Usher (born Usher Raymond IV, 14.10.1978)
Usher is an American R&B singer who has won five Grammy Awards and runs his own label, US Records.
Usher is the son of Jonetta Patton and Usher Terry Raymond III. He was born and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he sang in the church choir. In high school, he entered local talent contests and his parents relocated to Atlanta, Georgia, believing that it would provide their son with greater opportunities to promote his talent.
Usher: Musical Career
Usher appeared on the US talent show Star Search when he was 13 years old. His performance on the show eventually earned him a contract with LaFace Records. His first song for them was 'Call Me A Mack' which was released on the Poetic Justice soundtrack.
In 1994, Usher's debut album Usher was released. The album was partly produced by P Diddy (real name Sean Combs). The album reached number 25 on the R&B / Hip-Hop albums chart in the US.
In 1995, Usher recorded a duet with Monica, a teen artist from Atlanta who was also known for her work with the R&B singer Brandy. He then went on to co-write a number of tracks for his new album with Jermaine Dupri. The second album, My Way, was released in 1997 The lead single, 'You Make Me Wanna' was a number one hit and has been certified platinum. The second single. 'Nice and Slow' reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Towards the end of 1997, Usher supported the likes of Mary J. Blige and Janet Jackson.
Usher's first Grammy nomination was 'Best Male R&B Vocal Performance' for 'You Make Me Wanna'
In 1999, Usher's first live album, entitled Live was released, with appearances from Lil' Kim, and Trey Lorenz. This was followed by Usher's third studio album, 8701. The release was delayed by lack of sales in the US when the single 'Pop Ya Collar' was released, despite the track being a number two hit in the UK. The first two singles to be released from the newly re-jigged album were 'U Remind Me' and 'U Got It Bad', both of which reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The album sold over seven million copies across the globe and was certified quadruple platinum.
In 2002, Usher repeated his 'Best Male R&B Vocal Performance' Grammy win; this time for 'U Don't Have To Call'. Usher was only the third artist to have achieved this double win, alongside Luther Vandross and Stevie Wonder. Later that year, Usher provided vocals for P. Diddy's 'I Need A Girl, Part I'.
Usher's next studio album, Confessions, was released in 2004, and its lead single, 'Yeah!' was another number one hit. Confessions shifted over 1.1 million units in its first week, the highest ever by a male R&B artist. The next two singles to be released from the album, 'Burn' and 'Confessions Part II' were also number one hits on the Billboard Hot 100. In September 2004, Usher released a duet with the singer Alicia Keys. 'My Boo' also reached number one and stayed in the chart for 28 weeks. The album gained a diamond certification and was the highest selling album of the year, racking up worldwide sales of over 19 million copies. At the 2005 Grammy Awards, Usher won three awards, 'R&B Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals' (for his collaboration with Alicia Keys), 'Contemporary R&B Album' and 'Rap / Sung Collaboration' (for 'Yeah!').
Usher: Acting Career
Usher's first acting role was in the US series Moesha, in which he had a recurring role. His debut film role was in the 1998 film The Faculty. Other film and TV work includes a role in the daytime series The Bold and the Beautiful, and major roles in She's All That, Light It Up and In The Mix.
In 2006, Usher took the role of Billy Flynn in the Broadway musical Chicago. He received a varied critical response for the performance.
Usher: Personal Life
In August 2007, Usher married Tameka Foster, who gave birth to their first child on 26.11.2007. Their son was named Raymond Usher V.