Usher Reflects on the 'Great Deal of Truth' at Heart of Classic 'Confessions' Album

Fresh off his Apple Music Super Bowl LVIII Halftime Show performance, the eight-time Grammy winner looks back on his acclaimed 2004 album.

usher in sunglasses
Image via Getty/Prince Williams / FilmMagic
usher in sunglasses

These are his (and others’) confessions.

In a new interview with People, Usher, understandably still the topic of global discussion following his highly replayable Apple Music Super Bowl LVIII Halftime Show performance, looked back on his classic Confessions. The loose concept album, which turns 20 next month, was recently certified 14 times platinum by the RIAA. 

While the record's legacy is undeniable, what still remains a source of debate is the degree of autobiography present in its story, specifically the narrative of a man whose cheating results in a pregnancy.

Speaking with People this week, Usher echoed his past remarks on the confessional nature of the writing.

"There is a great deal of truth in that album," he said, adding that a series of “real talk sessions” involving himself and others behind the LP, including producer Jermaine Dupri, ultimately helped fuel the creative process. Usher also highlighted talks he had with publicist Chris Chambers, crediting him with the motivation to “think about who I was and what people know about me.”

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Elsewhere, Usher got a bit more specific about the inspirations for the songs while also reminding listeners that creative liberty means certain details shouldn’t be taken literally, nor are they meant to be equatable with exact documentation.

"Did I have a relationship ever that was exactly what I was saying? Yeah, I did,” he told the publication.

As longtime fans will note, both Usher and Jermaine have spoken extensively about Confessions' intersection with real-life in the past. The latter, for example, told Billboard back in 2018 that “Confessions Part II” centered on “a reliving of a situation” personal to him.

“Those lyrics for [‘Confessions Part II’] were something that I had actually gone through in my life; they were a reliving of a situation,” Dupri said at the time. “I just had to put it in the right words that would make it fit for being Usher’s story.”

At this year's Super Bowl, Jermaine Dupri made a special appearance to introduce the track, which ultimately led into fellow Confessions cut "Burn," which itself has been a near-constant source of lyrics-based speculation.

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Next up for Usher is a run of tour dates starting in August, as well as a newly-in-development drama series inspired by his 30-year catalog of hits.

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