'All About U' will not see the light of day until July...

USHER RAYMOND’s much-anticipated album has been pushed back once again!

‘All About U’, which has spawned the Top Five single ‘Pop Ya Colla’ and will launch the impending club hit ‘U Turn’ (a track already jumped on by urban radio), will now not hit the streets until July.

Speaking after his performance at the taping of MTV’s forthcoming Janet Jackson tribute concert, Usher put the blame squarely on Internet music site Napster.

He claims that earlier this week Napster made several tracks available which compromised his vision for the album. “After my music was released to Napster, I didn’t think that was fair. I didn’t want that to be the way my record was remembered.”

‘All About U’ was originally set to drop last autumn, but was then scheduled for a Christmas release (which would have set up audiences for the 2001 release of ‘Pop…’). However, insiders revealed to NMESOUL.COM just before Christmas that Usher’s label was ‘unhappy’ with the overall mood of the album and advised the singer to return to the studio to cut more up-tempo material – more in line with the mood of ‘Pop…’ than the slew of ballads he’d submitted. A March release was then tabled, but following the single’s international success, a late May date then penciled in.

Usher’s stalling means he is losing ground to some of his R&B competitors. Newcomers Musiq Soulchild and Jaheim have emerged in the last five months, further denting Usher’s comeback appeal and selling healthily. Indeed, Jaheim’s new album, ‘Ghetto Love’ (which was itself rescheduled twice) was bootlegged heavily, but unlike Usher, Jaheim has recorded new material for a ‘fresh’ version of his album, which is due for release on March 26.