All hail King Usher. The R&B superstar reigns over the cover of Billboard wearing a bejeweled plastic crown over his hoodie with the tagline, “Usher in a New Era.”
In anticipation of his upcoming tour, the 36-year-old father of two spoke to the magazine about his new album, protégé Justin Bieber, and relationship with girlfriend/manager Grace Miguel.
He has dozens of songs finished for his upcoming eighth album including ones with Skrillex and Diplo, but the project still doesn’t have a release date. Three singles have debuted including “Good Kisser,” the Nicki Minaj-assisted “She Came to Give It to You,” and “I Don’t Mind” featuring Juicy J.
His “UR Experience” tour, which kicks off on November 1 with supporting act August Alsina, will feature elaborate choreography, tons of pyro, and a 13-piece band that Usher refers to as his “funk-soul orchestra.”
“This will be one of my freest tours,” said Usher. “Shit, I’m singing love songs that went on to be baby-makers—and now the damn babies are in the audience. Talk about a family reunion.”
In between dates on his European tour, Kid Ink met up with Usher and Tinashe in Atlanta to shoot the video for his new single “Body Language.” The racy visuals, inspired by a peep show, called for lots of scantily-clad ladies and even some S&M. Usher held it down OG style, while the Batgang leader showed off some moves of his own. Tinashe looked stunning as she hit the set in a black leotard.
“It’s gonna get dirty and weird,” warned director Darren Craig.
The song, produced by Stargate and Cashmere Cat, will appear on Kid Ink’s upcoming album, due in 2015. He and Tinashe will also perform at Power 106′s Cali Christmas on December 5.
Usher survived “The Breakfast Club” on Monday. While he avoided Charlamagne, DJ Envy and Angela Yee tried their best to grill him about everything from pole dancing to female hygiene.
During the 30-minute interview, he revealed that his album is still not done (He’s worked on 40 songs) and discussed his place in R&B. Even though he’s been in the industry for 20 years, he still doesn’t feel like a veteran.
While he’s been candid about his personal life in the past, don’t expect to hear that on his upcoming album UR.
“This album is probably not going to be about my personal life,” said Usher, who has collaborated with Drake, Nicki Minaj, Pharrell, and Skrillex.
On November 1, Usher will launch his “UR Experience” tour with opening act August Alsina. He shared his support for the “No Love” crooner and revealed that the two have become friends. “Thank God nothing happened too severe,” he said of August’s recent health scare.
Plus, find out if he’s seen his ex-wife Tameka Raymond on VH1′s reality show “Atlanta Exes” and how he remains grounded.
Bandz a make her dance. Usher finds love in the strip club on the Dr. Luke-produced “I Don’t Mind” featuring Juicy J, which has been officially released after leaking in June. The R&B kingpin sings the praises of a stripper, who knows how to shake her money maker, but still comes home to him.
“Shawty, I don’t mind if you dance on a pole / That don’t make you a ho,” he sings. “You can take off your clothes, long as you coming home / Girl, I don’t mind.”
Usher’s eighth album UR is set to feature collaborations with Drake, Nicki Minaj, and Skrillex. On November 1, he will launch the “UR Experience” tour with August Alsina in Montreal.
The iHeartRadio Music Festival returned to Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena for two days of the biggest music stars on the planet. Friday’s jam-packed lineup included Nicki Minaj, Ariana Grande, Usher, Taylor Swift, Jason Derulo, and Coldplay, with plenty of surprises.
Queen Nicki delivered her biggest hits including “Super Bass,” “Beez in the Trap,” and “Anaconda,” and even spit her verse on Beyoncé’s “Flawless (Remix)” a cappella. She also brought out Ariana Grande for “Bang Bang,” and closed with “Starships.”
Ariana served up a soaring set of her own with “The Way” and “Problem,” as well as new cuts off her No. 1 album My Everything. While her rumored boyfriend Big Sean was backstage, Childish Gambino joined her on stage for “Break Your Heart Right Back.”
Usher lit up the arena with his UR singles “Good Kisser” and “She Came to Give It to You,” and surprised the crowd by bringing out Chris Brown for “New Flame.”
Surprise guest Alicia Keys, whose second child is due in November, showed off her baby bump and blessed the stage with her empowering new anthem “We Are Here.”
Usher stopped by “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” for a surprise appearance on Monday. But instead of showing off his moves on stage, the R&B superstar worked up a sweat while taking Ellen’s “American Ninja Warrior” challenge in the parking lot.
The 35-year-old singer, who will launch his “UR Experience” tour this fall, jumped, swung, and climbed his way through the obstacle course, without missing a beat.
“I do my own stunts! #YoungStunna,” tweeted Usher after crossing the finish line.
Usher kicked off Fashion Rocks 2014 with a bang. The R&B superstar gave viewers a taste of the “UR Experience” as he performed his Pharrell-produced single “She Came to Give It to You” at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on Tuesday. In addition to jamming with his all-female band, he got flirty with British model Jourdan Dunn.
His upcoming eighth album UR does not have a release date, but he has collaborated with Chris Brown, Nicki Minaj, Drake, Pharrell, Jermaine Dupri, Ed Sheeran, and Skrillex.
“The album isn’t scheduled anymore. I’ve basically taken it back. I’m taking my time with it,” he told Billboard. “At the end of the day, all of this is just about having fun. You get in the studio [and] go with how you feel.”
You can see more of Usher’s slick moves when he kicks off his 27-city “UR Experience” tour in Montreal on November 1.