The delayed third studio album by Usher finally will be ready to hit stores this August, complete with new tracks and a new title.
In March, the singer/actor said he held Napster responsible for the pushback of the LP, which was then titled All About U. After several of the tracks were leaked through the service, Usher decided to record some new music (see "Usher Blames Album Delays On Napster Leaks").
The end result, now titled 8701, is practically a new album, according to Usher's publicist. After heading back to the studio for retooling, Usher liked his new material so much that he decided not to use most of the songs originally recorded for All About U, the publicist said.
Recorded in Los Angeles, New York, Minneapolis and Atlanta, 8701 is due in stores around August 7, and according to his publicist, any similarity to the name 8701 and an 8/7/01 release date is coincidental. The title stands for something significant to Usher, the publicist said, and not even she knew what it stood for yet. While Usher is scheduled to disclose its secret meaning in a matter of months, fans can already hear a sample of the album in the form of "I Don't Know," which features rhymes by Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, executive producer of Usher's 1994 self-titled debut. Originally intended to be serviced only to clubs in May, the song, produced by the Neptunes, has already made its way onto radio. 8701's first single proper is "U Remind Me," which should hit radio in a couple of weeks. A video for the track was shot in Los Angeles by David Meyers (Kid Rock, Britney Spears, Outkast) and is due to air the first week in May.
Along with the Neptunes, Jermaine Dupri who produced most of Usher's last album, 1997's My Way also contributed production to the LP, as did the Flyte Tyme team of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.