In what might be one of the more unusual celebrity/product partnerships in recent years, R&B singer Usher’s new single, “Clueless,” will be the prize at the bottom of specially-marked boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios sold exclusively at Walmart.
The song will be on Usher’s forthcoming album, UR, according to Billboard.
In August, Usher cut a TV ad for Honey Nut Cheerios that features the singer communicating with the cereal’s mascot, BuzzBee, using sweet dance moves.
“Bees communicate through dance so the ad was born from that fact and Usher was the perfect choice to bring the commercial to life,” Honey Nut Cheerios executive marketing director Gail Peterson said on the General Mills blog. “Also, Usher loves Honey Nut Cheerios and was excited about spreading the word about heart health, so it was just meant to be.”
The Usher-General Mils partnership and music giveaway could be another troubling sign of the decreasing monetary value of recorded music. Album sales are at an all-time low in the United States. Sure, Taylor Swift just sold nearly two million copies of her new album, 1989, in one week, but her label also yanked all of her music off of streaming service Spotify, the last great hope for commercially successful recorded music.
It seems like the only way to have a massive album release these days is to either drop it in the middle of the night while no one’s looking, or else just blast it out unsolicited to half a billion people’s cellphones.