Outside the windows of a 36th-floor conference-room suite at New York's Mandarin Oriental Hotel, the morning is gray and befit for April showers. Always the trendsetter, Usher has plucked from his wardrobe a navy blue military-style button-up adorned with gold clasps to complete his jeans-and-sneaker ensemble.
Usher's 2004 Jive album, "Confessions," has shifted 9.4 million copies in the United States, but tentative release dates keep coming and going for its follow-up, which is now nebulously slated for sometime this year. "He's got the bug to hurry up and put this record out," longtime collaborator Jermaien Dupri tells Billboard.
After selling an astonishing 250,000 copies as a digital download, Justin Timberlake's "SexyBack" leaps 31-1 to seize the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 this week. The lead single from the artist's upcoming Jive album "FutureSex/LoveSounds" ends the three-week run of Fergie's "London Bridge," which falls to No. 2.