed on) for years has brought some relevant questions to mind. We can't deny that the 45-year-old has done an immaculate job keeping in shape over the years, maintaining his health and energy to such a degree that he can still crush it on stage for a stadium full of screaming fans.
How does Usher, fully known as Usher Raymond IV, seem to be aging like fine wine? Well, since diet plays such a major role in our overall well-being, we have to ask ourselves: just what is the famous singer eating to keep himself so active and successful? We dug into articles, interviews, and news reports to find out what's on this star's plate to give you a look at what Usher really eats in a day.
M&M's ... Especially The Orange Ones
Who says a little bit of chocolate can't be good for you? Although the sweet, indulgent treat often gets a bad rap in the health department, studies suggest that, at least when it's consumed in reasonable doses, a bit of chocolate can be beneficial to your health. This is largely because cocoa contains flavanols that may have a positive impact on heart and brain health. Researchers suspect that flavanols, which can also be consumed in some fruits, tea, and red wine, may also help stave off age-related cognitive issues (via NIH).
Given Usher's ability to energetically dance on stage while simultaneously belting out a song, we can safely assume that his heart is in pretty good condition. Could some of this cardiac gusto be attributed to the singer's long-time love of -- wait for it -- M&M's?
While we certainly can't pin Usher's heart health on chocolate alone, we can say that the singer is a self-professed fan of one of America's most popular candies. In a 2004 interview conducted by the New York Post, Usher unapologetically spoke of his love for the candies. "M&M's. I'm a fiend for M&M's. I like them sorted, and the orange ones are my favorites," he elaborated. Although M&M colors aren't flavored differently, such as is the case with Skittles, we're going to assume that Usher has his reasons for this orange-colored preference.
Vegan Recipes, Most Of The Time
According to Statista, an estimated 4% of the U.S. population is vegan, while another 5% of Americans are vegetarians. Vegans consume zero meat, including any animal byproducts such as cheese, yogurt, or eggs, though vegetarians are often okay with consuming dairy and eggs. Though some are shocked by or even choose to mock this exclusively plant-based diet, the many health benefits of veganism are starting to become more widely known. Netflix docuseries "You Are What You Eat: A Twin Experiment" centered on the differences between vegan and meat-heavy diets, bringing much attention to this growing and often highly-debated lifestyle choice.
Yet another surge of publicity for veganism has come from what many might consider to be a rather unexpected source: Usher. That said, he does admit that he has gone in and out of sticking to the plant-focused eating plan for years. While he sometimes adheres to it less strictly than others -- admitting he does still eat chicken and beef on occasion -- he has kept plant-based proteins and meals at the fore to counteract common health issues like high blood pressure, clogged arteries, and other negative conditions that are associated with consuming large amounts of meat. Regardless of how you feel about veganism, everything in moderation is hardly a bad mantra to live by, and Usher certainly seems to agree.
Does there exist a more romantic snack in the entire world than chocolate-covered strawberries? We don't think so -- and neither does notorious ladies' man, Usher, either. This is evidenced by the many, many instances in which the singer has fed (and subsequently been fed) chocolate strawberries to his fans over the years during his live performances.
The rather humorous instances of strawberries popping up at Usher concerts are so numerous that there is an entire TikTok search thread titled, "Usher feeding strawberries to women." Investigate further, and you'll find a slew of unique culinary experiences that are publicized for the world to see. "I'm coming out with a tray of strawberries, ladies," Usher announces to the crowd in one of these recordings. Of course, the crowd goes wild as a result. "Be on the lookout," he continues, "they will be chocolate-covered."
Does this mean we will we get an epic strawberry-feeding moment at this year's Super Bowl? We're sure that many will be waiting with bated breath and crossed fingers to find out.
Everyone loves a good, juicy burger that's smothered in melty cheese. But what happens if you're avoiding meat? Is it still possible to indulge in the popular dish that many of us find so comforting and delicious? Thankfully, due to the growth in both vegetarianism and veganism over the past few years, the options for meat-free burger lovers are becoming more numerous. And Usher, who has been so public about his push toward a plant-based diet, has found a vegan restaurant in Georgia that serves up a stellar vegan burger called the "Ménage à Trois."
