Recently on BBC6Music, Lauren Laverne featured several '90s RnB classics as part of her People's Choice slot on her morning show. Whilst just about the entire nation (slight exaggeration, perhaps) got involved with their votes and bombardment of Twitter, proclaiming their love all along for Jade's 'Don't Walk Away', SWV's 'Right Here' and Blackstreet's ubiquitous neck-nodding 'No Diggity', one man's contribution to the scene was notably missing.
'Notable', because Usher Terry Raymond IV, to quote his full name, has shipped in the region of 65 million sales worldwide - surely the UK remembers the lithe, overtly sexual dance routines on Top of the Pops or the infamous sock-like headgear in photo-shoots or on album covers. Was he just a fly-by-night and rather more athletic alternative to Barry White? A quick scan of his hits suggests a 'maybe' on the Barry front, but a flash in the pan, no. Usher, minus the flim-flammery of being the fourth in line to something, has racked up too many successes to be anything other than a 'star'.
His UK #1 hits include the 1997 breakthrough, 'You Make Me Wanna', 'Yeah', 'Burn' and the 2010 smash with The Voice's Will.i.am, 'OMG'. Songs such as 'Nice and Slow', 'Bedtime', 'Hot Tottie' and recent Top 5 single 'Climax' leave you in no doubt where Usher wants to be hanging his pants before the night is out. On your bedpost. The one night the award-winning soul-hustler won't be 'laying you down' is during the next month, because Usher will be 'popping his collar' in London.
On 11th June, Hammersmith Apollo will host a very special and exclusive show to tie in with the same-day release of the entertainer's seventh studio album, 'Looking 4 Myself'. Demand for this one show is likely to be phenomenal, which may explain why tickets will not be on general sale via us until 9am Friday 1st June. The prices may also leave you slightly out of breath - £55 or £65. But, rest assured, there'll be 'love in this club' all night.