Usher Reveals Lauryn Hill’s ‘Miseducation’ Inspired ‘Confessions’

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – OCTOBER 17: Usher listens during a ceremony honoring him at Las Vegas City Hall on October 17, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Usher was given a proclamation and a ceremonial key to Las Vegas for his work in the local community, his “My Way” residency at Park MGM, and for his upcoming performance at halftime of Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Usher’s iconic album “Confessions” recently secured a spot at No. 95 on Apple Music’s 100 Best Albums list. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Usher delved into the album’s essence, shedding light on its profound inspiration.

Reflecting on the journey, Usher acknowledged how “Confessions” provided a platform for introspection and accountability, particularly regarding themes of infidelity. He confessed, “It was a humanizing experience… the opportunity to be honest about it.”

Usher’s “Confessions” Inspiration

Inspiration often arises from unexpected sources. For Usher, it was Lauryn Hill’s album, “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.” He believes the album served as a catalyst for tapping into raw vulnerability. He credited Hill’s album for igniting a deeper level of emotional expression in his own work.

“I listened to that album a lot and thought about the honesty that was in it, the vulnerability that was in that album, and being able to now have my shot at it because people know this much about me. They know I’m an entertainer. They know that I want to please them with entertainment, but they don’t know about me,” said the 45-year-old.

Beyond personal revelation, Usher recognized “Confessions” as a pivotal moment for men to confront and articulate their emotions authentically. In a society where avenues for emotional expression are often limited, the album provided a rare space for candid dialogue among men.

Addressing the societal norms that inhibit emotional openness among men, Usher noted, “Men don’t necessarily always have an outlet. We’re not really comfortable speaking to a therapist in that way, and if we’ve gotten to the place where we can be honest,” he explained. “We let it out in private quarters and there were not really a lot of spaces and things or moments where we could kind of make that connection in this way.”

He emphasized the significance of cultural touchstones like “Confessions” in fostering meaningful connections and dialogue.

Originally slated to perform “Confessions” in its entirety at the Lovers & Friends Fest, Usher’s plans were thwarted by the event’s cancellation. The future of the performance remains uncertain, leaving fans eager for a potential rescheduling.