Hard II Love is the eighth studio album by American singer-songwriter Usher. It was released on September 16, 2016, by RCA Records. The album includes several producers that were involved with its production such as Brandon "B.A.M." Hodge, Rock City, Pop & Oak, Tricky Stewart, The-Dream, Metro Boomin, R!O, f a l l e n, Carlos St. John, K-Major, among others. The album features several guest vocalists from Young Thug and Future, among others.
In an interview with Rap-Up, singer and songwriter Eric Bellinger explained that himself, along with Jermaine Dupri, Bryan-Michael Cox and Brian Alexander Morgan, were working on Usher's next album. Bellinger compared the album's music to Usher's Confessions, saying that it is "more urban" than Looking 4 Myself. The latter declared that his next album would show that he is "still Usher". In an interview with Billboard, Bellinger explained that Usher created music for his previous albums based on what people wanted to hear. For his follow-up project, he chose to do music based on "what he wants to do in his heart", placing R&B as the album's main focus.
On January 6, 2014, RCA Records CEO Peter Edge described Usher's album as "one of his best records," and stated that new music from the record would be released in conjunction with his return on the sixth season of The Voice, on February 24. The album would feature several guest appearances and contributions from Nicki Minaj, Pop & Oak, Steve Mostyn of Public School, Pharrell Williams, Jermaine Dupri, Diplo, Ed Sheeran, Skrillex, Drake and Chris Brown. Usher teamed up with Honey Nut Cheerios in a conjoint promotional effort, where the singer is shown dancing to the album's second single "She Came to Give It to You" with the Honey Nut Cheerios bee. During the outset of the commercial, the album's title was rumored to be UR, the singer's initials.
On September 8, 2014, Usher told Billboard, that the album would be indefinitely delayed, though wouldn't divulge further details due to the album not being finished; it was to be originally released in September 2014. On January 14, 2016, after continual delays of his eighth album, Usher announced via Instagram that the official title of the album would be titled Flawed. On August 2016, an iTunes New Zealand link popped up with a new Usher album, with the title of the album being called Hard II Love. He then confirmed the title on the late-night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live!.
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