Here I Stand (Usher album)

Here I Stand (Usher album)
Here I Stand
Studio album by Usher
Released May 13, 2008
Genre R&B
Length 74:10
Label LaFace
Producer Usher Raymond (exec.), Mark Pitts (exec.), Polow da Don, Tricky Stewart,, Jermaine Dupri, Dre & Vidal, Bryan-Michael Cox, Stargate, Danja, James "JLack" Lackey, The-Dream, Jazze Pha, L.O.S., Manuel Seal, Soundz, J. R. Rotem, LRoc, WyldCard, Craig Love, Ne-Yo
Usher chronology
Here I Stand
Raymond v. Raymond
Singles from Here I Stand
  1. "Love in This Club"
    Released: February 22, 2008
  2. "Love in This Club Part II"
    Released: April 28, 2008
  3. "Moving Mountains"
    Released: May 23, 2008
  4. "What's Your Name"
    Released: August 18, 2008
  5. "Trading Places"
    Released: October 17, 2008

Here I Stand is the fifth studio album by American R&B recording artist Usher, released on May 13, 2008 by LaFace Records. Inspired by love for his new wife—Tameka Foster—and son, Usher recorded many ballads for the album. Prior to the album's recording, Usher split with his mother, Jonnetta Patton, as manager and hired Benny Medina. Usher's estranged father died months before the release of Here I Stand; this also influenced themes of the album. It was originally to be titled "Measure of a Man", but Usher named it Here I Stand to mark "a new chapter in [his] life".[1]

Usher promoted Here I Stand by performing on several television shows including Total Request Live, 106 & Park and Good Morning America. Among other concert appearances, he embarked on a One Night Stand: Ladies Only Tour, performing fifteen shows in November 2008. Five singles were released from Here I Stand: "Love in This Club", "Love in This Club Part II", "Moving Mountains", "What's Your Name" and "Trading Places". "Love in This Club", which features rapper Young Jeezy, topped the Billboard Hot 100 and New Zealand Singles Chart.

Here I Stand received mixed to positive reviews from music critics. Some music critics praised Usher's growth and maturity, while others were unimpressed by the change in style from Confessions (2004). Here I Stand debuted atop the Billboard 200, and sold 433,000 copies in the US in its first week of release, and has since sold 1.5 million copies in that country. The album also reached number one on the Canadian Albums Chart, UK Albums Chart and Australian Albums Chart, and has sold five million units worldwide.

Although it had sold two million copies by August 2008, Here I Stand was seen as a commercial failure relative to Confessions, which had sold nineteen million copies.[2][3] Tyler Lewis of PopMatters put the album's limited success down to Usher's and Foster's marriage; he believed that Usher's fans disliked Foster, whom he divorced in 2009.



Usher's fourth studio album, Confessions was released in 2004 and became the most-shipped album of the year.[4] Shortly before the album's release, he broke up with his girlfriend Chilli. In December 2005, he became romantically involved with stylist Tameka Foster; the two wed on August 3, 2007, although Usher's mother and manager, Jonnetta Patton, did not attend.[5] Foster gave birth to Usher Raymond V later that year.[6] In May 2007, Usher split with Patton as his manager. This prompted "gossip" that Usher had "fired" her because of his growing relationship with Foster. He denied the claims, saying, "I love my mother...I decided not to fire, not get rid of, but to give [my mother] the ultimate compliment—to retire her to be a full-time grandmother."[5] He continued by stating that the split was a mutual decision.[5] It was speculated that Patton's dismissal was due to his engagement with Foster; Usher dismissed these claims on Total Request Live (TRL) in May 2008. In what MTV News' Shawn Adler called an "angry tirade", Usher stated, "My wife had nothing to do with me firing my mother — nothing like that, that's trash. I hear y'all talking crazy out there. She's a beautiful black woman. Stop. Stop talking. And I love her. Stop it."[7] The outbreak was compared to Mariah Carey's unannounced appearance on TRL, when she handed out popsicles to the show's audience and performed a "striptease", while some fans noted Usher's speech as evidence that Foster was being controlling of Usher.[8] Usher hired Benny Medina as his new manager; Medina said of Usher, "The thing that excited me most is the intense commitment to his art, his incredible professionalism and the fact that I feel as though he's just hitting a stride."[9]

