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    Usher - Confessions

    Release date: March 23, 2004

    Often, it is albums that were at first under-appreciated, at least commercially if not critically, that are eventually understood to have been influential. Exactly the opposite is he case with Usher's Confessions. It sold 1.1 million copies in its first week and would go on to sell over 8 million copies in 2004 alone, while final sales figures now sit at over 10 million.

    Although he was clearly not the first R&B singer to do it, Usher mastered the balancing act between extreme emotional vulnerability, sex appeal, and style.

    Confessions was a massive commercial success, helping confirm the early 2000s trend of so-called "urban music" dominating the pop charts, and its impact can still be felt today, in the music of everyone from Miguel to Drake. Although he was clearly not the first R&B singer to do it, Usher mastered the balancing act between extreme emotional vulnerability, sex appeal, and style. One moment he was crying over a broken relationship, the next he was stealing your girl, and the mix of contradictions that Usher embodied whilst still being wildly successful helped further changes in what is acceptable (or expected) in R&B and pop music.