Last week, during our series focusing on the music and the scene in Atlanta, MTV News' Shaheem Reid wrote a blog observing the fifth anniversary of the release of Usher's landmark, multimillion-selling Confessions album, about which he said: "Listening to the music, on which Ush sang about everything in his relationship, I knew I would hear — hell, the world would hear — something different this time. He was already a star, but with this joint, you had the feeling it was going to be different. Usher would be talking about realer things that older cats could also relate to."
Five years on, Usher himself had five things to say about Confessions, which he e-mailed to us yesterday. Take it away, Ush ...
1. Confessions stands today to be one of my greatest pieces of work ever. It was a product of my environment and one of the most conflicted times in my life. However, pressure makes diamonds!
2. No one knows that "Yeah!" almost didn't make the album. Lil Jon produced "Yeah!," and once we finished the record we did a little research on the record only to find out that "Freek-A-Leek" by Petey Pablo had the same beat. At times I wonder if it would have made a difference if the beat was never changed. Nobody knew it was going to be that huge of a record.
3. I didn't have a baby with another woman [a situation depicted in the album's title track], although a lot of people thought that was the case when they listened to the album for the first time. That song was not personally about me.
4. As a matter of fact, I'm still looking for the woman that I supposedly got pregnant. LOL!!! It's funny because that really caused so much controversy ... It was just a song!
5. If I could do it all over again, I wouldn't change anything about Confessions. The anniversary comes just in time for the new album. I got a new story to tell. A new dawn, a new day, and I'm feeling good. Be ready!
Bonus fact: Not many people know that Stevie Wonder played keys on Confessions.