With record sales of 24 million in the US alone, it’s fair billing christening Usher a music royal.
It’s fitting, then, that the singer covers the newest edition of Billboard magazine wearing a crown. After all, his kingly achievements have established him in the history books and his performance style has been adapted and modified by the likes of Chris Brown and (regardless of current predicament) Justin Timberlake.
And yet, the 36-year old finds himself on tricky terrain these days.
In a trait common to major names in 2014, Mr Raymond seems to be making the transition from releasing diamond-certified albums and near-annual #1 hits to struggling to even land gold certifications.
Indeed, the star’s most recent opus – 2012’s ‘Looking 4 Myself’ - has sold 504,000 Stateside, according to Nielsen SoundScan — 800,000 fewer than the LP prior (2010’s ‘Raymond vs. Raymond’).
And while this Fall was to bring with it his triumphant return, the campaign ‘Good Kisser’ led LP was brought to an abrupt halt and its release bumped to an undisclosed date next year.
Speaking to Billboard, the performer explained his reason for the delay. He also opened up on the waywardness of his mentee Justin Bieber.