Usher vs. an Usher: Stacking up two shimmying Atlanta showmen

Usher Raymond is a Grammy-winning superstar, but Melvin Russ is the Atlanta Braves’ nimblest dancing usher
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R&B megastar Usher, 36, has sold a zillion albums and plays a much-hyped homecoming concert December 9 at Philips Arena. Melvin Russ—still the Atlanta Braves’ nimblest dancing usher at 73—performs 81 games per season and counts himself a huge Usher fan. (He attended a 2001 Madison Square Garden show where Usher opened for Michael Jackson.) Here’s how the shimmying showmen stack up.

Illustration by Mica Hendricks
Illustration by Mica Hendricks

Usher Raymond
Known for
Smooth vocals, fluid dance moves, and “Yeah!”
Seats filled 17,700—capacity of Philips Arena. Tickets for Usher’s show range from $50 to $505
Seasons Has been a “coach” for two seasons on The Voice
Earnings $46 million in 2011, the year of his last major tour, as estimated by Forbes
Recognition 8 Grammy awards during his career; once named “sexiest R&B star” by People.
Endurance This year’s UR Experience tour stops at 27 cities.

Melvin the Usher
Known for The Moonwalk, hip thrusts, high kicks, and a double chop
Seats filled 535—seats in Section 407. At 81 home games a season, that’s 43,335 attendees.
Seasons Has worked seven seasons at Turner Field;  missed zero games
Earnings He donates all tips to the Braves Foundation, which supports 40 nonprofits.
Recognition 17 “Diamond Honors” recognition chips in 2014—determined by compliments from attendees
Endurance Performs 35 dances per game to tunes ranging from the “William Tell Overture” to “Chattahoochee.”

On the calendar: Usher brings his UR Experience tour to Philips Arena on December 9.

This article originally appeared in our December 2014 issue.

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