Usher's "Yeah!" was a last minute choice as the lead single for his album Confessions, and it was a truly inspired choice. Simply put together with crunk beats and a minimalist melody, the song captured the imagination of pop fans worldwide. It won a Grammy Award for Best Rap / Sung Collaboration. "Yeah!" spent 12 weeks at #1 in the US, sold over one million physical copies and later over three million digital copies. It hit #1 in most major pop music markets around the world.
"Burn" was the song that "Yeah!" replaced as the first song from Confessions. It is the most compelling of Usher's slow burn love songs. At its heart "Burn" is a wrenching breakup song. Many fans saw it as alluding to Usher's own real life romantic troubles. "Burn" replaced "Yeah!" as the #1 pop song in the US. It received Grammy Award nominations for Best R&B Male Vocal and R&B Song of the Year. "Burn" spent eight weeks at #1 in the US and hit #1 in the UK as well.
"You Make Me Wanna..." was released as the lead single from Usher's second album My Way. It became his breakthrough pop hit. The uptempo R&B track climbed to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. The use of acoustic guitar gives "You Make Me Wanna..." a warm, organic sound. The song received a Grammy Award nomination for Best R&B Male Vocal. "You Make Me Wanna..." went to #1 on the R&B chart and spent over 70 weeks on the chart, one of the longest-running singles of all time.
"OMG" introduced Usher's sixth studio album Raymond Vs. Raymond. It was written and produced by will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas. Some critics complained about the liberal use of auto-tune, but pop fans were excited by the thumping beats and stadium crowd sounds that animate the song. "OMG" went to #1 in the US and the UK and sold over four million digital copies.
"DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love" found Usher venturing strongly into europop territory. Songwriting and production are handled by pop mastermind Max Martin and his team. The song was originally offered to Rihanna, but she turned it down. "DJ Got Us Falling In Love" became Usher's 16th top 10 pop hit. It sold over three million digital copies and became a top 10 pop hit around the world.
"U Got It Bad" was the second single and second #1 hit from Usher's album 8701. It is a slow R&B jam and features some of Usher's most exposed and beautiful vocals. "U Got It Bad" spent six weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It reached #5 on the UK pop singles chart.