TODAY | July 03, 2013
>>> there's almost nothing he doesn't do, signing his first record deal at 14, usher has been singing ever since. now with eight grammy's to his name, he's now a businessman and judge on "the voice."
>> the sky is the limit. tomorrow he's going to be lighting up your independence day as the curator of the macy 's fourth of july fireworks show , hand picking the music you're going to be hearing on one of the great, great, great evenings of celebrating our nation.
>> we thought you'd be on your yacht in the south of france, but you're with us.
>> even if i was in the south of france, it wouldn't be speedos or thongs. i went to "the voice," but you don't want to know me that well.
>> why not?
>> usher in a thong! usher in a thong! on a yacht!
>> these are the only cheeks you're getting.
>> what you're doing is pretty incredible, it's never been done before, you are the curator of the macy 's day fireworks extravaganza. what does that mean?
>> let me start with this, in 37 years, macy 's has never had anyone be the curator of the experience.
>> what does that actually mean?
>> curating of art is one's interpretation of what it is. for me, curating this experience, this is my opportunity to work along macy 's to create an image in the sky, artistic image in the sky. i see curators of art. artistic curators, malcolm mcclain, in terms of what he was able to do with punk rock and curating.
>> not familiar with that one.
>> russell simmons .
>> i know him.
>> russell simmons curator to music.
>> what sort of music are you hit something.
>> is "summer breeze" in there?
>> no, i'm sorry, i left that one out. i have a little sam cooke . to me, that kind of represents, i think, what we are, culturally as people, what the standard of life has been, what the conditions of our life have become. how things have begun to change, you know? what i thought about the musical score, thinking about bookends, youth and an older generation who really do appreciate music. can we create a story or sound that works together. a lot of times i'll blend the music together. i have an orchestra and jimi hendrix working together. jay-z and alicia keys and frank sinatra . in the middle of it, i put myself in there.
>> which song did you use?
>> a few, actually.
>> nice to be the curator.
>> just got a minute left. you had such a great contestant on "the voice."
>> michelle samuel.
>> she did you proud.
>> i'm performing in atlanta and we're going to spend a little time down there. she has been an incredible story, and i just think that it was an incredible experience, incredible artist. season six i'll be back.
>> you had a real connect with her that was really special. i think we all saw that.
>> see good things for her ahead.
>> i see major things for her in the future. great that bradberry is continuing to move on, but i think it would be ideal for us to put together music.
>> that's great. we'll look forward to seeing what you guys do.
>> good luck tomorrow.
>> tomorrow's going to be fun. you can catch the macy 's 4th of july fireworks spectacular at 8:00/7:00 central right here on nbc.