Usher Raymond IV may have been born to sing.
As a youngster, he sang in the choir, and as his family watched his talent develop, they made what would be a fateful decision – to move from Chattanooga, Tennessee to Atlanta, Georgia, where a more fertile music scene was growing.
Turns out his family was right to believe in his musical skills. The Recording Industry of America has certified Usher as one of the best-selling acts in history, selling over 65 million records in his career. And he’s achieved all this success – including a shelf full Grammys, BET, Soul Train and American Music Awards at just 32 years old. To boot, he’s also considered responsible for the discovery and development of another young pop sensation: Canada’s Justin Bieber.
Usher started his professional career as a teenager, releasing his self-titled debut in 1994. He was discovered via an appearance on “Star Search,” a distinction he shares with another pop superstar, Beyonce, who also competed on the show. He was mentored by Jermaine Dupri and P. Diddy, who helped shaped the young man’s sound and showmanship. Their influence must have stuck, as his next CD, 1997’s “My Way,” went platinum off the strength of the singles “You Make Me Wanna” and “Nice and Slow.” Well on his way to heartthrob status, Usher continued his success with his next effort, 2001’s “8701,” which hurtled him to the top of the charts and made him the most popular young artist in R&B.
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From that point on, the successes have been frequent. “Confessions,” his top-seller to date, was the CD that helped place Usher into a rare stratosphere of multi-platinum selling artists, and he’s barely looked back since its 2004 release. While his short-lived married to Tameka Raymond, his former stylist, was blog fodder, (but still produced two beautiful sons) his career recovered. “Here I Stand,” recorded around his marriage, may not have been as popular an album as “Confessions,” but he soon rebounded with “Raymond vs. Raymond” and reigned once again at the top of the charts. (And many consider “Here I Stand” his most mature yet.)
Despite his youth, Usher has made a mark on the music industry that few can contest. Given what seems to be the lack of any new artists with his complete set of skills following in his coordinated footsteps, Usher can hold the throne of R&B’s top male solo artist for some time. He will just be 33 this year, still a prime age for artistic achievement. If he can top all that he’s already achieved, then he’ll definitely join his predecessors in music history – and that’s aside from the history he’s already made.
What’s next? He’s yet to announce it, but his fans, detractors and his competition – if there is any – will surely be waiting to see what Usher has in store.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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