Usher's father, Usher Raymond III, died in January 2008. Both men regretted not spending more time in each other's lives.[5][10] "Prayer for You", the seventh track on Here I Stand, is an interlude dedicated to Usher's son, reflective on his relationship with his own father; "No matter what happened, my father always prayed for me. The only difference is, I'm gonna be there to be the father that my dad wished he was to me."[10] The first album name that artists and repertoire representative Mark Pitts conceived was "Measure of a Man", but that title had already been used by Clay Aiken for his debut album, so Usher called it Here I Stand. Pitts said, "It was perfect because becoming a man is about going though pain, sorrow, and happiness. Usher's done that! From the love songs to the party joints, it's exactly the story he wanted to tell."[1] Usher noted Here I Stand as beginning "a new chapter in my life"; the album's liner notes contain a verse from 1 Corinthians 13: "When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things."[1] Here I Stand marked Usher's growth from boyhood to manhood.[11][12] In March 2007, it was announced that work on the album had begun.[13] Usher outlined the album's concept: "A lot of what I plan to offer with this album is kinda standing in this spot...The king's back. I ain't gonna say 'back,' I never left."[14]

"Dat Girl Right There", which features Ludacris (pictured), was leaked in November 2007; however it was not included on Here I Stand.

A Rich Harrison-produced track,[15] "Dat Girl Right There", leaked on November 11, 2007.[16] The song charted on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs at number seventy-four due to high airplay.[17] Featuring Ludacris—with whom Usher collaborated on "Yeah!" in 2004—the song was originally thought to be the lead single from Here I Stand;[18] however it was not included on the record.[19] Other potential tracks cited before the album's release were "All the Time", produced by T-Pain, and "The Realest", produced by Jermaine Dupri, although neither was included on the album.[20] Here I Stand contains eighteen tracks; James "JLack" Lackey, Polow da Don, Tricky Stewart, Jazze Pha, The-Dream, Los da Mystro,, Dupri, Manuel Seal, LRoc, Dre & Vidal, Bryan-Michael Cox, Stargate, Ne-Yo, Danja, Soundz and J. R. Rotem all produced tunes on the album.[1] On the iTunes Store deluxe edition, "Revolver" was included, which was produced by Alexander "Prettyboifresh" Parhm.[21]


An R&B album,[22] Josh Eells of Blender summed up much of the production of Here I Stand as "cocktail-lounge crunk, full of splashy cymbals, jazzy electric guitar and tinkly pianos".[12] Many of its themes were inspired by Foster and Raymond V, resulting in a great number of ballads.[23][24] Here I Stand opens with an "Intro" (titled "Forever Young" on some copies), while the lead single "Love in This Club" follows, on which Young Jeezy appears. The mid-tempo song features a shuddering synth beat[25][26] and speaks of a lusting desire in a nightclub.[27] "This Ain't Sex" is a disco-influenced song that "speaks of sex as a privileged act between two consenting adults".[28] "Trading Places" uses guitar instrumentation[28] to host role reversal in both sexual and non-sexual situations in a relationship.[22] "Moving Mountains" is a ballad that draws on synth beats to relate a love struggle to an impossible task, such as moving mountains.[29] The album's sixth track is "What's Your Name", an electro song[30] which features New Wave-influenced synths produced by, who also contributes vocals to the song.[31] The "Prayer for You" interlude follows, an ode to Usher's son[10] in which Raymond V cries. Usher prays for his son to be "better than me".[32] "Something Special" is a pop ballad[25] that begins acoustically,[32] and was inspired by Robin Thicke and John Mayer because of its honesty. Usher discussed the song: "It's about the feeling when you're in real love. It could be about my son or my wife."[29]

Jay-Z contributed vocals to "Best Thing".

According to Usher "Love You Gently", a piano-based[32] classic rhythm and blues ballad, is "the one [track] you throw on with your significant other when it's time to get to it. This is why my son's here. It's a baby-maker."[29] Jay-Z appears on the horn-founded "Best Thing",[33] which is about transition to manhood.[32] Usher outlines lifestyle changes since his wife's arrival and turns away from his days as "a hustler and a player" in "Before I Met You", which makes use of guitar and heavy drums.[22][32][34] He is suspected of infidelity and compared to his girlfriend's cheating ex-partner on "His Mistakes".[32] The thirteenth track on Here I Stand is "Appetite", which utilizes flutes and has Usher tempted to cheat on his wife.[32][35] "What's a Man to Do" opens with a Native Indian call, while "Lifetime" contains influences of 1990s R&B.[32] "Love in This Club Part II" features vocals from Beyoncé Knowles and Lil Wayne and samples The Stylistics' "You Are Everything" (1971); its lyrical content is similar to that of Part I, and Wayne's voice is modified through the use of a vocoder.[31] The album's soul and pop jazz-derived title track, "Here I Stand", drew comparisons to Stevie Wonder. With a theme of commitment,[36] it was played at Usher's and Foster's wedding.[37] Here I Stand closes with "Will Work for Love", although it was placed as a hidden track on some copies; Sal Cinquemani from Slant Magazine called it "cute".[38]

