Usher’s dinner party rule: Don’t come empty-handed, but don’t bring potato salad

Usher’s Las Vegas residency at the MGM is the latest Vegas success story. I keep hearing that his show is incredible and he’s got A-listers making the trek to Las Vegas just to sit front-row at his shows. To promote the residency (and he just likes to chat), Usher spoke to The Cut about party rules, drinking and vacations. Some highlights:

His dinner-party rules: “Don’t come empty handed. If you come to a dinner party, I think it’s appropriate to bring something. Napkins, a bottle of Rémy. Not everybody likes your potato salad, so don’t bring that. But bring something. I think that’s just a natural thing of etiquette, something to just say, “Hey, let’s celebrate together, and I brought this in honor for this moment that we have together.”

His pre-show rituals: “I warm up, I work out, try to eat light, and we say a prayer and go. When I say we, I mean my entire cast, not just core dancers, but the entire staff. We meet backstage right before we go onstage and say a prayer, making sure everybody’s safe while we are here to put good energy in the room. It’s helpful, I’ve been doing it for years; it gives people that feeling that it’s like family.”

His No. 1 rule for a night out drinking: “Before, it’s a sip. Afterward, it’s a gulp.”

Party rules: “Don’t let friends drink alone. That one gets you in trouble every time, but we drink together and in that moment we just have a little fun.”

He loves to skate: “It ain’t about how many times you fall, it’s about how quick you get back up. And also what you learned from the fall. Skating is like a metaphor for life. Skating helps you stay young; it takes you back to your childhood, when you had less cares in the world. I think we spend so much time on our phones, it’s a bit hard to just release, relax, and let go of that device. You’re kind of forced to disconnect from that and just reconnect with yourself.

His rule for tailoring suits: “I got to have a gusset in the pants because I need to move. I build out every suit to accommodate my dancing, not just the look of it. I want you to feel me, but I ain’t really trying to have you feel me, feel me. That’s one golden rule.

[From The Cut]

I agree that it’s simply good etiquette to bring something to a dinner party. I disagree that you shouldn’t try to do something homemade though! It depends on whether or not you can cook and whether or not your potato salad is any good. But if you don’t want to risk it, yes, just bring napkins or a bottle of wine or a gift for the host/hostess. My tip: make a batch of brownies (real brownies, not pot brownies) and put them in a nice tin. Maybe people will eat the brownies at the dinner party, or maybe they’re just for the host. As for the drinking rules… I’m the same age as Usher and I have no idea how he can still drink before and after his shows and still work like that AND party like that. My ass would need to dry out and go to bed.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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26 Responses to “Usher’s dinner party rule: Don’t come empty-handed, but don’t bring potato salad”

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  1. Roo says:

    His comment about potato salad made me think about the SNL skit about potato salad and I just chuckled. I wonder if he’s been burned by raisins in potato salad and made a hard line rule? 😆

    • Eurydice says:

      Lol, only a little bit of salt, no paprika, and something unnecessary like raisins. T’Challa got the hang of it.

    • Fabiola says:

      I agree on the potato salad. Not everyone likes potato salad so it would go to waste. Bring a bottle of wine or dessert.

      • Leigh_S says:

        Potato salad 🙂
        new potatoes (to hold their shape)
        Diced sweet onion
        diced red/yellow/orange peppers

        Toss with light coating of dressing below, top with crumbled bacon and sprinkle of paprika afterward. Should be quite strong to taste before putting on the potato salad. Otherwise, the result is just bland.

        – white wine vinegar 1/4c
        – Dijon mustard 1/4c
        – 2 tablespoons of mayo (maximum)
        – salt
        – pepper.
        – honey (start with 1 tablespoon, add to preference)

      • Mel says:

        @Leigh Agree with the new potatoes but I just use red onion, celery and carrots and sweet relish. For me the peppers tend to get soggy. I do like looking at other recipes though.

    • StillDouchesOfCambridge says:

      Dont come empty handed like Prince Eggplant and Princess Buttons. A bottle of wine, dessert, flowers (with water and a vase), candles. If you are bringing food, it should be for a potluck or it should be requested or vetoed by the hostess beforehand to make sure it fits with her planning.

      I love to have celebrities entertaining tips or how they like to do their hosting.

  2. Lala11_7 says:

    I am SO GLAD that Vegas residences are getting popular again…because this is now the ONLY way I would go to a concert…it’s ultimately more impactful to me to go to one of the BEST entertainment cities in the 🌎 to be entertained❣️

  3. Digital Unicorn says:

    I was raised to always take something with me if someone invites me to their home – if a neighbour invites me round for coffee I take some sharable snacks, or if I have a dinner invite I either take a bottle of wine or food to share around (I tend to play safe by not taking anything with nuts in it or taken gluten free snacks along, which surprisingly goes down well).

