Saturday, February 28, 2004

Usher hit #1 with “Yeah!,” his first of 4 chart toppers that year


Usher with Lil’ Jon & Ludacris

Writer(s): Lil Jon/Sean Garrett/Usher/Patrick J. Que Smith/Ludacris/Robert McDowell/James Phillips/LaMarquis Jefferson (see lyrics here)

Released: January 27, 2004

First Charted: January 3, 2004

Peak: 112 US, 14 RR, 112 BA, 18 RB, 12 UK, 110 CN, 11 AU, 19 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 4.0 US, 1.2 UK, 6.55 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 0.9 radio, 262.7 video, 1037.75 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

“Yeah!” secured Usher as the artist of 2004. Its 12 weeks atop the pop charts, followed by three more chart-toppers that year, gave him a record-breaking 28 weeks at the pinnacle. TB He became the first solo act, and only third recording act overall (after the Beatles and Bee Gees) with three simultaneous top ten hits. SF As the lead single from Confessions, “Yeah!” propelled that album to first week sales of 1.1 million, doubling R. Kelly’s previous record for a male R&B artist in the Nielsen SoundScan era. BB

“The synthy hook of Usher’s biggest, danciest hit” LR about a guy seduced at a club while his girlfriend is out of town looked like it might establish him as the Michael Jackson of the 21st century, but “he has yet to come up with another single as transcendent as this jam.” PD Kudos go to Ludacris, with the “greatest guest verse ever.” DS “His quotable moments are off the charts. Consider: ‘I won’t stop ‘til I get ‘em in they birthday suits,’ ‘take that and rewind it back,’ and the immortal ‘we want a lady in the street but a freak in the bed.’” BS

Then there’s the crunk sound contributed by producer/vocal contributor Lil’ Jon. His “parody-worthy exhortations that are as infuriating as they are catchy” LR make him “a one-note guy, but for the space of a single song, that one note is the greatest party ever.” DS

However, “Yeah!” nearly didn’t make it on the Confessions album. Usher had submitted the album to his label and they thought it needed, as Lil’ Jon said, “that first powerful monster.” WK The song’s similarity to Petey Pablo’s “Freek-a-Leek” then became problematic. Usher told MTV News that after he and Lil’ Jon had finished “Yeah!” they discovered it had the same beat as “Freek.” SF Another account, however, suggests that before Confessions, Lil’ Jon had been commissioned by Jive Records to produce some beats for rapper Mystikal. One of those was passed on to Pablo and became “Freek.” Lil’ Jon then later reworked the track into “Yeah!” WK


Last updated 7/19/2023.

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