Usher to release Here I Stand
LaFace/Zomba recording artist Usher debuts at No. 1 on SoundScan's Pop and R&B Albums charts with his fifth studio album, Here I Stand. This is the highest debut of the year for a male artist. Here I Stand is the Atlanta-based singer's second No. 1 debut on the Top 200 Albums chart and his third No. 1 debut on the R&B Albums chart.
Title: Here I Stand
Release date: 05/27/08
Label: Jive Records
Single: Love In This Club
Buy at: Amazon
This week Usher dominates international charts as well, bowing at No. 1 in Canada, Japan (International Chart), Australia, and for the third time in a row, debuts at No. 1 on the UK Albums chart. Additionally, Here I Stand enters Top 5 on album charts in Ireland, Switzerland, New Zealand and the Netherlands.
Fans and critics have praised the singer/songwriter's newest effort: The New York Times declares, “Usher knows what works in the suave come-ons that have made him the male R&B sex symbol for a generation;” Entertainment Weekly raves, “…Stand’s tunes deserve a place in the dance-floor pantheon;” The Los Angeles Times observes, “… [Here I Stand] a more accomplished version of “Confessions,” the hooks more effortless, the singing even better, the songwriting more consistent.”
Usher’s latest certified hit, “Love In This Club” featuring Young Jeezy, has remained a Top 10 staple on Billboard’s Hot 100 Singles chart for 14 consecutive weeks and has sold close to 3 million digital units (digital singles, ringtones and ringbacks) to date. The poignant follow-up single, “Moving Mountains” is rapidly climbing the singles charts and the riveting video, filled with breath-taking special effects, recently debuted on MTV and BET.
interview with Usher
If you're going to run around calling yourself by one name you'd better be able to back it up with some serious talent, not to mention a few album sales for punctuation. At this point in his career Usher Raymond IV, or Usher as he's known to his fans, has earned the right to brevity. A man with five grammy awards and 30 million records sold worldwide can pretty much call himself whatever he pleases. Now, riding high on the success of first single, "Love In This Club," he's poised to further solidify his standing with the release of his fifth studio album, Here I Stand.
A testament to his maturity as both a man and father, he describes the album as, "an example for my son to someday understand that when you stand and you stand for what's right, regardless to what anyone else's opinion may be, you are right because no man is able to judge another for what he stands for." Impressed by his new music, not to mention the sentiment behind it, we were lucky enough to get Usher on the phone and have him explain his intentions first hand. Along the way he talked to us about the power of honesty, living up to your own expectations and why, sometimes, it's just too hard to choose.
Q: So what's your favorite song on this album and why?
A: I know it sounds cliché to say that all of them equally are my favorite, but my favorite thing that I did on this album, which are the interludes, because honestly I feel like it's one cohesive effort to make an album. An album-it takes, you know, a chapter at a time to make a great book.
Q: Can you talk about maybe one or two of the songs for this album that you feel are most personal for you?
A: You know, as I said, all of them, together, collaboratively, make up the chapters of a great book, of a great journey. You know, with all great novels, books, there is a beginning, a middle and an end. But the plot has to be something surface, something of substance and value. And that topic is love. So, you know, I'd have to say the entire album. Of course, it's called Here I Stand, so everyone is going to look out for that record. And it is incredible.
Q: You kicked off Confessions with the Club Banger, "Yeah!" and then you came with the more serious record behind it. And now we have "Make Love in the Club." So that's sort of a strategy or that's just how things sort of worked out?
A: Well, it was twofold. One, it is strategic, you know, in a way, because you want to make a record that is relative to what I think the pace of life is and the beat of life is. But the greatest part about it-it kind of worked to our advantage because what I'm doing by having "Love in this Club" as my first single is I'm taking you back to the beginning of this story, well, the story of the journey that I'm getting ready to take you on, the story of my life, the story of the guy who was the hustler and a player in the club and finding his way for the moment, making his way through a lifetime. And life will see you through many seasons and high peaks and low valleys. And then life will give you tons of, you know, seasons, sometimes when it's raining or sometimes when it's shining. But, ultimately, the end of the story leads to a lifetime. And that's what the entire project is all about.
Q: I just wondered if you had any film projects in the works. Are you still putting acting on the backburner or are you thinking about coming back to the screen? Are you still putting acting on the backburner or are you thinking about coming back to the screen?
A: I'm still trying to manage a way to bring both of them together, maybe in a theatrical piece someday. Nothing is on the horizon. But as long as I keep putting feelers like that out, I'm pretty sure somebody's going to approach me. I really did enjoy my time at Broadway. So it kind of spoiled me. I'm really looking for that musical or that song-and-dance piece that I could put together.
