Throwback Single: Usher 'You Make Me Wanna'
Exceptional proficiency across quadruple facets in the Arts is no mean feat. Usher- singer, songwriter, dancer and actor is in the minority that can be attired in vibrant multiple hats and justifiably wear each one with pride. With sixty five million albums sold worldwide, Usher Terry Raymond IV is one of the most prolific artistes of all time. Receiving numerous accolades including over a dozen Billboard Music Awards, seven Grammys and three MOBO Awards; the entertainer has been acknowledged for his on-going contribution to music since his debut self-titled album in 1994.
It was ‘My Way’ Usher’s second studio album that catapulted the R&B singer into global main stream visibility and cemented him as a mainstay. Released by LaFace Records and produced by Babyface and Jermaine Dupri, the album went six-times platinum and delivered a string of hit singles including the title track and “Nice & Slow” written by Jagged Edge’s Casey brothers.
The album is predominantly remembered for its lead single, the 1997 chart topper “You Make Me Wanna” written by Usher, Jermaine Dupri and Manuel Seal Jr. The song was a candid, eloquent monologue on the complexities of relationships, when the question of choice and fidelity arises. The track received a thunderous reception in multiple countries, debuting at number one in the UK in 1998 and staying in the US Billboard chart for an impressive forty-six weeks. It went on to receive a Grammy nomination and was later placed at number eighty-eight on the Billboard Hot 100 "All-Time Top Songs” in 2008.
The Bille Woodruff directed video accompanying "You Make Me Wanna" sees a youthful Usher in different settings showcasing his now legendary dancing agility. Scenes of the R&B artiste emoting with abs on display are interspersed with shots of Usher and a group of backing dancers perform slick dance moves against mood lit backdrops, adding visual texture to the impassioned track. The video was an early indication of the prowess Usher possessed and it was no surprise to see the artiste attain the level of success he subsequently went on to achieve in the industry.
Usher’s appeal never ceases. From ‘Confessions'’ dance floor slammer “Yeah” to the recent electronica infused slow jam “Climax” from his highly anticipated forthcoming album ‘Looking 4 Myself’; Usher maintains a consistency and level of artistry that sees him receive respect from his peers and time after time, enthral his legion of devoted fans across the globe and further widen his audience in the process. Next week fans will be able to virtually dance on stage with the artiste in London as part of Vevo’s American Express Unstaged series; there really is never a dull moment in Usher’s realm.
When the consummate performer sings, he can tug at the sinews of the heart; when he dances, he can scorch retinas. Usher truly is, in a league of his very own.