My Boo (Usher and Alicia Keys song)
|Single by Usher and Alicia Keys|
|from the album Confessions|
|Released||September 21, 2004|
|Format||CD single, digital download|
|Writer(s)||Usher Raymond, Alicia Keys, Jermaine Dupri, Adonis Shropshire, Manuel Seal, Jr.|
|Usher singles chronology|
"My Boo" is a duet between American R&B singers Usher and Alicia Keys, written by Usher, Keys, Jermaine Dupri, Adonis Shropshire, and Manuel Seal, Jr.. The song was released as the album's fourth single in 2004. Set over a hip hop-style track, it was produced by Dupri. It was included on the re-release of Usher's fourth studio album, Confessions (2004).
The song received positive reviews from critics, and has garnered awards. The single stayed on top of the Billboard Hot 100 for six weeks, making it the third most-successful single from the album after "Yeah!" and "Burn", respectively. It was also ranked as the 36th biggest song of the 2000-2009 decade in the US.
Usher and Alicia Keys had previously collaborated with the remix of Keys' 2004 single "If I Ain't Got You", which was released in the United Kingdom. During the production of Usher's fourth studio album, Confessions, they thought of various female singers to pair him with on the song. Usher and Kortney Kaycee Leveringston's rare demo version can be found floating on the Internet. Although it was and still is widely believed that it was Beyoncé. However, Jermaine Dupri, who co-wrote the song including Usher's number-one hits "Yeah!", "Burn", and "Confessions Part II", felt that he had established good relationship with Keys since she had worked with him and Usher.
The song is written from the perspectives of Keys and Usher, who play the role of a couple who have had relationship in the past. For him, Usher and Keys "talk about how they used to be in love and how those feelings are still lingering despite the two not being involved anymore." For Keys, "The song is talking about the first person you ever really had feelings for. Even though you move on and meet new people, you always remember that first person."
"My Boo" was among the songs that were not included in the final track listing of Confessions, including "Red Light" and songs recorded Usher recorded with P. Diddy and The Neptunes. "My Boo" and "Red Light" were leaked to the internet, along with other records that were not included during the first release. The song was included in the expanded version of Confessions, alongside "Red Light" and "Sweet Lies" which were only released in the UK version of the album. Dupri thought of releasing "My Boo" as the fourth single from Confessions once "Confessions Part II" would be leaving the charts. The single was released in the United States as a 12" single on September 21, 2004. It was a double–A side with "Confessions Part II" when it was released in the United Kingdom on December 28, 2004. "My Boo" was re-released in the United Kingdom on January 18, 2005.
Composition and reception
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"My Boo" is a hip hop-tinged R&B song with a mid-tempo melody. It is composed in the key of D minor, in common time. The lyrics are constructed in verse-chorus-chorus form. Usher starts the intro, and Keys followed her rap-intro, with background vocals from Usher. He proceeds to the first verse and chorus, leading to Keys singing another chorus, altering some of the lyrics of the original chorus to create a dialogue. Keys sings the second verse and Usher for the chorus, with background vocals from Keys. Keys repeats her version for the chorus. The song breaks with Usher and Keys singing "My oh, My oh, My oh, My oh, My Boo", one after the other. Usher repeats the chorus again, and they sing the intro of Keys.
The song received mixed reviews from critics. Azeem Ahmad of OMH Media proposed to ban "My Boo" because he felt that the collaboration was a competition among Usher and Alicia Keys "over the hip-pop like beat". Jon Caramanica of Rolling Stone found the duet sentimental. At the 2005 Grammy Awards, it was nominated for Best R&B Song and Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals; to which it won the latter and the former was awarded to Alicia Keys' song, "You Don't Know My Name". Usher and Keys won for Best R&B/Soul Single by a Duo or Group during the 2005 Soul Train Music Awards. In 2008, Billboard ranked the song seventh on a special The 40 Biggest Duets of All Time listing.
"My Boo" was successful in the United States, living up to the chart performances of "Yeah!", "Burn" and "Confessions Part II". The single debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 twenty-nine, the highest U.S. entry among all singles released from the album. It entered the top ten, two weeks after, and peaked at number one during its eighth-week stay on the chart. The single remained on the top for six weeks, beating its predecessor "Confessions Part II", which charted at number one for two weeks. However, it failed to match the success of "Yeah!" and "Burn" for twelve- and eight-week run on the top, respectively. It stayed on the top ten for nineteen weeks, leaving the chart after twenty-six weeks. The single was successful on Billboard component charts, topping the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Hot Ringtones. In Europe, the single had divided responses. The single reached the top five in United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland. It entered the top twenty in France, Finland and Switzerland, and top thirty in Austria.
Directed by both Usher and music video director Chris Robinson, "My Boo" clip was filmed in New York City. The storyline of the video is a reflection of the song's lyrics. The footage starts with Usher in a living room watching a video for "Bad Girl", a song from Confessions. The "Bad Girl" intro features Usher singing the song in a club setting while admiring a scantily-dressed woman. He turns the set off and slumps down on the sofa before laying on it with his foot propped up. After a moment of silent, nostalgic reflection, he begins to sing the intro of "My Boo". The video then shows him and Alicia Keys in their separate quarters, preparing to head out, while singing their part of the song. Usher eventually steps out on streets of New York; likewise, Keys is out in her car. She leaves the car and walks down the street, and the couple meet up in the middle of Times Square, cuddling each other and on the brink of kissing. The music video debuted on MTV's Total Request Live at number nine on September 16, 2004. It remained on the countdown for twenty-seven days, becoming the only Confession video to chart.
Usher recorded "My Boo" aside from Keys with various female artists. He collaborated with fellow R&B singer Brandy Norwood and Usher recorded their own version as well, which appeared on her fourth album Afrodisiac. Brandy changed some of the lyrics, singing like having a conversation. However, neither of the two was included in the album. A remix of "My Boo" was also produced, featuring guest vocals from Nelly; however, Keys' part was omitted.
- UK CD 1
- "Confessions Part II"
- "My Boo" (Duet with Alicia Keys)
- UK CD 2
- "Confessions Part II"
- "My Boo" (Duet with Alicia Keys)
- "Confessions Part II" (Remix) (featuring Shyne, Kanye West & Twista)
- "Confessions Part II" (Music Video)
|Canada (Music Canada)||Platinum||10,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum||1,000,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
- List of number-one R&B singles of 2004 (U.S.)
- List of Hot 100 number-one singles of 2004 (U.S.)
- Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 2004
- List of number-one singles from 2001-2007 (Canada)
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|Awards and achievements|
Beyoncé & Luther Vandross for "The Closer I Get to You"
|Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals
Beyoncé & Stevie Wonder for "So Amazing"