Essence Festival: It’s Usher’s year! ‘Confessions’ hitmaker celebrates 20 years of iconic album after BET achievement ullu-web-prime.com

Essence Festival: It’s Usher’s year! ‘Confessions’ hitmaker celebrates 20 years of iconic album after BET achievement ullu-web-prime.com

R&B and pop icon Usher Raymond brought the house down at the 2024 Essence Festival of Culture in New Orleans on Saturday, July 6. Charming the audience at a packed Caesars Superdome, the “Yeah” headlined the glorious event by performing unforgettable hits from his legendary fourth studio album, “Confessions,” which established a defining moment for the influential music artist in 2004.

Usher performs legendary hits from his 20-year-old signature album, "Confessions," at the 2024 Essence Festival of Culture at Caesars Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana, US, on Saturday, July 6, 2024.
Usher performs legendary hits from his 20-year-old signature album, “Confessions,” at the 2024 Essence Festival of Culture at Caesars Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana, US, on Saturday, July 6, 2024.

Undoubtedly closest to his heart, Usher’s 20-year-old momentous album release, consisting of accolades-worthy snazzy hits like “Yeah,” “Burn,” “Bad Girl” and “Caught Up,” also racked up the title as the best-selling R&B album of the 21st century. It has surpassed 10 million sales in the US.

And so, it was indisputably a cause for celebration to honour the smashing record that not only got the early Y2K era dancing on its feet, but also continues to make generations bust a move on the dancefloor.

Why performing at the 2024 Essence Festival of Culture was so important to Usher

Switching up lanes for the 30th Essence Festival, Usher initially brought out a supporting choir act, sprinkling divine glory on his hour-long set just days after he snagged the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2024 BETs.

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Performing at the biggest African-American cultural and music event in the US after a class-act victory, Usher continues adding golden stars to his banner year.

The “Daddy’s Home” crooner is all too familiar with the Essence stage as he first graced the American fest, celebrating the intersection of Black culture, community, and joy, at the age of 19 in 1998.

Back then, a young Usher paid tribute to another icon of the age, Luther Vandross. Jump forward to 2024, and you see Childish Gambino, Keke Palmer, Summer Walker, Coco Jones, Marsha Ambrosius, Chlöe, Tinashe, Teyana Taylor, Victoria Monét, and Latto partnering up to pay homage to the “Coming Home” star at the BETs.

Ahead of his one-of-a-kind Essence performance, the R&B singer told USA Today how being a part of the all-time famous festival always felt like a “celebration.” He also confessed, “This year was a little bit more unique because I’m celebrating the 20th anniversary of ‘Confessions.’”

Addressing why it was even more special to perform at this specific event, he said, “Just being able to have that environment where it is predominantly minority Black men and women (boys and girls) and to celebrate our culture … I’m happy for a multitude of reasons, not just because it’s just another show. It’s a special show.”

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Stepping out on the Essence stage this year was a clear agenda for him, as he declared, “It all started there.”

The indomitable musician further expressed why “Confessions” is a crucial addition to his discography. “Confessions’ has such a huge blueprint and marking the aesthetic of who I am as an artist. That’s why this one is so special,” he divulged.

Honoured to be regarded as an “icon” or a “legend of this time,” Usher has only just begun a landmark year that will lead him to the pages of his upcoming “Past, Present, Future” tour on August 14.

More about this year’s Essence Festival in New Orleans

The 30th Essence Festival of Culture kicked off on July 4 and will continue through Sunday, July 7. Following Usher’s Saturday headlining act, Janet Jackson will take over the reins as the final night’s headliner.

Artists including Ayra Starr, Method Man, Big Boi, Charlie Wilson, Donell Jones, Sheila E and TGT – Tyrese, Ginuwine and Tank – also took the stage on Saturday. Sunday will see Victoria Monet, Keke Palmer, Tank and the Bangas, Dawn Richard, Teedra Moses, Jagged Edge, SWV, Bilal and Anthony Hamilton as performers.

Watch Usher’s full Essence Festival set:

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