"Confessions" became the best-selling album of 2004 and Usher's first Billboard 200 No. 1.
IT'S HARD TO IMAGINE A TIME WHEN Usher wasn't one of music's most interesting artists, but in 2014 producer Jermaine Dupri told Billboard that as the R&B singer set out to record his fourth album in 2003, "People not being interested in Usher the person was the main topic of discussion."
Although Usher had landed three Billboard Hot 100 No. 1s by then, his straitlaced image gave the media little choice but to focus on the music, not the man.
That would change with the 2004 album that emerged from Dupri's discussions with the singer-songwriter: Confessions. Just 25 at the time, Usher broke new artistic ground with songs that explored the painful subject of infidelity that many speculated were references to his failed relationship with TLC's Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas.