The Grammy-winning star, according to a press statement, will begin a six-week stint as Billy Flynn — the role created in this revival by Tony Award winner James Naughton — on Aug. 22. He will play the role through Oct. 1. Usher follows a long list of celebrities who have played the slick lawyer, including George Hamilton, Huey Lewis, Wayne Brady and John O'Hurley. About joining the Broadway company, Usher said in a statement, "This is a very exciting time in my career. I have always admired Broadway actors for their showmanship, dedication and focus that goes into performing live on stage every night. Being on Broadway allows you to connect to audiences in a whole new way that’s different from music and movies. When they asked me to play Billy Flynn in Chicago, I jumped at the chance to be a part of such an amazing production."
Usher is a five-time Grammy Award-winning artist. His fifth album, "Confessions," was released in 2004 and sold over 15 million copies. The Hip-hop artist has also appeared in such films as "She's All That," "The Faculty," "Light it Up," "Geppetto," "Texas Rangers" and "In the Mix." His television credits include "The Twilight Zone," "7th Heaven," "Moesha" and "American Dreams." Chicago will mark Usher's Broadway debut.
Chicago currently features Brenda Braxton as Velma Kelly, Rita Wilson as Roxie Hart, Obba Babatunde as Billy Flynn, Kevin Chamberlin as Amos Hart, Lillias White as Matron "Mama" Morton and R. Lowe as Mary Sunshine.
Chicago won the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical in 1997 as well as awards for actors Bebe Neuwirth and James Naughton, director Walter Bobbie, lighting designer Ken Billington and choreographer Ann Reinking. The original production was directed and choreographed by the late Bob Fosse.
Chicago plays the Ambassador Theatre, located at 215 West 49th Street.