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.
CLICK HERE to view the Usher photo gallery.
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.
Also On Black America Web:
This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
1 of 30
2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
2 of 30
3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
3 of 30
4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
4 of 30
5. Jus haaaanngin out
5 of 30
6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
6 of 30
7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
7 of 30
8. new new
8 of 30
9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
9 of 30
10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
10 of 30
11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
11 of 30
12 of 30
13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
13 of 30
14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
14 of 30
15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
15 of 30
16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
16 of 30
17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
17 of 30
18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
18 of 30
19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
19 of 30
20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
20 of 30
21 of 30
22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
22 of 30
23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
23 of 30
24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
24 of 30
25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
25 of 30
26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
26 of 30
27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
27 of 30
28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
28 of 30
29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
29 of 30
30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
30 of 30