Following the death of his father and amidst an on-going legal battle with his ex, Usher is releasing his latest album 'Looking 4 Myself.' The star has never exactly been shy of focusing on number one, when it comes to his songwriting but his latest album has been informed by his relationship with his father - with whom he had little contact as a child - and his own relations with his sons.
In an interview with The Independent, Usher explained "I think my father's death had a lot to do with my decision to name my son that. He was born and he died months apart. And I had become reacquainted with my father in the last year of his life. Prior, I didn't have any conversation, dialogue, with him. not the type of relationship or rapport that a man should have with his children. So it was an ode to the lineage of who we are." He also revealed that he feels his fortuitous relations with Justin Bieber (who he has mentored from the beginnings of Bieber's career) was written in the stars "For me the stars had to line up. Which is why, when I first met Justin, I said, 'If it's truly meant for us to work together, I'll see you again."
So far, reviews of the album are looking to be largely positive and as far as the stars are concerned, The Guardian may only have given him three of them, out of five but others have been more generous with their words. The Washington Post describes 'Looking 4 Myself' as a 'top-notch' follow up to two "lackluster" albums and Billboard have praised the work as an "evolution" in his career.