The "Ménage à Trois" can be found on the menu of The Slutty Vegan, a Black- and woman-owned eatery run by Pinky Cole and based in Atlanta, Georgia that started its journey as a food truck, eventually outgrowing its wheels to become a brick-and-mortar spot with multiple locations in Atlanta and beyond. The restaurant's multi-layer beast of a sandwich utilizes a plant-based patty topped with vegan shrimp, bacon, cheese, onions, lettuce, tomato, and a secret sauce, all placed in a vegan bun. The "Ménage à Trois" sounds like a slam dunk, even if you're not following a plant-based diet. Usher brought some serious publicity to the restaurant after chowing down on one in 2019 and sang its praises (pun intended) on Instagram. We must admit, our mouths are watering just thinking about it.
Crackers And Canned Oysters During Quarantine
The COVID-19 pandemic and its subsequent quarantines brought out sides in people that many of us didn't even realize we had. Depression ran rampant and anger simmered under even the friendliest of personalities. Additionally, whether it was because many favorite restaurants were shut down or boredom got them, many people found themselves increasingly active in their kitchens. Some crafted homemade burgers, others baked pies from scratch, many went wild for sourdough, and some -- like Usher -- got creative with some innovative snacks.
In a 2020 video chat with SiriusXM, Usher discussed what he'd been eating. "You know what man, everything in the refrigerator," the singer answered, confessing that consuming junk seemed easier because everyone "just wants to feel good." It was what he said next that raised some eyebrows, however. The award-winning performer admitted that one of the concoctions he had thrown together to bring some spark to his quarantined palate was crackers topped with canned smoked oysters. We likely all craved some atypical things while we were stuck inside, but many may arguet that this is one of the more unique hankerings. What can we say? Usher is one of a kind.
Rémy Martin Cognac
We have to assume that going out on stage in front of thousands, sometimes millions, of people must be at least slightly nerve-wracking. Therefore, we'd also assume that every performer has a set of practices to prepare themselves before going out in front of an audience. In the case of Usher, this routine reportedly involves working out, prayer, and, sometimes, a dash of cognac.
"Before, it's a sip," the singer told The Cut. "Afterward, it's a gulp." Usher also divulged that his number one drink of choice is cognac crafted by French company Rémy Martin. The singer's love for the hard beverage is such that he has landed a partnership with the company. Over the years, Rémy Martin and Usher have sponsored After Party tasting experiences for fans after his concerts, as well as creative cocktails and, recently, a bizarre yet equally awesome-sounding A.I. encounter with the singer. Delicious drinks and virtual reality Usher? We're intrigued.
A Good, Smooth Pinot Noir
Wine seems to be another of Usher's favorites. That's so much so, that the R&B star tried his hand at opening up his very own wine bar and bistro. Working with business partner Solomon Smallwood, Usher opened the tasting restaurant the Grape in 2006 at Inman Park in Atlanta. Noting that he wanted to create an atmosphere where people could sit comfortably and sip good wine, he told Wine Spectator what some of his most favored wine picks were.
"There are so many," said Usher. "Caymus Special Selection is one of my favorites. I love Oriel, especially the Credo Pinot Noir. I drink De Venoge. I also like Corton-Charlemagne. I've had a Merlot or two that was pretty nice ... When I go out, I try to find new things and bring them back to the table." According to Spectator, the specific Oriel Pinot Noir that Usher mentioned as his favorite was crafted specifically for the Grape.
Unfortunately, we're not sure we'll ever be able to taste it now. The first location of the Grape closed in 2009, just three years after its grand opening. It's not clear why it went under, but we like to believe that Usher still has plenty of bottles of Oriel and his other favorites sitting in a wine cellar at his home.
Fish, Blueberries, And Pistachios When Leaning Out For Movie Roles
Usher has not only made a notable career in music for himself, but he has excelled in the film sector, as well. "The Faculty," "She's All That," and "Light It Up" are just a few of the movies in which the singer has been featured, but perhaps his most famous and difficult role was that of boxer Sugar Ray Leonard in 2016 film "Hands Of Stone." Getting prepared for his time in the movie involved lots of mental and physical prep that helped Usher get into what he described as the best shape of his life.