Release and promotion

Usher originally hoped to release Here I Stand in November 2007,[13][39] but "issues in his personal life" delayed the album.[40] According to reports, Usher pushed back to album to spend more time with his then-pregnant wife. The expected November release was booked to coincide with that of Usher's fragrance line.[41] The album's release was rescheduled for June 2008,[42] but was brought forward, and Here I Stand was released on May 13, 2008. The continually changing release dates became frustrating for Usher; Dupri said to Billboard, "The last couple [of] times I've been around [Usher], you could tell he's got the bug to hurry up and put this record out. He wants to get back out here and give the people that. He's got that itch."[20] Here I Stand was released by LaFace Records in Mexico and most European countries on May 13, 2008,[43] in Germany on May 20,[44] in Australia and New Zealand on May 23[45][46] in Canada and the United States on May 27,[47][48] and in Japan on May 28.[49]

Usher promoted Here I Stand by appearing at Radio 1's Big Weekend in 2008, where he performed "This Ain't Sex", "Moving Mountains", "What's Your Name", "Here I Stand" and "Love in This Club", as well as singles from his previous albums.[50] On the day of the album's release, Usher appeared on television shows TRL and 106 & Park, and on May 30, 2008 he performed on Good Morning America.[51] In June 2008 he performed "Love in This Club" on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Jimmy Kimmel Live!.[52][53] Usher sang "Love in This Club" with Young Jeezy on reality television show The Hills' third season finale on May 12, 2008,[54] and again, by himself, at the finale of the sixth season of Dancing with the Stars on May 20, 2008.[55] The 2008 BET Awards, hosted on June 23, were opened by Usher performing the single.[56] "Love in This Club" and "This Ain't Sex" were sung by Usher on Saturday Night Live on May 17, 2008.[57] Usher performed a one-off showcase concert for 1,500 fans at indigO2, London on May 22, 2008, for which the tickets were allocated by ballot.[58] On September 4, 2008, Usher performed "Here I Stand", "Trading Places" and "What's Your Name" at the warmup concert for the 2008 National Football League Kickoff game, at Columbus Circle, New York City. Natasha Bedingfield and Keith Urban also sang before the game, which saw the Washington Redskins play the New York Giants.[59][60]


Five singles were released from Here I Stand. "Love in This Club" was leaked in early 2008 by its producer, Polow da Don,[61] prior to its release on February 22, 2008.[62] The song topped the Billboard Hot 100,[63] the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and the New Zealand Singles Chart,[64][65] while reaching the top ten of numerous other record charts. It was certified platinum in the United States and New Zealand.[66][67] A sequel was created, titled "Love in This Club Part II", and was sent to radio as the album's second single on April 28, 2008.[68] While it did not have the commercial success of the original, it emerged on the Hot 100, the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, the Canadian Hot 100,[69] and the ARIA Singles Chart,[70] and received a gold certification from the RIAA.[71]

"Moving Mountains" was released on May 23, 2008.[72] It appeared on multiple singles charts below the top twenty. However, it peaked at number six on the New Zealand Singles Chart,[73] and was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand on March 29, 2009.[67] The fourth single to be released from Here I Stand was "What's Your Name"; it impacted radio on August 18, 2008.[74] "What's Your Name" charted on the Canadian Hot 100 and the ARIA Singles Chart, where it peaked at numbers eighty-four and ninety-one, respectively.[75][76] The album's final single, "Trading Places", was released on October 17, 2008[77] and reached number forty-five on the Hot 100 and number four on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.[78]


Usher performing at the San Francisco stop on the One Night Stand: Ladies Only Tour