    • SarahCS says:

      My mother is French and has been in the UK since the early 70’s. A year or two back my boyfriend and I had a fascinating conversation with her about the difference between the French hospitality rules she learnt growing up and her experiences in England. That was when I realised how much I had absorbed from her without realising it! Even going to a friend’s house for a cuppa I’ll bring something, maybe just a couple of small cakes from the bakery. You never show up empty handed! My boyfriend is still surprised (after 13 years) that I want to bring something when we go to his parents or siblings houses (they live far away so we’re always staying over).

  4. MMC says:

    That’s very cultural.
    Here, when you’re the host, you’re the host. It’s outrageous to expect people to bring food to a dinner you are hosting. That’s why things like potlucks are so fascinating to me.

    But then it’s also impolite to not bring something if you’re going to someone’s home, so people usually just get a huge amount of wine or coffee.

  5. Lala11_7 says:

    For YEARS starting in Mama would host Thanksgiving dinner…for a LARGE gathering which is why I have PTSD regarding…Thanksgiving…because the week BEFORE Thanksgiving was HELLISH 😠🤪 in my home with the INTENSE cleaning & cooking…my Mama would SET IT OUT…food…drinks…ALL you had to bring was your appetite & good vibes ❣️ One year my Mama’s baby sister hosted Thanksgiving and told her to bring a dish…and it was as if my Aunt said to my Mama…”I Declare WAR!!!”🤣😬🫨 almost 40 years later…that is STILL a sore subject and when I see my 86 year old Mama tomorrow…I’ma show her this story…just to get MOTOR RUNNING 😁😆😅Because I was raised that if you HOST a party…you provide EVERYTHING…though I’ve ALWAYS asked my Host if I can bring something

  6. FHMom says:

    Wine or dessert or flowers.. You can never have enough of those things. However, making it a rule is rude. Like a PP said, a host should never require guests bring anything. And a guest should never come empty handed.

    • MMRB says:

      @fhmom – bringing something is good etiquette as a sign of appreciation because someone is hosting you, it has nothing to do with expecting people to do it because you are hosting. Its ” for the house” meaning the host can choose to use it at the gathering or keep it for “the house”.

  7. Eurydice says:

    Zeus is also the God of hospitality and he will strike down not only bad hosts, but bad guests, as well. Growing up in Greece, a murderer would get more sympathy than a guest who arrived empty-handed. As a kid, I remember the fashion being gladiolas and candied fruit – horrible, but Zeus was appeased.

  8. Jillian says:

    His potato salad comments are funny but he’s got a point: unless specifically requested by the host, prepared foods or sides shouldn’t be brought. The host has a plan, best to go with flowers, wine, napkins, ice, a pretty candle, or a sweet treat that can be kept for later (cookies in a tin) – a modest gift for the host’s home.

  9. Shawna says:

    Lately, my friends and I just have a direct conversation: “What can I bring?” That avoids any worries. I do try to bring things that will offset my part of the cost of someone cooking the main meal or hosting the whole party.

    When I make pizzas for friends, I make it point to provide all the food myself and my pride would take a hit if someone brought prepared food. It’s a joke now because every once in awhile I totally screw it up and we have to order Domino’s because there’s a horror show in the pizza oven that needs to be chiseled out.

  10. Bumblebee says:

    Did he grow up in the Midwest? Potato salad, macaroni salad, jello salad, pea salad, broccoli salad. The salads that would show up at every pot luck and not one of them had lettuce.

  11. yellowy says:

    I agree with him on the potato salad. Anything with the possibilities of significant quantities of mayonnaise and/or hard boiled eggs is problematic.

  12. Twin Falls says:

    Don’t make people pray at work.

  13. ama1977 says:

    When I host, I plan for everything and I don’t want you to bring anything but yourself! And wine, wine is always welcome. When we have informal neighborhood parties, everyone always wants to bring something, so I try to ask them to bring a starter or a dessert, since the kids will eat as much sugar as they can without adults catching on, lol.

    I was also raised to never arrive empty-handed, but to bring something for the host unless specifically asked to bring something for the event (which I think is fine between family and close friends.) If you don’t know what the plan is, it’s an imposition to bring something for the event unless you were asked, because it might not “go” or might be a duplicate. But flowers, a wrapped pound cake/container of cookies, or a nice bottle of wine or champagne are always appropriate IMO.

  14. Libra says:

    Never any perishable food. Stick with something just for the host or hostess. Wine, candy, nuts, homemade jam or jelly. Love the homemade cookie/ brownie idea also a small loaf of homemade bread is nice. I never bring food to serve unless requested. It’s an insult to the host who already has the meal planned.

  15. Lily says:

    See’s Candies or Hudson Grace cocktail napkins. No refrigeration and everyone’s happy.

  16. Deering24 says:

    Hmm, his aversion to potato salad might stem from the eternal Hellmann’s vs. Miracle Whip debate. People will literally go to war over which one is best in potato salad–and never the twain shall meet. 😂

  17. J.Ferber says:

    He looks good in the header pic.