To embody Sugar Ray Leonard, Usher said that he followed the "Matrix" diet, which employs significant amounts of lean protein and very low levels of carbohydrates for optimum muscle development and fat loss. "When you're playing a role like this, you can't act a boxer. The only way you know what it is to be a boxer is to be one," Usher told People in 2016. He further divulged that he focused on five to six small meals a day to achieve his look in the film, while also taking on an intensive workout schedule.
What was on the menu specifically? A lot of fish, blueberries, and pistachios, he clarified. While this may seem to be a rather random assortment, it certainly helped him achieve his goal, as Usher got down to what was, for him, a rather unbelievable 146 pounds for the role.
Never Potato Salad
We all have that go-to casserole, side dish, or dessert that we prepare and bring with us when we get an invite to a dinner party or holiday get-together. Some reach for the recipe book and make cookies, others whip up a plate of pigs in a blanket, grab a nice bottle of wine, or bake a pan of brownies. Then, there's the ever-popular potato salad. However, if it turns out that Usher is your host or guest of honor, you might just want to leave this last one out of your party spread.
In an interview with The Cut, Usher made it clear that he doesn't like it when potato salad is brought as a side dish to dinner parties. "Don't come empty handed," he said when talking parties. "If you come to a dinner party, I think it's appropriate to bring something. Napkins, a bottle of Rémy."
But Usher reserved a bit of ire for spuds, at least in salad form. "Not everybody likes your potato salad," he stated, "so don't bring that." Ouch. It's a real slap in the face to one of America's most popular side dishes, but we suppose we can't knock him for speaking up for his taste buds, can we?
Southern-Style Foods, On Occasion
Though it seems that Usher focuses on eating clean overall, he will occasionally enjoy classic soul food. That's especially true when it comes to supporting small businesses when he's featured at a music festival. Take the case of when Usher was one of the headliners at The Dreamville Festival in Raleigh, North Carolina in 2023. Thousands of people flooded into the city to hear their favorite artists perform -- and, subsequently, shop and dine in the area. One restaurant in particular received the business boost of a lifetime.
The staff of Big Ed's Restaurant, a Southern-style eatery in Raleigh, were likely in shock when Usher showed up at their front door ready to eat. "It was awesome. I love the fact that he supports local businesses because you know, he didn't have to come here," Cam Goodson, who owns a beauty parlor across the street from Ed's, told local outlet ABC11. She described how her patrons instantly leaped out of their chairs, running to her salon's windows to catch a glimpse of the beloved singer.
At Big Ed's, Usher reportedly dined on hotcakes, eggs, and fried catfish before he took a photo with the jubilant workers. The restaurant saw an almost immediate increase in sales after the star-studded visit. While we're certain the Big Ed's staff was extremely grateful, we're also sure that Usher was, too. Nothing quite hits the spot like good Southern-style cooking, after all.
Italian Food From Esther's Kitchen In Las Vegas
It's always fun finding out what our favorite celebrities' restaurants are, especially when you think of them dining out just like the rest of us. In the case of Usher, it appears one of his preferred spots for a meal out is Esther's Kitchen in Las Vegas. In 2021, the superstar made waves when he stopped in at the celebrated Italian restaurant in the heart of the city.
Per the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Usher and his companions sat down at Esther's Kitchen to dine on pear and goat cheese salad, fried seasoned cauliflower, spaghetti garnished with basil, chicken, a vegan squash risotto, and one of the restaurant's well-known sourdough loaves. One eating guest implied that Usher was incredibly pleased with the meal, to the point where he was spotted "hugging" himself with joy after every nibble of dessert. This visit kicked off Usher's Vegas residency, which required that he live in the local area. Given his positive experience at Esther's, we have no doubt he returned. "Just flashing back to Usher's visit with us," said the restaurant on its Facebook page, "and looking forward to his residency in June. Who's going with us?
Read the original article on Mashed.