Usher toured fourteen cities in North America, coining the trip One Night Stand: Ladies Only Tour. Mainly targeting women, the tour commenced on November 2, 2008 and concluded on November 25, 2008.[79] The tour's female-focused concept was inspired by other male recording artists who "did things special like this for their female fans", such as Teddy Pendergrass, Marvin Gaye and Prince.[80] Enjoying the challenge of a female-only tour, Usher said, "There [are] only a few artists that can pull that off, I feel like I've had such a connection with my audience. This album, I felt like, was definitely the type of one that was more intimate. So what better way to get up close and personal than to make it all women?"[81][82] Usher performed the tour with a Dsquared2 wardrobe.[83] At each show, one fan was brought onstage "for an even more intimate experience with the singer".[80] This took place during "Superstar"; a female fan was served champagne and strawberries by Usher while sitting on his lap as he sang to her.[84][85] Among Usher's own songs, the setlist also included portions of Stevie Wonder's "Rocket Love", Gaye's "I Want You" and Prince's "Do Me, Baby". At the Detroit show he also gave T-Baby's "It's So Cold in the D".[84] Usher was supported by a five-piece band, three backing vocalists and four backup dancers.[84]


"Forever Young"
"Love in this Club"
"Follow Me"
"U Remind Me"
"This Ain't Sex"
"That's What It's Made For"
"U Got It Bad"
"Trading Places"
"Do Me, Baby"/"Adore"
"Nice & Slow"
"Dot Com"
"Rocket Love"
"Bad Girl"
"You Make Me Wanna..."
"I Don't Know"
"I Want You"
"Confessions Part II"
"Medley" ("My Boo"/"Back in the Day"/"Think of You"/"I Need a Girl"/"Can U Get Wit It"/"Lovers & Friends")
"That's What It's Made For"
"Here I Stand"
Encore: "Caught Up"

Dates and venues

Date City Venue
November 2, 2008 Atlantic City Borgata
November 3, 2008 New York City Hammerstein Ballroom
November 4, 2008 Washington, D.C. Warner Theatre
November 5, 2008 Philadelphia Electric Factory
November 7, 2008 Mashantucket MGM Grand at Foxwoods
November 8, 2008 Toronto Kool Haus
November 10, 2008 Atlanta The Tabernacle
November 12, 2008 Detroit The Fillmore Detroit
November 13, 2008 Chicago House of Blues
November 18, 2008 San Francisco The Warfield
November 19, 2008 Los Angeles Club Nokia, L.A. Live
November 20, 2008
November 21, 2008 Las Vegas The Pearl
November 24, 2008 Houston House of Blues
November 25, 2008 Dallas


Sun Media's Jason MacNeil rated the Toronto show three-and-a-half stars out of five, praising Usher's connection with the female audience.[86] Lee Hildebrand of the San Francisco Chronicle commended Usher's live vocal ability.[87] Parimal M. Rohit from Buzzine stated in his positive review of the Los Angeles show that, "everyone will be talking about the entertaining concert".[88]


Critical response

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic (65/100)[89]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[22]
Blender 3/5 stars[12]
Chicago Sun-Times 3.5/4 stars[11]
Robert Christgau (choice cut)[90]
Entertainment Weekly (B+)[33]
Los Angeles Times 3/4 stars[91]
The New York Times (mixed)[92]
Rolling Stone 2.5/5 stars[93]
Slant Magazine 2.5/5 stars[38]
USA Today 3.5/4 stars[35]
The Village Voice (mixed)[28]
Yahoo! Music 5/10 stars[34]

Here I Stand received mixed to positive reviews from most music critics.[89] At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 65, based on 15 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".[89] Mark Edward Nero of gave the album four out of five stars, and wrote that Usher's marriage had a positive effect on his music. He called Here I Stand "as good - if not better" than Confessions.[94] IGN critic Chad Grischow wrote that "Growing up may have taken toll on Usher’s personal life, but it has not altered the man’s ability to create refreshing music"; Grischow rated the album 8.1 out of 10.[95] USA Today praised the maturity of Usher's lyrics on Here I Stand and gave the album three-and-a-half out of four stars.[35] While Entertainment Weekly's Leah Greenblatt disliked the album's length and lyrics, she wrote that "a good portion of [Here I] Stand's tunes deserve a place in the dance-floor pantheon", and awarded it a B+ grade.[33] Andy Kellman from Allmusic scored the record three-and-a-half stars out of five and stated that "the album leaves no doubt that the R&B male crown...should not change hands", referring to Usher's King of R&B honorific nickname.[22] Richard Cromelin of the Los Angeles Times did not appreciate the numerous ballads on the release, but compared it to Usher's previous work and declared, "it's a more accomplished version of Confessions, the hooks more effortless, the singing even better, the songwriting more consistent."[91] The A.V. Club's Joshua Alston commended the album's ballads and gave it a B rating.[96] Jim DeRogatis from the Chicago Sun-Times rated the record three-and-a-half out of four stars, and saw it as evidence for Usher to claim the 'King of R&B' title from R. Kelly.[11]

