“Bedtime” featured the legend Babyface, “Nice & Slow” showed a more overtly sensual side of Usher, and “You Make Me Wanna” became the triflin’ simp anthem we didn’t know we needed.

The iconic dancing-in-the-rain scene of the “U Remind Me” music video alone gained more play than some artists’ entire albums — and still does.

Dancing “like Usher” became synonymous with dancing well, with paying close attention to intricate choreography.

Never straying from the nebulous, racialized category of “urban” music, Usher created — and dominated — his own lane in the mid-to-late ’90s.

By the early 2000s, Usher had established himself as a fresh-faced charmer with obvious potential.

And yet the success of his third studio album, 8701, was as unprecedented for the artist as it was inevitable.

Indulgent, brooding, and — above all — undeniably infectious, 8701 is still everything versatile R&B should be.“They were so cute, stopping to take pictures with fans,” an eyewitness said. Since then, he's won eight Grammy Awards and sold more than 40 million records worldwide. Nowadays, you can occasionally catch him on NBC's hit singing competition series, .To combat the disappointment of the album’s premature first iteration, Usher recorded seven new songs, including both the Classic(™) “U Don’t Have to Call” and the ultra-sexy “Twork It Out.” The newly reworked (and titled) 8701 was released over nine months later, on 08/07/01.Its name was also a nod to the arc of Usher’s love affair with music: 1987 is the year Usher points to as the start of his career, and 2001 is the year he released this album. 4 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, eventually selling over 4.7 million copies in the US and 8 million worldwide.8701 was Usher’s first album released in the 2000s, and it diverged from his previous albums in that it expanded the artist’s range with artful, prominent nods to both pop and hip-hop.