Grapevine: Usher’s ‘got it bad’ for Jolly Pumpkin beer

Stephanie Steinberg
The Detroit News

Usher has ‘got it bad’ for Jolly Pumpkin beer

Add Usher to the list of famous people who pop in the Detroit Jolly Pumpkin unannounced. (Flashback to President Barack Obama’s surprise lunchtime visit during the North American International Auto Show.) Manager Shelby Oberstaedt wasn’t at the brewery when the singer dropped by after the Ford Freedom Awards on Tuesday night with three people, but he heard from colleagues that he tried a few beers while waiting for a carryout order. He liked the Madrugada Obscura — an 8-percent imperial stout brewed by Jolly Pumpkin — the best, she says. In case you’re curious, the posse ordered a Brussels salad, zucchini parmesan sandwiches, a fried chicken sandwich called “The Perfect,” truffle fries, artichoke sandwiches without bread and a spinach and artichoke pizza. “He waved to guests but didn’t talk to anyone. His bodyguard didn’t let him,” Oberstaedt says, adding they had no idea the R&B star was coming. “A manager texted me last night and was like, ‘Um, Usher just walked in the door,’ ” she says. “It was kind of like when the president walked in.” Bartender Britany Tillman was lucky enough to chat with the singer, who visited the Motown Museum and Eastern Market earlier that day. “Honestly, I didn’t know it was him,” she says. “A lot of people look like Usher. I was like, ‘Are you who I think you are?’ ” When he confirmed, Tillman vowed “not to make a big deal about it.” However, she was a bit jealous when she went to the back and returned to find a co-worker had stolen her patron. “The co-worker scooped him from me,” she says. Burn.

Food, furry friends and the Four Tops

The Four Tops’ Ronnie McNeir and The Rick Lieder Band will perform at the inaugural Fur Ball on June 4, the kickoff event for the 11th Bowl-4-Animal Rescue at Country Lanes in Farmington Hills on Aug. 13. Proceeds from the event benefit the Friends For the Dearborn Animal Shelter, Michigan Animal Adoption Network and Paws in the D. The Fur Ball will be held from 6-11 p.m. at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi. Tickets cost $75 and can be purchased at

The Heritage Jazz Tour comes to Warren

The 2016 Heritage Jazz Tour will make a stop May 27 at the Jazz Underground in Warren. Featured artists include saxophonist Paula Atherton, who was signed to the late Maurice White’s label, Kalimba Music, guitarist Bryan Lubeck, Grammy-nominated producer and Detroit native Brandon William and the Ginetta’s Vendetta band. Chinese food and jazz might be an odd combo, but concertgoers can order from the Golden Harvest Chinese restaurant above Jazz Underground, which opened earlier this month. The concert will be held at 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased for $30 at or by calling (248) 804-9364.

Depp: Trump would be last U.S. president

There won’t be a 46th President of the United States if Donald Trump is elected, according to soothsayer Johnny Depp. “If Trump is elected President of the United States, in a historical way it’s exciting,” Depp told a London Channel 5 reporter. “Because we will see the actual last President of the United States. It just won’t work after that.” The actor was promoting the film “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” which opens in theaters May 27, when he discussed his theory with journalist Minnie Stephenson. “So you won’t be thrilled if that happens?” she asked. Depp’s response: “I don’t believe in that stuff.” Right. We’re just as confused as you on this.

Thursday’s birthdays

Peter Mayhew, 72

Pete Townshend, 71

Sam Smith, 24

Eleanor Tomlinson, 24