The televised version airs Wednesday night on NBC and companion networks (see list below). The official word: Usher and Darius Rucker have been added to the lineup of performers set to hit the stage for the May 29 “Healing in the Heartland: Relief Benefit Concert” organized and headlined by Blake Shelton. Others set to perform include Luke Bryan, Rascal Flatts and Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic, as well as Grammy Award-winning artists Miranda Lambert, Reba and Vince Gill.
Usher is a coach alongside Shelton on NBC’s “The Voice” and is a multi-platinum recording artist.
Usher has been ranked by the Recording Industry Assn. of America as one of the best-selling artists in American music history, having sold over 44 million albums worldwide. He has won numerous awards including eight Grammy Awards and was named the #1 Hot 100 artist of the 2000s decade. Billboard named him the second most successful artist of the 2000s decade, with his career-propelling 2004 album “Confessions” being ranked as the top solo album of the 2000s decade. Usher has attained nine Hot 100 #1 hits (all as a lead artist) and 18 Hot 100 top-10 singles.
Rucker, who has been the lead singer of Hootie and the Blowfish since the band was formed in 1986, is now a certified country performer. His latest album, “True Believers,” included the release of single “Wagon Wheels,” which hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Chart.
Tickets for the concert went on sale Saturday morning and sold out in under five minutes. The event will take place May 29 at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City.
The concert will be televised live at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC. It will also air on cable networks Style, G4, Bravo, E! and CMT on either a live or delayed basis.
“Everyone has their way to help, and mine as an entertainer is to perform to help raise money and awareness for this tragedy,” Shelton said. “This is why I want to do this special and especially hold it in Oklahoma City, which is near ground zero.”
The event will raise funds for the United Way of Central Oklahoma May Tornadoes Relief Fund. Working with their local community partners, United Way of Central Oklahoma will use the Fund for immediate, intermediate and long-term recovery and rebuilding efforts in Oklahoma following the tornadoes that devastated Moore earlier this week.
R.A. Clark (Academy of Country Music Awards, MDA Show of Strength Telethon) is executive producer. Rob Paine is supervising producer and Gregg Gelfand is director. Gene Pack is the writer for the special.