usher_paula_robin_factimage[Photo: Getty Images]
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Ten years ago today Usher released Confessions, the album that took him from rising R&B star and arguably launched him into pop royalty territory. If nothing else Mr. Entertainment made history with those 17 tracks (21 songs including “My Boo” if you copped the special edition with the poster!) selling nearly 1.1 million units in its first week – the highest-ever chart debut for an R&B artist, the second-highest debut for a male artist, the biggest selling album since Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” and the seventh-highest debut of in SoundScans history at that time. I’m also almost certain U-S-H-E-R is responsible for any child conceived in 2004 and put a strain on every relationship in the audience at any of The Truth tour shows.
At the time it was Usher’s most personal album to date. The album title alone provided plenty of gossip fodder, especially since its release coincided with his high-profile breakup from VH1’s boo Rozanda “Chilli” Thomas of TLC. A whole lot of hearsay, though great for record sales, also left a lot of uncertainty even 10 years later. So in honor of our favorite Raymond’s classic album we got down to the bottom of a few lingering rumors, determine exactly what Usher was really confessing and shed light on a few things you may not have known about the epic.
So, just who is the title track (Part I and Part II) about? What does Robin Thicke and his wife Paula Patton have to do with the historic LP? And just how did Confessions push Beyoncé in the arms of our fantasy boyfriend (she’s lucky she ended up with Jay Z)? Check out the gallery above to find out and to get you started, watch the throwback clip below of Usher adding to the mystique surrounding his controversial smash.