[youtube id=”3AszPTJXIgM”]Usher’s “U Don’t Have To Call” embraced the feelings of relationship disappointment with a pep that reclaimed freedom in being single. Pharrell and Chad Hugo wrote the song as The Neptunes for Michael Jackson but Usher recorded it after Jackson’s management declined it. Usher had much success with “U Don’t Have To Call” winning another Grammy for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance and it charted well in the United States and the UK.
It was ironic that Usher recorded the song despite the original intentions because he was considered Jackson’s entertainment heir. Usher’s 8701 album was another major achievement in asserting his place as the biggest male R&B star at the time only second to R.Kelly. He won several awards for 8701 including Soul Train, Billboard and BET distinctions. Some of his greatest singles (“U Got It Bad” “U Remind Me”) were on 8701 and its triple platinum status within six months led to it becoming the 18th best-selling album of the year. The video is seen as a reflection of 2001 but also futuristic because Usher has a Facetime-like phonecall with Diddy long before the technology was available. “U Don’t Have To Call” stands as one of Usher’s best moments and it spread the influence of The Neptunes.
In 2019, Usher posted videos to his Instagram account indicating that he was working with Jermaine Dupri on Confessions 2.