However, Dan Gennoe of Yahoo! Music felt that the album lacked inspiration, and wrote, "nothing sticks, there's no guts, no depth and no matter how much he protests to the contrary, nothing to believe", and gave it five out of ten stars.[34] Rolling Stone's Melissa Maerz perceived that Usher had put little effort into the record and stated that "now that he's got the American Dream, he sounds like he's stopped trying."[93] Blender's Josh Eells was let down by the large number of ballads and lack of sexual content.[12] Clover Hope of The Village Voice described it as "pure grown-man bidness" and "a little too sitting-on-the-dock-of-the-bay for Chris Breezy–trained earbuds".[28] Josh Eells of Blender gave the album three out of five stars and commented that "Usher has called Here I Stand his 'grown and sexy' album, and he's half right [...] behind his butter-smooth voice, Usher is almost too well behaved".[12] Sal Cinquemani from Slant Magazine scored Here I Stand two-and-a-half stars out of five, and considered the music "almost always just one notch above mediocrity."[38] The Observer's Steve Yates rated the album one of five stars and called the work "gloop [Usher] wades through".[19] In his consumer guide for MSN Music, critic Robert Christgau cited the songs "Trading Places" and "Best Thing" as "choice cuts",[90] indicating "good song[s] on an album that isn't worth your time or money".[97] Jon Pareles of The New York Times wrote that "tension, not bliss, creates the album's best songs", referring to "Moving Mountains", "His Mistakes", "Appetite" and "What’s a Man To Do".[92] At the 51st Grammy Awards, the album's title track was nominated for the Best Male R&B Vocal Performance award, but lost to Ne-Yo's "Miss Independent" from his 2008 album, Year of the Gentleman.[98]

Commercial performance

Here I Stand had unweighted first-day sales of 146,000 in the US,[99] and in its first three days of release sold an unweighted 267,000 units.[51] The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart.[100] Selling 433,000 copies domestically in its first week of release, it was the second highest selling US debut of the year at the time, behind Mariah Carey's E=MC2.[100] In its second week of release, it sold 145,000 copies and dropped to number three on the Billboard 200.[101] It has now sold over 1.5 million copies in the United States,[102] and has received a platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).[103] Here I Stand also debuted atop the Canadian Albums Chart,[104] and spent eight weeks on the chart.[105]

On the UK Albums Chart, Here I Stand debuted at number one on the chart of June 7, 2008.[106] It was certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI),[107] and lasted seventeen weeks in the chart before dropping out.[106] The album peaked at number two on the Irish Albums Chart, remaining for fifteen weeks in the chart[108] and was awarded a gold certificate from the Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA).[109] In mainland Europe, the album was received well; it appeared at number three on the European Top 100 Albums,[110] and received a platinum award from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).[111] It reached the top ten in the Belgian Ultratop charts of both Flanders and Wallonia, as well as in the album charts of France, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland.[112][113] Here I Stand was certified gold in several European nations. In Oceania, Here I Stand attained a number-one position on the Australian Albums Chart and reached number five on the New Zealand Albums Chart.[112] It received a gold certification from the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA), denoting shipments of 35,000 copies in the country.[114] Worldwide sales of the album stand at over five million.[115]


Usher's publicist, Patti Webster, resigned on August 1, 2008. Usher rehired Patton as his manager on August 6, 2008 and "dissolved his management arrangement with Benny Medina".[2] At the time of the split from Medina, Here I Stand had sold two million copies worldwide compared to Confessions' nineteen million copies; some speculated that the disunion was because of the poorer album sales. Medina said that he and the singer "parted ways amicably", and deflected comments that he was responsible for the lower album sales. He pointed out that Here I Stand and "Love in This Club" reached number one on the US charts, and that the music industry had changed since the release of Confessions.[2] Due to the decrease in sales figures, Here I Stand was seen as a commercial failure.[3][11][24] According to Tyler Lewis from PopMatters its failure was spurred by Usher's marriage to Foster; "his fanbase hated his wife".[3]

