Usher’s “Good Kisser,” the first single from his forthcoming eighth album, is returning him to familiar territory: the charts. The song debuts at No. 70 on the Billboard Hot 100 and at No. 18 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop charts dated May 24. The bow was fueled by 29,000 downloads in the week ending May 11, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and 13 million impressions on radio, according to Nielsen BDS. The song “Good Kisser” launched with a music video on May 5, the same day it hit digital retailers. Usher, 35, gave the single another bump with his May 12 performance on The Voice.
The song and its accompanying video, featuring Usher dancing seductively and drumming shirtless, is also a return to the sex-symbol imagery and R&B sound that first made him a star. “It bridges current urban culture and what’s classic for me,” he says. “And R&B is classic for me.
“But really I just want to connect to my fan base: the ladies,” he adds, loosely quoting Drake’s hook on Lil Wayne’s “Love Me” through laughter. “Drake said it best: ‘I could give a damn what them haters say long as my bitches love me.’ “
Before “Good Kisser,” Usher had EDM to thank for his recent pop smashes: 2010’s Eurodance-inspired “OMG,” which hit No. 1 for four weeks on the Hot 100; 2012’s “Climax” (No. 17), which features producer Diplo’s electro flourishes; and David Guetta’s “Without You” (No. 4) in 2011. But Usher’s follow-up to 2012 album “Looking 4 Myself” is “me coming back to where I started,” he says. “Artists are after real instrumentation as opposed to electronic, synthesized music. Real music is taking a stand.”
With the album (which boasts a Chris Brown duet and production from Pharrell Williams), Usher also will return to touring. The last time he was on the road was spring 2011, when his OMG world tour wrapped. “I decided to work on a film here, a TV show here, raise kids there,” he explains of his absence from arena stages. “This next album and tour comes with everything I’ve learned in the process – in addition to me keeping it sexy for the ladies.”