Usher to Use Virtual Dancers During Concert Webcast

Usher Family Friend Under Investigation After Stepson Jet Ski Collision

Viewers of the singer's June 11 webcast will get a chance to join him onstage, via virtual avatars.

The Tupac Hologram Effect continues: without resurrecting legendary artists, R&B song-and-dance man Usher has some tricks up his sleeve in terms of crowd-pleasing, futuristic concert antics.


Buy This Issue | Reblog on Tumblr

According to The New York Times, the singer will use digital dancers to back him up during his concert at London's Hammersmith Apollo on June 11. The show will be streamed online on Usher's VEVO channel, and viewers will get a chance to join him on stage -- virtually -- during his performance of the song "Scream."

"Literally, people will be able to create their own avatar and have it dance on the screen with Usher," said Hamish Hamilton, director of the concert webcast and Madonna's 2012 Super Bowl halftime extravaganza.

The show is part of the American Express Unstaged series partnering recording artists with high-profile directors; recent pairings include Jack White with Gary Oldman in the director's chair, and Mary J. Blige with Adam Shankman.

The multimedia company Moment Factory, based in Montreal, is behind the virtual dancing technology.

"They're feverishly beavering away, trying to put flesh on the bones of this fantastic idea that they said they possibly could do and we all jumped on," said Hamilton. "They foolishly, in a meeting, said, 'Yeah, we can do this.' At which point we went, 'All right -- do it. We'll see you in two weeks in London.'"


The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to

To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.