Usher filed for divorce from Foster in June 2009,[116] stating that their marriage was "irretrievably broken".[117] "Papers", the first single from Usher's next album Raymond v. Raymond (2010), discussed the divorce process,[118] although it was recorded before the couple split.[119]

Track listing

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Forever Young" (Intro) Usher, Ryon Lovett, James "JLack" Lackey Lackey 1:28
2. "Love in This Club" (featuring Young Jeezy) Darnell Dalton, Young Jeezy, Polow da Don, Lovett, Usher, Lamar Taylor, Keith Thomas Polow da Don 4:19
3. "This Ain't Sex"   Usher, Tricky Stewart, Jazze Pha, The-Dream Tricky Stewart, Jazze Pha, The-Dream 4:24
4. "Trading Places"   Usher, Los Da Mystro, The-Dream Los Da Mystro 4:28
5. "Moving Mountains"   Usher, Stewart, The-Dream, Kuk Harrell Stewart, The-Dream 4:58
6. "What's Your Name" (featuring Usher,, Ryan Toby 3:58
7. "Prayer for You" (Interlude)     1:43
8. "Something Special"   Usher, Jermaine Dupri, Manuel Seal, LRoc, Johntá Austin Dupri, Seal, LRoc 3:58
9. "Love You Gently"   Usher, Dre & Vidal, Raheem DeVaughn Dre & Vidal 3:39
10. "Best Thing" (featuring Jay-Z) Usher, Dupri, Austin, Seal, Jay-Z Dupri, Seal 3:54
11. "Before I Met You"   Usher, Bryan-Michael Cox, Austin, Swizz Beatz, Craig Love Cox 4:56
12. "His Mistakes"   Usher, Ne-Yo, StarGate Stargate, Ne-Yo 4:59
13. "Appetite"   Usher, Danja, Ezekiel Lewis, Bale'wam Muhammad, Brian Casey, Dupri, Seal, Marcella Araica Danja 3:58
14. "What's a Man to Do"   Usher, Austin, Stargate Stargate 4:09
15. "Lifetime"   Usher, Lovett, Lackey JLack 4:36
16. "Love in This Club Part II" (featuring Beyoncé and Lil Wayne) Dalton, Young Jeezy, da Don, Lovett, Usher, Taylor, Thomas, Thom Bell, Linda Creed, Wayne Soundz 5:09
17. "Here I Stand"   Usher, Dre & Vidal, da Don, Adam Blackstone, Gerrell Gaddis Dre & Vidal 4:10
18. "Will Work for Love" (hidden track in some locations) Usher, J. R. Rotem, James Fauntleroy II Rotem 3:19


Credits for Here I Stand adapted from Allmusic.[120]

