Rico Love Says L.A. Reid Had To Force Usher To Record ‘Yeah!’: ‘The Power To Hear A Hit Is A Gift’
Sometimes in life, you just need a little push!
This weekend the entire nation will have the chance to see Usher perform some of his biggest hits as he takes the stage for the halftime show at the Super Bowl. The eight-time Grammy Award winner reportedly set off on the journey to be a famous musician at the age of 10 and by the time he was 14 he scored a deal with well-respected record executive L.A. Reid.
Since then, Usher has become a household name thanks to his talent, looks, charming personality, and of course, countless hit records. However, according to music producer/songwriter Rico Love, if it wasn’t for a little tough love from his longtime mentor L.A. Reid, Usher would have passed up on one of his most iconic tunes to date, “Yeah!” (featuring Lil Jon and Ludacris).
During a recent interview with DJ Hed on the “Home Grown Radio” podcast, Rico Love revealed that L.A. Reid had to force Usher to sing the 2004 song initially written by Sean Garrett. After explaining why it was ultimately decided that “Yeah!” would serve as the lead single from Usher’s fourth studio album “Confessions,” He said,
“I remember being in the room and they played it, I was there when they played it for Usher and I fell on the floor laughing. I thought it was terrible. By the way, Sean Garrett is one of the greatest. …I’m listening to the words and I’m like – and then you hearing Sean’s voice singing, what does that even mean? … I laughed because I thought it was hilarious.”
Rico Love continued,
“Usher was like ‘I’m never singing that.’… I remember hearing L.A. Reid on the phone saying ‘I don’t give a f*ck what you gotta do, you better sing that f*cking song,’ and hung up. And I just remember leaving, I’m thinking, ‘Oh, Usher not singing that song.’”
Spoiler alert: Usher did, in fact, record the song and it seems like L.A. Reid knew what he was talking about. The track reportedly made history as the longest-running number-one single on the US Billboard Hot 100 in 2004. In addition, the song topped Time Magazine’s Best Songs of 2004 list and MTV’s Most Played Song of 2004 list.
Rico Love also noted during his interview that once he heard Usher on the track things “became different.” He continued,
“Understanding the power to hear a hit is a gift and some people don’t understand how to hear a hit. It’s something that I had to learn.”
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