Usher Talks Michael Jackson, Says the King's 'Fueling' His Next Album

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Usher performs onstage during the 2014 iHeartRadio Music Awards held at The Shrine Auditorium on May 1, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.

Today Epic Records released the "Xscape,” the second posthumous album from Michael Jackson. While the King of Pop is gone, his spirit lives on in current stars.

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Usher, currently wrapping up production on his forthcoming eighth album, is a disciple of Jackson’s. He inspired Usher to “be consistent and to evolve. That’s one of the thing I loved about Michael and James Brown. Those are the two icons in my mind that are the fuel that motivates what I do in dance and music all the time.”

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He was invited to sing and dance alongside Michael during his “Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Celebration” concert at Madison Square Garden in 2001 and also sang "Gone Too Soon," through tears, at Jackson’s funeral in 2009.

“Michael’s raw talent mixed with incredible instrumentation and ability to find what current culture was either through dance or music is what kept him relevant,” Usher adds. “And his electrifying performance and movement obviously is a great deal of what you love about Michael.”

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Usher gave a pretty stellar performance himself in honor of his idol two weeks ago at the iHeartRadio Awards, dynamically gliding and bouncing to “Xscape’s” lead single “Love Never Felt So Good.”

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“I wanted to move and not sing at the iHeartRadio performance,” Usher explains of why he opted not to croon.  “Normally, I’ll sing. But I wanted to dance for him. He’s fueling me, man. He’s fueling for this new project. In terms of what I’m putting together for my shows, I’m dancing. I’m moving again.”


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