ATLANTA — As the old hip-hop saying goes, it's official like a referee with a whistle: Usher confirmed to MTV News on Wednesday night that he is engaged to his longtime girlfriend, stylist Tameka Foster.
"I'm engaged now," he said, smiling. The Grammy winner even said he could be walking down the aisle before the end of this year.
Rumors of Usher's pending nuptials have been floating around for a little over a month. Photos of Usher and Foster — with a rock on her finger — have also made the rounds, but on Wednesday night, he confirmed the information publicly for the first time.
Another milestone in the singer's life is the release of his next album. Usher is back in full recording mode and says that he's aiming to have the album in stores by November.
"We're still trying to find the title," Usher said, standing in the vocal booth of Jermaine Dupri's So So Def studios, which was a hive of activity on Wednesday night: While Usher and JD talked over album business, Bow Wow played basketball on the studio's indoor court.
Of course, Usher also got some work in. First, at his home studio, he listened to tracks from his younger brother James "J. Lack" Lackey (Lloyd's "Get It Shawty"), who'll be joining JD as a producer on the new album. He then traveled across town for another session with hitmakers Dre and Vidal (Alicia Keys, Mary J. Blige, Justin Timberlake). Finally, the singer worked with JD until a little after 2 a.m.
Usher said he feels that music is a little stagnant these days, but wants his fans and peers to know that "daddy's home."
MTV News will have much more Usher news in the coming days.