"Papers" (CD single) Music Poster Image

"Papers" (CD single)



R&B crooner chronicles his painful divorce.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

While the topic of divorce is hardly positive, the subject is especially negative in this song, with talk of serious hostilities leading to the marriage collapse.

Positive role models

Despite his divorce, Usher continues to be a fairly good role model, keeping his lyrics relatively clean and the media drama to a minimum. 

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Drinking, drugs, & smoking

An allusion to drinking in the lyric "when the bottle's poppin.'"

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this song touches on a serious topic: divorce. Usher doesn't use swear words or go into graphic detail about the intimate details, but his general description of an exceptionally difficult marriage and subsequent break-up will still be too weighty for the youngest ears.

What's the story?

PAPERS is the first new single from R&B megastar Usher in more than a year (his last release, the full-length CD Here I Stand, hit stores in May 2008). During that time, a lot has happened in the singer's life: he had a second child with wife Tameka Foster, yet the two filed for divorce soon after. The title of his new song refers to divorce "papers," and the song's lyrics chronicle the tumultuous circumstances that led up to the filing. Though he doesn't use graphic language to explain his roller-coaster ride, Usher still describes an intensely personal, difficult, and mature topic that is too grown-up for very young children. For example: "I'm losin' my mind, can't figure out who's wrong or right / I know it's you I love, but then I also know it's you I don't like / You claim you hate who I was, but that's the reason you're here now."

Is it any good?


No matter what he's singing about, Usher's vocals are top notch. That said, this song's subject matter is grim, with exceptionally deep lyrics that go beyond the usual break-up scenario. The end result is a tune that's musically easy on the ears -- with Usher's performance backed by a smooth, slow beat -- yet emotionally heavy on the heart. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about divorce. What can lead two people who were once in love to feel like separating?

  • What can married couples do to try to guard against divorce?

  • Is it appropriate for artists to share their personal struggles with the public?

Music details

Release date:October 20, 2009
Label:La Face
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

This review of "Papers" (CD single) was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent of a 6 year old Written bymadsmooney1214 June 3, 2012

papers cd single

Families can talk about divorce. What can lead two people who were once in love to feel like separating? What can married couples do to try to guard against divorce? Is it appropriate for artists to share their personal struggles with the public?
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 15 years old Written bykelseylopez November 13, 2009


i love chris brown he is my i hearo i look up to him and his music he rocks hes music is asome and so is he go chris i no you had a ruffe time with the holle borke up with rinnina but you did have it comeon chris you just cent go roed and stare heartong gilrs thats just not ritt and its ronge you cen really killed hear all becuse she sed you wear a big withe that was ronge to for hear to be say one that to you but you bollthe made up and you are best frinds agin new am i riite your biggest fan kelseyaguiar im fifteen years old and i love wachone E NEWS ITS GOOD AND I LOVE EVRY THING ELLLTS TOO CHRIS


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