R&B artist Usher will reach legendary or iconic status before his career is over, but there are many things he wished he could have done better or not done at all. In a recent chat with Questlove for Pandora, the close to three decades music veteran shares some intriguing details about his long-standing career in music and business.
Below are excerpts from the interview, courtesy of EBONY:
The Confession: Usher on his one career regret!
“So there’s one thing in my career that I definitely regret, one thing. And to this day I battle with it which is why I always show support of this artist whenever he asks…So his manager comes in…They show him to me…I was working on an album at this time, they wanted him to perform on this album…I was like okay cool…Then I went to my team and they was like ‘I don’t think you should work with this artist’…Then he left…Chris Brown.”
Do you think this would of made a difference in the Chris Brown we see today?
Artist in the middle: The L.A. Reid and Babyface feud that left Usher without an album…
“…when I first signed to LaFace Records, I wanted to do an album with Babyface and LA Reid, right? I signed specifically for that reason. So LA Reid wanted Babyface to work on me and they were going through, you know, a lot of drama at the time. They were kinda severing their ties…he got mad…And he built an entire album for me, and he gave the whole album to somebody else…Tevin Campbell! ‘Can We Talk’…was my song…”
We love Usher but “Can We Talk” was the perfect record for Tevin Campbell’s silky and soulful voice.
Old Flame: Usher addresses his first marriage to Tameka Raymond.
“…that marriage and that relationship was gonna come to an end…but it served a purpose in my life…And no matter what my mother was attempting to tell me, and a lot of people were trying to tell me about that, I think a lot of it had to do with my lack thereof a father…I did not want to be a person who would just roll out…”
Break the Chains: Usher on social issues and current societal climate
“…if we really want to begin to remedy some of the issues we have, we gotta be more disciplined ourselves to be people who share our information…I ain’t just talking about mentoring people in your company. Or because it’s a company duty and responsibility to do that shit. No, find people to mentor and talk to them. Bring them together. Create groups, talk to them as a collective because you got insight and offer that.”
We agree with that!