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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!"

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Song Stories

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

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