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NEW YORK (Billboard) - Usher's 2004 album, "Confessions," has sold 9.4 million copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan, but tentative release dates keep coming and going for its follow-up, which is now nebulously slated for sometime this year via Jive Records.
So what's the holdup? "He has been taking a pretty long time to put it out, but I think he's ready now," says longtime collaborator Jermaine Dupri, who scaled back his contributions to the new album after taking the reins of Island Records' urban music department last February.
"The last couple times I've been around (him), 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."
Dupri declined to specify his contributions, but said, "I know that I've done my songs and I know that my songs on his record are crazy."
He is known to have produced the track "The Realest," which was at one time mentioned as a possible first single. Labelmate T-Pain produced "All the Time," while Atlanta rapper Ludacris guests on "Dat Girl Right There," which leaked last month.