TODAY

TODAY   |  July 03, 2013

Usher creating ‘different take’ on July 4 fireworks

The eight-time Grammy winner chats about his upcoming task “curating” the Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks spectacular, for which he singlehandedly selected all the music.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> first, a man known for pretty amazing footwork, usher sitting next to us. he's an 8 time grammy winner . served as a coach on the voice.

>> hello.

>> do you talk with your hands too.

>> hand talker.

>> that's kind of my side gig.

>> so you have a really exciting gig tomorrow night. you are the curator of the macy's fireworks which includes picking the music and did you pick out all of the fireworks and the displays.

>> myself and those that have done the show many years came together. of course my sound track also giving creative direction and cure rating it from an artistic interpretation. dance around the stage and also work with light and also sing. this is just another way of me interpreting myself artistically but on one of the largest stages ever.

>> were you picky about it? i want a red firework here or there. i want this or that.

>> yeah. it took a lot of time and detail to perfect it. it is our american history moment. for 37 years they've had this incredible show and as a kid i watched it. now as an adult i'm able to make an incredible experience for america .

>> the music is choreographed beautifully. everyone from frank sanatra to kelly clarkson .

>> yeah, i wanted something everybody would appreciate, old or young, giving the mixture of who we are as people in america and how optimistic we are about music and experience in life. that should be depicted in this fire in the sky moment.

>> usher created the ultimate mix tape and no ultimate mix tape is complete without usher. so how do you pick?

>> i took the liberty to put myself in the middle of it all but in addition to that, they created a specific shell for me, meaning --

>> firework.

>> usher red, we hear?

>> yeah, usher red. but i wanted to pick songs that were celebratory. that were recognizable. people have, you know, party with these songs. been a part of incredible performances. now you get a chance to see a different take on the song.

>> omg, yeah.

>> are you a fire starter? on a normal 4th of july would you have the sparklers out.

>> of course.

>> i thought so. i had a feeling about you maybe did.

>> get in a little trouble?

>> yeah, i've tried to do my own experience in my backyard a couple of times and burnt the lawn.

>> meanwhile you're setting a lot of fireworks on the voice. you're doing a great job. second season you'll be back in the spring for that. how are you going to take it from blake shelton .

>> that lucky devil, man.

>> is it hard living with him right now? is his head so big.

>> he's living on a high cloud. somebody has to tear him down. if not adam, shakira but he is a great coach and taught me a lot. i knew nothing about the show in detail. of course i had seen it as a viewer but the time and investment in building these artists and helping them interpret themselves and also giving lessons to america about what it takes to be an artist and why i wanted to do it.

>> what has the show meant to you because i haven't told youingly know i was a usher fan until i saw him on the show or a blake shelton fan until i saw him on the show.

>> many times people have an idea or perception of who an artist is until they see him in the moment. when you see someone make an investment in someone else and see the growth, and kind of see, i guess what my opinion about entertainment is, greater than just what i do. you learn something about me and it's been good, man. i'm really looking forward to season 6 and mark burnett is definitely -- he figured out something. he figured an incredible thing out with the voice.

>> we know he can be multitalented. more of that talent