Seemingly back on top, the climate was altogether quite different for R&B crooner Usher back in 2008.
Indeed, some years removed from the record-breaking success of global smash ‘Confessions‘, the singer found himself in somewhat of a tricky spot with his fans. Billed as a ‘lothario’ of sorts, the new married-with-a-child Usher did little to help such a cause; a cause which -until- had arguably been his biggest selling-point. Paired with a very public dispute with his mother over his wife and life, Mr Raymond‘s musical release that year – ‘Here I Stand‘ – seemed almost destined to perform poorly. Indeed, though being certified Platinum, the project’s lack of hits beyond first single ‘Love In This Club’, sunk it faster than the titanic.
Fast forward to today and one could be forgiven for believing the above-mentioned never took place. For, off the back of gargantuan hits such ‘OMG’ and ‘DJ Got Us Falling In Love’, Usher is every bit the chart force he was for much of the previous decade.
However, for some, this renewed success has come at a price – his R&B roots. Yes, his latest effort ‘Raymond vs Raymond’ served up Urban geared cuts such as ‘Lil Freak’ and ‘Hey Daddy’. Yet, some argue, there’s no coincidence that it was the Dance flavoured songs which received the most backing and ultimately the most success. As such, Usher in 2011 has emerged as quintessentially Pop. A problem, it seems, for some of the R&B enthusiasts who helped propel him in the first place.
As such, That Grape Juice took to the streets of Hollywood to hear what the people think of Usher in 2011. Did he sell out? Are they still fans? How does he compare to the new breed? This is ‘The Word…On Usher’.