- Usher’s net worth is $200 million, but he was accused of handing out counterfeit “Ush Bucks” at a Las Vegas strip club in 2021.
- The “Ush Bucks” were actually part of the promotion for Usher’s Las Vegas residency.
- A representative from the strip club debunked the claim that Usher paid with fake money.
Usher has been performing since he was a child, and he’s spent most of his adult life as one of the most successful and beloved musicians in R&B history. Unsurprisingly, he’s been paid very well for his efforts, although he was likely paid nothing for his Superbowl 2024 half-time performance. Usher currently has a net worth of $200 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth, which has come from a mixture of album sales, concerts, and endorsements.
One would assume that Usher would have no problem footing the bill at, say, a Las Vegas strip club, but a 2021 incident led to the musician being accused of handing out counterfeit dollar bills with his face on them. The kicker? They were reportedly called “Ush Bucks.”
A Las Vegas Dancer Claimed That Usher Paid Her In ‘Ush Bucks’ During A 2021 Visit
The “Ush Bucks” saga began in April 2021. An Instagram user named @beel0ove claimed that she worked as a dancer at Crazy Horse III Gentleman’s Club in Las Vegas, and she posted an image of a twenty dollar bill and a one dollar bill that swapped out the faces of U.S. Presidents with Usher.
The caption that accompanied the image read: “What would you ladies do if you danced all night for Usher and he threw this?” The image then got reposted by a friend of @beel0ove, who criticized the musician and called him “cheap.” Some of the highlights from the posts include:
“Working so hard to get nothing in return, this is a joke!! Their job is to entertain, take your cheap a*s back home!!
@beel0ove made a second post that was more accusatory, and it was eventually picked up by the celebrity news site, the Shade Room.
The second post clarified that “Ush Bucks” had no value as currency, and put forth the suggestion that Usher should be criticized as a result:
“The money does not have a trade in value whatsoever! LAMO [sic] don’t y’all think he should be blasted on social media for this s**t.”
Usher was promptly “blasted” by fans, who were taken aback by the musician’s alleged actions and felt that he was being unfair to the dancer who performed for him at Crazy Horse III Gentlemen’s Club.
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The original posts have since been taken down from Instagram, but the Shade Room post containing screenshots is still available to look at.
Every person who stumbled upon the “Ush Bucks” story on Instagram asked the same question: why did Usher have fake money with his face on it? Well, it turns out that the musician actually introduced the concept of “Ush Bucks” on his Instagram account mere weeks before he was accused of spending them.
In a since-deleted post, Usher donned a black-and-yellow suit and posed against the backdrop of the Las Vegas desert. He had his foot resting on a clear suitcase filled with money, and a closer look at the suitcase reveals that the fake money was actually part of the rollout for his Vegas residency in 2021, and never intended to be used in place of the real thing.
Usher confirmed the concept of “Ush Bucks” during an interview with Billboard. It was during this interview that he explained their purpose:
“The idea behind Usher Bucks was really as a way of promoting the residency… We’ve been working on the merchandise.”
Usher didn’t address the accusations made by Instagram user @beel0ve, but he did tell the outlet that he’d had “more conversations” with his merchandising team about how to improve and provide the best possible “experience” for fans.
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Usher did not, however, abandon the idea of “Ush Bucks.” In fact, he repurposed it and sold it as the core design of an entire line of “Ush Bucks” clothing. A month after the @beel0ove story broke, Usher released a limited edition line of hoodies, shirts and bucket hats with the design emblazoned on them.
The pieces ranged in price, from $25 to $170, and were promoted heavily by the Shade Room, adding another level of irony to the whole incident.
A Club Representative Debunked The Claim And Confirmed Usher Paid Real Money
While the initial story made it seem as though Usher stiffed a dancer by paying her with fake money, an investigation by TMZ revealed that this wasn’t the case. The outlet reached out to a representative from Crazy Horse III Gentlemen’s Club, who claimed that Usher did not spend any fake money, and that he was actually quite generous with the real money he did have:
“[Usher] actually dished out authentic greenbacks, while also going on to tip the staff at large quite generously.”
Furthermore, the rep told TMZ that Usher spent thousands of dollars on dancers, in addition to bottle service. He was such a gracious guest, in fact, that the rep said Sapphire (the owner of the Crazy Horse III Gentlemen’s Club) would “love to host him again, anytime.”
So, what happened with the original post? Well, Snopes suggests that some of the fake “Ush Bucks” were left behind at the Crazy Horse III Gentlemen’s Club, and @beel0ove posted them on her social media as a joke.
The fact-checking website notes that the original post did not accuse Usher of paying with “Ush Bucks”, but was a prompt that asked followers what they would do “if” they were paid with fake money. The second post made by @beel0ove appears to have been completely false.
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This theory is supported by TMZ, who reported that one of the members of Usher’s entourage left “Ush Bucks” behind at select Las Vegas locations in an effort to promote the musician’s impending residency.
That is, to paraphrase the title of an Usher song, what it was made for.