Usher

Usher
Release date
01 January 1970
Usher
01 January 1970 |

For more than 15 years, Usher has been a dominant player in the music industry. He’s moved across several different musical genres, including R&B, blues and pop. Following Usher (1994), he released his second album, My Way, in 1997. The album—including singles “Nice & Slow” and “You Make Me Wanna?”—skyrocketed the young artist to fame, selling more than 7 million copies. Usher was quickly lauded for his fluid vocals and addictive melodies. He also became known for incorporating sexual undertones into his songs, performances and music videos.
Usher released Usher Live in 1999, followed by 2001’s incredibly successful 8701, which included the No. 1 song “U Got It Bad,” as well as two Grammy Award–winning singles, “U Remind Me” and “U Don’t Have to Call.” More than 4 million copies of 8701 were sold in the United States alone.
Nearly a decade after making his first album, Usher released Confessions (2004), which was extremely well-received. More than 1 million copies of the album were sold in its first week, and sales accumulated to nearly 20 million copies worldwide. The album included the songs “Burn,” “Confessions Part II” and “Yeah!”—a collaboration with Ludacris and Lil Jon. By this time, Usher had an incredibly impressive track record: He had achieved 13 Top 20 hits—seven of which were No. 1 singles. In 2004, he was named “Artist of the Year” at the Billboard Music Awards. A year later, he received two People’s Choice Awards and three Grammy Awards (best contemporary R&B album, best R&B performance by a duo or group and best rap/sung collaboration).
Following the release of Raymond v. Raymond (2010), Usher won two more Grammys, for best contemporary R&B album (Raymond v. Raymond) and best male R&B performance (“There Goes My Baby”). In all, the singer has won 17 Billboard Music Awards; eight Soul Train Music Awards; five Grammys; and nine awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, among other honors.
In June 2012, he produced the album Looking 4 Myself, which found a No. 1 spot on Billboard’s albums chart.
In March 2013 Usher announced he was working on his eighth studio album entitled UR, which he described would be “more R&B, more urban” than his previous album Looking 4 Myself. A few of his singles have already been released from the album: “Good Kisser,” “She Came to Give It to You” featuring Nicki Minaj, and “I Don’t Mind” featuring Juicy J.

Outside of music, Usher has worked as a film and stage actor. One of his earliest roles was in the teen horror film The Faculty (1998). He went on to make guest appearances on several television shows, including a role as Marvin Gaye on the program American Dreams (2002). In 2005, Usher played a disc jockey in the film In the Mix, and a year later, he landed the lead role of Billy Flynn in the Broadway play Chicago (2006).
In 2012, Usher was announced as one of the newest judges/coaches of The Voice, the popular singing-competition series on NBC. Along with Latin songstress Shakira, Usher made his Voice debut on March 25, 2013 (the season 4 premiere). Replacing Cee Lo Green and Christina Aguilera, Usher and Shakira starred on the show alongside returning judges/coaches Adam Levine and Blake Shelton.
Usher soon won over TV viewers with his offbeat coaching style. Despite this success, he will sit out the fifth season of The Voice along with Shakira to make way for the return of Cee Lo Green and Christina Aguilera. But Usher and Shakira will return to their judges’ chairs for the sixth season.

Usher also stays busy with his charity, New Look Foundation, which was founded in 1999 and works to provide funding for children in foster care and service programs; holds conferences and camps for at-risk youth; and, ultimately, works to promote leadership skills for kids in impoverished communities. For his work with the nonprofit, Usher has received honors from such groups as the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Trumpet Foundation and National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Additionally, Usher has invested in several entrepreneurial endeavors. He owns the record label US Records and a men’s cologne line, and is a co-owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team.