Before Confessions, there was 8701. On this day, 21 years ago, Usher dropped this masterpiece of an album as a follow-up to his 1997 sophomore album My Way. While the then 22-year-old had been on the music scene since the late 1980s, releasing his first album as a teenager in 1994, it was My Way that would mark the start of his commercial success and critical acclaim.
And if Confessions is Usher’s opus magnum, then 8701 is the middle album that expanded upon the previous era, while laying the groundwork for the next. Reaching number four on the Billboard 200, 8701 spawned multiple hit singles including “U Remind Me” and “U Got It Bad,” both of which reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100.
But as you already know, that’s not why we’re here today. In addition to its chart-topping success, 8701 also established some iconic looks for Usher through its respective music videos, performances, and world tour. Today we are taking a look back at those moments.
Usher gave a number of performances to promote the 8701 album, and the looks were similar to those he rocked in the music videos.
While Usher didn’t perform at the 2001 VMAs, we had to highlight this fit because it paid tribute to our fallen angel Aaliyah who had just tragically lost her life several days before. For this event, Usher wore an Aaliyah t-shirt with a brown leather jacket overtop, and a dark brown beanie along with his Usher chain.
In April of 2002, Usher embarked on the 8701 Evolution tour, which was the first of his career. The tour was a combination of his material from My Way and 8701, and lasted nearly two months. Here’s a look at the costumes.
And here are some other looks that Usher sported during this era.
8701 remains a timeless bop that still sounds fresh today, and like we said earlier, it laid the groundwork for the Confessions era that would follow two to three years later.
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