  • The Ambassadors – keyboards
  • Marcella "Ms. Lago" Araica – mixing
  • Chris Athens – mastering
  • Johntá Austin – vocal production
  • Tim Blacksmith – management
  • Adam Blackstone – music
  • B.M.C. – bass, strings, drums, keyboards, programming, editing
  • G. Preston Boebel – engineering
  • Kobie Brown – music clearance
  • Míguel Bustamante – mixing assistance
  • Candice Childress – production coordination
  • Brian Michael Cox – arrangement, production
  • Danny D – management
  • Vidal Davis – production, instrumentation
  • Vincent Dilorenzo – engineering, mixing
  • Dylan Dresdow – mixing
  • Assa Drori – violin
  • Jermaine Dupri – production, mixing
  • Mattias Eng – music clearance
  • Mikkel S. Eriksen – engineering, instrumentation, grand piano
  • Donald Ferrone – double bass
  • Brent Fischer – conductor, string arrangements
  • Clare Fischer – string arrangements
  • Armen Garabedian – principal
  • Brian Gately – production coordination
  • Serban Ghenea – mixing
  • Mark Gray – engineering assistant
  • Ryan Greene – engineering
  • Donato Guadagnoli – music clearance
  • John Hanes – digital editing
  • Kuk Harrell – production, engineering, vocal production
  • Andre Harris – production, instrumentation
  • Vahe Hayrikyan – cello
  • Karl Heilbron – guitar, engineering
  • Tor Erik Hermansen – instrumentation
  • Chris Hicks – author, management
  • Leticia Hilliard – artist coordination
  • Ray Holton – guitar
  • John Horesco IV – engineering
  • Josh Houghkirk – mixing assistance, assistance
  • Dave Hyman – engineering
  • Jay-Zvocals
  • Jazze Pha – production
  • Padraic Kerin – engineering
  • Beyoncé Knowlesvocals
  • James Lackey – production
  • Lyah Beth LeFlore – liner notes
  • Lil Wayne – vocals
  • Espen Lind – guitar
  • Craig Love – guitar, production
  • Manny Marroquin – mixing
  • Derrick "Young World" McAlister – keyboards
  • Carlos "Los Da Mystro" McKinney – production
  • Benny Medina – author, management
  • Tadd Mingo – engineering assistance
  • Scott Naughton – engineering
  • Ne-Yo – production
  • Alec Newell – engineering
  • Greg Ogan – engineering
  • Carlos Oyanedel – mixing assistance
  • Anthony Palazzole – mixing assistance
  • Joe Peluso – engineering assistance, mixing assistance
  • Dave Pensado – mixing
  • Kazi Pitelka – viola
  • Mark Pitts – executive production, author, A&R
  • Christian Plata – mixing assistance
  • Polow da Don – production, instrumentation
  • Tameka Raymond – stylist
  • Usher – vocals, executive production
  • Geoff Rice – engineering assistance
  • Tim Roberts – Pro-Tools
  • J.R. Rotem – arrangement, production, instrumentation
  • Norman Jean Roy – photography
  • Brian Schunck – mixing assistance
  • Manuel Seal – guitar, production
  • Harry Shirinian – viola
  • Cory Shoemaker – engineering assistance
  • S.O.S. Horn Players – horn
  • Soundz – production
  • Brian Springer – engineering
  • Brian Stanley – engineering, mixing
  • Christopher "Tricky" Stewart – production
  • Phil Tan – mixing
  • Tony Terrebonne – engineering
  • Sam Thomas – engineering
  • Pat Thrall – engineering
  • Andrew Weupper – mixing assistance
  • will.i.amsynthesizer, production, engineering, Fender Rhodes, drum programming, vocals
  • Corey Williams – engineering
  • Andrew Wuepper – mixing assistance
  • Young Jeezy – vocals


Chart positions

Chart (2008) Peak
Australian Albums Chart[112] 1
Australian Urban Albums Chart[121] 1
Austrian Albums Chart[112] 24
Belgian Albums Chart (Flanders)[112] 3
Belgian Albums Chart (Wallonia)[112] 8
Canadian Albums Chart[105] 1
Dutch Albums Chart[112] 5
Danish Albums Chart[112] 15
European Top 100 Albums[110] 3
Finnish Albums Chart[112] 39
French Albums Chart[112] 7
German Albums Chart[113] 10
Irish Albums Chart[108] 2
New Zealand Albums Chart[112] 5
Norwegian Albums Chart[112] 16
Polish Albums Chart[122] 36
Swedish Albums Chart[112] 18
Swiss Albums Chart[112] 4
UK Albums Chart[106] 1
US Billboard 200[105] 1
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums[105] 1

Year-end charts

Chart (2008) Rank
Australian Albums Chart[123] 62
Australian Urban Albums Chart[124] 10
US Billboard 200[125] 27
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums[126] 7


Country Certification
(sales thresholds)
Australia Gold[114]
Belgium Gold[127]
Denmark Gold[128]
Europe Platinum[111]
France Gold[129]
Hungary Gold[130]
Ireland Gold[109]
Japan Gold[131]
Mexico Gold[132]
Switzerland Gold[133]
United Kingdom Gold [107]
United States Platinum[103]

Release history

Region Date
Austria[43] May 13, 2008
United Kingdom[146]
Germany[44] May 20, 2008
Australia[45] May 23, 2008
New Zealand[46]
Canada[47] May 27, 2008
United States[48]
Japan[49] May 28, 2008


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Preceded by
We Started Nothing by The Ting Tings
UK Albums Chart number-one album
June 1, 2008 – June 8, 2008
Succeeded by
22 Dreams by Paul Weller
Preceded by
Summer at Eureka by Pete Murray
Australian ARIA Albums Chart number-one album
June 2, 2008 – June 15, 2008
Succeeded by
Indestructible by Disturbed
Preceded by
3 Doors Down by 3 Doors Down
Billboard 200 number-one album
June 8, 2008 – June 14, 2008

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