There's no title and no release date, but Usher says to trust him: He's not going to make us wait too much longer for his anticipated follow-up to 2004's multiplatinum Confessions.
"I'm working on my album," he said via phone from Atlanta on Friday. "It'll be out, I'm not sure when.
"I'm not doing the Dr. Dre to y'all. I'm not doing the Detox," he added, jokingly referring to Dr. Dre's all-too-long-awaited next album. "I'm on my way. I'm actually just about finished. I've been working on it all this year amongst all the other things I've been doing. It's been a somewhat tumultuous year for me. But you go through something to get to something. I'm a married man with a baby on the way, you gotta love that. That's the next major step. A lot of what I plan to offer with this album is kinda standing in this spot. ... The king's back. I ain't gonna say 'back,' I never left."
A few of the people he has worked with so far include Jermaine Dupri and the production team of Dre & Vidal (see "Usher Finds 'Magic' With Jermaine Dupri On New Songs" and "Usher Hard At Work On New LP: Jay-Z, Dupri, Thicke On Board"). Other possible collaborators include Cool & Dre and T-Pain. This week, during personal appearances at Macy's in New York's Herald Square, Usher officially launched two fragrances, Usher: He and Usher: She.
"I wanted to do something for my female fans as well as my male fans," he explained. "I want to leave everybody feeling right. I wanted to shut it all the way down. I felt the only way to get acclimated into this business is to take into account there are two directions you can go into: male or female. Nowadays entrepreneurships start in any direction. I take notes from great designers like Tommy Hilfiger, Giorgio Armani, Tom Ford. These people were able to fully introduce an entire lifestyle brand. Me, I decided to start with fragrance. Clothing is coming. There are other businesses and other ventures as an entrepreneur you can look forward to. This is the one that will get directly on your skin."
Usher says for the past year and change, he was involved in every facet of the cologne-making process, including the smell and the design of the bottles and boxes. The singer has partnered with Liz Claiborne for his new fragrance.