Usher Says Napster Influenced New Album
Singer/actor Usher Raymond says controversial music file-swapping site Napster forced him to scrap much of the material on his new LaFace/Arista album. The 21-year-old said he was scheduled to releaseSinger/actor Usher Raymond says controversial music file-swapping site Napster forced him to scrap much of the material on his new LaFace/Arista album. The 21-year-old said he was scheduled to release his sophomore set "All About U" last month, but pushed back the release and started over after the material was leaked to Napster in January. A judge recently ordered the company to block the exchange of 135,000 copyrighted songs.
"All of the songs that were on Napster have been dropped. We're cutting completely new tracks," he said at last weekend's taping of "mtvICON," a tribute to Janet Jackson that airs tonight (March 13) on MTV. "I couldn't do that to the fans: release an album that they have already heard."
Usher said the yet-to-be-titled set will come out this summer. "Pop Ya Collar," the first single serviced from "All About You," has already enjoyed massive international success, having reached No. 2 in the U.K. and No. 5 on Billboard's Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles & Tracks chart.
"I listened to a lot of '80s music when I was making this," Usher told Billboard last fall. "The album is kind of structured like a record from that time."
Since his multiplatinum 1997 debut "My Way," Usher has built a flourishing acting career, which includes a recurring role on UPN's "Moesha" plus prominent roles in the films "The Faculty," "Light It Up," and "She's All That."
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