BEVERLY HILLS, California — Usher has another confession to make.
“I did promise there would be no more music [from me this year], but unfortunately we’re back in [the studio],” the singer said Monday, winking at the “unfortunately.”
The new music will be the soundtrack to Usher’s first movie in four years, “Dying for Dolly” (see “Usher Breaks Form In ’Dying For Dolly’ By Not Dancing”).
“This time it’s not me — it’s my label, Us Records,” he explained. “There will be guest artists on the soundtrack as well. I’ll be producing as well as writing, but most importantly, I’ll be executive-producing.”
Usher kept further details to himself, but it’s likely that singer Rico Love and R&B group One Chance — the first artists he’s signed to Us Records — will appear alongside some of Mr. Entertainment’s famous friends. The film opens on November 23.
In other Usher big-screen news, the singer said he’s still developing a movie project with MTV Films. He also set the record straight about “Dreamgirls,” the Beyoncé-starring musical that Variety reported he had joined, but that Usher’s mother/manager later said he hadn’t (see “Usher’s Manager/Mom Denies ’Dream’ Role Opposite Beyonce” ).
“There was consideration and conversation about it, [but] I’m not greenlit for the film yet,” Usher said. “But it’s a great film for me to be a part of … if … let me get that check, man!”
Usher was attending the 22nd annual ASCAP Pop Awards at the Beverly Hilton, where he collected several plaques (ASCAP is a not-for-profit organization that monitors and collects performing-rights royalties for its members). He also joined Mariah Carey in presenting his friend Jermaine Dupri with the Golden Note Award for lifetime achievement.
“He’s been very, very instrumental,” Usher said backstage. “As a record-maker, as a songwriter, he’s definitely been influential in developing my talents and helping me to articulate myself.”
Dupri, who attended the ceremony with girlfriend Janet Jackson, said he was honored to be awarded the same trophy that P. Diddy, Jay-Z and Stevie Wonder have received in previous years.
“It’s kinda crazy,” he said. “I always dreamed to be this dude and be in the same company of people I’m in company with tonight. I’m starstruck.”
Outkast, Maroon 5 and producer Scott Storch were also among those honored, and Neil Young received the Founders Award, also for lifetime achievement.
In his acceptant speech, Young joked that a hip-hop record could be in his future. “I love good rap music,” he said. “Most things I soak up, and it comes out here and there, so keep your eyes peeled. My mission now is to boldly go where no hippie has gone before.”