Singer Usher needed to take a step back from the spotlight after wrapping Hands of Stone to focus on his family and personal life.
The Yeah! star, who is dad to sons Cinco and Naviyd with ex-wife Tameka Foster, admits he knew it was time to step back after playing boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard in the film, which also features Robert De Niro.
And as he prepares to release his eighth studio album, Hard II Love, the 37-year-old explains he had to make fans wait for new music because it was important for him to spend time with his boys and new wife, Grace Miguel, who he wed last year (15).
"(I wanted to) focus on my kids and personal things," he tells People magazine.
His time off also helped him reflect on himself and how he views love, which has helped him update the lyrics on his new material.
"There's a younger generation of people that maybe don't know as much about love or how to articulate it, but I tend to stick in that space for some reason, using love as a tool," he continues.
And during his break he was able to take a well-earned vacation to Italy, enjoying the time off with his family.
"I went on an air balloon trip with about 15 people and we were about 3,000 feet in the air," he says. "Both my boys were up there with me, my wife was up there with me. The whole family was up there. It was cool to just have that little moment away."
Hard II Love is set for release next month (Sep16). The disc is the R&B singer's first record since 2012's Looking 4 Myself.
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