Q: Between acting and singing and dancing and your fragrance line and the philanthropies you're involved in, what else is there that you'd like to get involved in, that you'd like to dip into?
A: Oh, man. I think that the greatest of all of them is being the coolest dad in the world. You know, I want to make sure that I'm proud of the father that I am to my child. That would be the most rewarding out of all of them, you know?
Q: What's been your favorite collaboration and why?
A: My favorite collaboration for this album, in the making of this album-actually I have to split it two ways-is, one, the queen, Beyoncé and Lil Wayne, actually on my remix - not remix, sorry, part two of "Love in this Club." And the other is "Best Thing" with Jay-Z.
Q: Right now there are a lot of real talented artists coming up who are young in the years: Rihanna, Chris Brown, Jordin Sparks. Do you have any words of advice for those artists coming up and what they can do to stay on a path like you?
A: To stay on a path like me, you know, I would say, one, you got to stick around. You got to continue to work, grind, to get it, and that's obvious, you know, judging from, how much you see them and how much they work. But I think, just really creating an expectation for yourself every day. And if that expectation is to win, to do something positive, to give great work to the community of music, of artistry and entertainment.
Q: Your music is in such high demand that the label has moved up the release date. So the fans are ready. So do you feel a little bit pressured by that or honored or a little of both?
A: Well, I mean, in this day and age, you know, when they want it, you've got to give it to them or else they'll find a way of getting it without your permission. So it has been important. This has actually been a process that I've been prepared to put out for the last, I'd say, four or five months. So it kind of made it easy.
The hardest part, honestly, was the secrecy, you know, because I worked on a lot of songs. And going through the trial and elimination process, you know, of how I would tell this story was kind of difficult. But, you know, I don't think it's going to add any pressure. I think that it's just time.
The people have been really asking for it. There's been a heavy, you know, a callout for this record. I've been listening to it for like the last, I'd say you know, eight months. So I'm ready and ready to shock the world.
Q: What was the most challenging thing about making this album?
It is very hard to tell the truth, but it's even harder to tell yourself a lie. And in making, each and every song, I realized this. It was just very painful, you know, to talk about certain things, you know, in life.
I think, just the honesty in it, and finding the voice to feel comfortable and vulnerable that, in a way, in a sense to say certain things. You know, I'm sharing these intimate thoughts and this intimate place that I'm in with everybody. Of course, that is really what it is, and that's what makes it authentic soul R&B music.
Usher’s newest single, “Love In This Club,” features Young Jeezy, and is co-written by Usher and produced by Polow Da Don. The smash hit currently holds the #2 position on both the Hot 100 and Hot Digital Tracks charts. The song became his eighth #1 hit and is the lead single from his forthcoming, fifth studio album, Here I Stand. The video for “Love In This Club” was directed by the rising directing tandem of the Brothers Strause and will have its worldwide debut on MTV on April 7th.
Slated for global release on May 27th, Here I Stand is Usher’s follow-up to his history-making, 9x platinum-selling Confessions. Within the first week of the release of Confessions, Usher sold more than any other R&B artist in the history of SoundScan. The album spawned four #1 hit singles and Usher spent 40 weeks in the No. 1 position on The Billboard Hot 100– which is more than any other male artist in the nearly 50 year history of the chart. Worldwide, the multi-talented, five-time Grammy-winner, musician and actor has sold nearly 14 million copies of Confessions and it earned a multitude of honors including MTV, BET, and People’s Choice awards.
Over the span of his 14-year career, Usher has sold close to 26 million albums worldwide and combining all of his single, album and DVD sales, he’s sold in excess of 36 million units globally. With four studio albums, the eponymous first release, Usher (1994) and multi-platinum albums, the 6x-platinum My Way (1997),the 4x-platinum 8701 (2001), and the 9x-platinum Confessions (2004) and one gold-certified live album simply titled Live (1999), and a string of #1 hit singles including “U Remind Me,” “U Got It Bad,” “Yeah,” “Burn,” and “My Boo” Usher’s return to the top of the charts is inevitable. The Tennessee-born, Atlanta raised performer, songwriter, producer, dancer, actor started his multi-faceted career at the age of 15-years old.
Usher Raymond IV has achieved what few other contemporary entertainers have ever accomplished. He most recently launched a successful line of signature fragrances, actively heads up his own charity, New Look Foundation, a camp for teens that teaches them about the entertainment business, and he is part owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team.
"Here I Stand" by Usher - release date: 05/27/08..