Usher On Whitney...
June 3, 2002
Copyright © 2002, Newsday, Inc.
R&B's Usher Has Feel For Arista's Rhythms
by Robert Kahn
Usher is keeping a close watch on things around the House of Arista.
The tight-abbed R&B star says Whitney Houston looks healthy, girlfriend Rozonda
"Chilli" Thomas of TLC is coping with the death of groupmate Lisa "Left
Eye" Lopes and Arista chief L.A. Reid needs to focus on developing tighter
relationships with his artists.
Usher saw Houston last month at Lopes' Atlanta funeral and said the troubled chanteuse
looked "absolutely beautiful." "And it was good to hear her singing once
again," said the 23-year-old, who stages an event of his own June 14 at Jones Beach.
TLC, meanwhile, is recording, despite the loss of Lopes. "They still have great
energy. It's as if they've taken on Lisa's spirit."
Usher began work on his third album, "8701," just as Reid was moving to Arista
two years ago. Weeks before it was to be released, Reid sent Usher straight back to the
studio. Usher says the decision to pull back the album was his. In any case, the move was
smart: "8701" has sold 7 million copies.
"I think a lot of decisions that were made could have been executed better if we had
been able to have a tighter relationship then. When you can't hear your artists, that can
be a problem," Usher says. "I'll say this one thing about Mr. Reid: In life,
things move forward through conflict."
When Usher's through flashing his chest at the beach, you're likely to find him opening
his wallet on Fifth Avenue or chowing down at Jezebel's and Mr. Chow's.
"You might see me at Barney's, Gucci or Versace ... L.A. Reid is throwing me a party,
and it's gonna be ridiculous. Donald Trump is invited. Bill Clinton is invited. It's gonna
NEWSFILE: 4 JUNE 2002