07/14/2006 at 07:00 AM EDT
It may seem like quite a leap from R&B to show tunes, but Usher is making the jump.
The multi-platinum recording artist and five-time Grammy winner is stepping into the wing-tipped tap shoes of shyster lawyer Billy Flynn in the long-running Broadway revival of Chicago, the show's producers, Barry and Fran Weissler, have announced, the Associated Press reports.
Joining a roster of stars who have recently trod the Broadway boards – Julia Roberts, Diddy, Denzel Washington – Usher will be opening in Chicago on Aug. 22 and stay with it until Oct. 1. (Richard Gere played Billy Flynn in the 2002 Best Picture Oscar winner.)
"I have always admired Broadway actors for their showmanship, dedication and focus that goes into performing live on stage every night," the 27-year-old silky voiced singer said in a statement. "Being on Broadway allows you to connect to audiences in a whole new way that's different from music and movies."
Usher's last album, Confessions, sold more than 8 million copies in the U.S. and made its debut as No. 1 on Billboard's 200 Albums chart. Among his hit songs are "Confessions," "Burn," "You Make Me Wanna" and "Yeah!"