.

Usher Looks Back Five Years After "Confessions"

April 2, 2009 12:25 PM ET

It's hard to believe that it's already been five years since the siren sounds of Usher's "Yeah!" was serenading every dance floor in America, but the calendar doesn't lie. March 23rd officially marked the fifth anniversary of Usher's Confessions, and the R&B singer wrote into MTV News to reminisce about his landmark LP with five confessions about Confessions.

The biggest revelation in Usher's e-mail is the postscript: "Not many people know that Stevie Wonder played keys on Confessions." After some digging, and a little help from the All Music Guide, Rock Daily figured out that while Wonder isn't listed among the personnel on the original Confessions album, he is named on the version that contains four extra bonus tracks including the "My Boo" duet with Alicia Keys. However, Wonder is credited with contributing harmonica and not "keys," so color us confused. Maybe Usher's memory has dulled a bit five years later.

Usher also tells MTV that "Yeah!," arguably the album's biggest hit, nearly didn't even make the final track list. "Lil Jon produced 'Yeah!' and once we finished the record we did a little research on the record only to find out that 'Freek-A-Leek' by Petey Pablo had the same beat," Usher writes. "At times I wonder if it would have made a difference if the beat was never changed. Nobody knew it was going to be that huge of a record." Confessions itself was a huge hit, selling 10 million copies in the States and spending nine weeks atop the U.S. charts, a feat unsurpassed this millennium until Taylor Swift's Fearless reigned for 11 weeks.

Usher wraps up his letter by hinting that another album is on the way: "The anniversary comes just in time for the new album. I got a new story to tell. A new dawn, a new day, and I'm feeling good. Be ready!"

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com