Usher is on the R&B cover of Billboard’s 2021 R&B/Hip-Hop Power Players issue, in which he discusses his Las Vegas residency and his new album. The R&B singer, known for his career-defining 2004 album, Confessions, is currently preparing his ninth studio album. He says he has yet to lock in on a title for the follow-up to 2016’s Hard II Love.
“I am not at the place where I’m going to sign off on the album title at this point. But I am working on an album, and it would be very smart to say it will come out this year,” Usher tells Billboard. “It’s probably too vague right now to determine whether it’s going to be in the Confessions vein or if it’ll be something else.”
Usher has been working on his untitled album for years, reaching back to Confessions producers Jermaine Dupri and Bryan-Michael Cox. In the last year, he’s has released music videos for his singles, “Bad Habits,” “I Cry,” and “Don’t Waste My Time,” featuring Ella Mai.
Usher says the pandemic allowed him time to “reset” and “put together a body of work that speaks to all of the people that I’ve been able to capture as fans but also will be something unique to me and to R&B music that doesn’t just live in one space.”
“There’s always the responsibility to speak to the audience that has been growing with you, and also to a new audience,” says the 42-year-old. “What I’ve always done is just try to make music that’s as true as I can possibly be and also offer something I think people can learn from and experience with me: relationships, love, life, the reality of our growth, and maturity.”
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