Who Is Usher?
At the age of 14, two years after moving to Atlanta with his mother and siblings, Usher started playing the celebrity game. Usher signed a recording deal with LaFace Records after giving a performance on Star Search. At the age of 15, he published his debut album in 1994. Usher has dominated the music industry for more than 15 years, creating albums like Confessions (2004), which sold more than 1 million copies in its first week. He produced the album Looking 4 Myself in June 2012, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard albums list. Usher has received numerous Grammy and People’s Choice awards for his music, which frequently debuts at No. 1 on the charts.
Usher Terry Raymond IV was born in Dallas, Texas, on October 14, 1978, and grew up there. At age six, he started singing in the church choir. Usher appeared on the popular television program Star Search two years after relocating to Atlanta with his mother and brother. Soon after, he signed a recording deal with LaFace Records. At the age of 15, he issued his debut, self-titled album in 1994. Usher quickly earned a reputation for his smooth vocals, wide vocal range, stylish look, sensuous dance movements, and romantic ballads.
Songs and Albums
Usher has been a major force in the music industry for more than 15 years. R&B, blues, and pop are just a few of the musical genres he has performed in. His second album, My Way, was released in 1997, coming after Usher (1994). The album, which sold more than 7 million copies and featured the hits “Nice & Slow” and “You Make Me Wanna?,” catapulted the young musician to popularity. Usher rapidly gained praise for his smooth voice and enticing songs. He also developed a reputation for including explicit sexual content in his music, performances, and music videos.
Usher first released Usher Live in 1999, then the wildly popular 8701 in 2001, which featured the No. 1 song “U Got It Bad” and two Grammy Award-winning singles, “U Remind Me” and “U Don’t Have to Call.” 8701 has been sold in excess of 4 million copies just in the US.
Usher’s second album, Confessions (2004), was released in 2004, over ten years after his debut. The record sold more than a million copies in its first week, and overall, approximately 20 million copies were sold. The songs “Burn,” “Confessions Part II,” and “Yeah!”—a collaboration with Ludacris and Lil Jon—were all on the album. Usher had a remarkably excellent track record by this point, having amassed 13 Top 20 hits, seven of which peaked at No. 1. He received “Artist of the Year” honors at the 2004 Billboard Music Awards. He won three Grammy Awards (best contemporary R&B album, best R&B performance by a duo or group, and best rap/sung collaboration) and two People’s Choice Awards the following year.
Usher won two more Grammys for best contemporary R&B album (Raymond v. Raymond) and best male R&B performance after the release of the album in 2010. (“There Goes My Baby”). The singer has received numerous prizes throughout the years, including nine from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, eight Soul Train Music Awards, five Grammys, and 17 Billboard Music Awards.
He produced the album Looking 4 Myself in June 2012, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard albums list.
Usher revealed in March 2013 that he was hard at work on his upcoming eighth studio album, UR, which he promised would be “more R&B, more urban” than his last record Looking 4 Myself. He has already released a couple of the album’s songs, including “Good Kisser,” “She Came to Give It to You” with Nicki Minaj, and “I Don’t Mind” with Juicy J.
Film and TV Roles
Usher has experience acting in both theater productions and motion pictures. He played one of his first parts in the teen horror movie The Faculty (1998). He continued to make cameos on other television programs, including one in which he played Marvin Gaye on the show American Dreams (2002). Usher portrayed a disc jockey in the 2005 movie In the Mix, and a year later, he was cast as Billy Flynn in the Broadway production of Chicago (2006).
Usher was introduced as one of The Voice’s newest judges and coaches in 2012. The Voice is a well-known singing competition program on NBC. On March 25, 2013, Usher made his Voice debut alongside Latin singer Shakira (the season 4 premiere). Usher and Shakira appeared on the show alongside returning judges/coaches Adam Levine and Blake Shelton to take the place of Cee Lo Green and Christina Aguilera.
Usher quickly won over TV viewers with his unconventional tutoring approach. Despite his success, he and Shakira will miss the fifth season of The Voice in order to make room for Green and Aguilera’s return. But for the sixth season, Usher and Shakira will sit in the judges’ seats once more.
Usher dated Chili, a former TLC member, around the beginning of the new millennium. He wed Tameka Foster in 2007. Usher Raymond V, born in 2007, and Naviyd Ely Raymond are the couple’s two children (2008). 2009 saw the couple’s divorce.
Kyle Glover, Foster’s stepson who is 11 years old and Usher’s son, was seriously injured in a boating accident in July 2012. Glover was reportedly unconscious when a jet ski struck him in the head on Lake Lanier in Atlanta, Georgia, where he was floating in an inflatable tube. Glover was transported to a nearby hospital, where medical professionals pronounced him brain dead.
The next August, tragedy struck Usher’s family once more. The singer’s Atlanta home’s pool drain caught his son Usher Raymond V. When the incident occurred, Usher’s aunt was watching the youngster and had made an effort to set the boy free. The youngster was injured but lived after being transferred to a local hospital.
Following the incident, Tameka Foster, Usher’s ex-wife, filed a lawsuit to reclaim custody of the couple’s two children. According to CNN, she alleges in her legal filing that the singer was “not competent of providing daily caring and supervision for the little children.” However, the court in the case disapproved of Foster’s argument and granted Usher custody of the kids.
Usher wed his longtime partner and manager Grace Miguel, a senior executive at Def Jam Records, in September 2015. After a two-year marriage, they announced their split in March 2018.
Usher and fiancée Jenn Goicoechea welcomed their daughter, Sovereign Bo, in September 2020. In May 2021, the couple announced they were expecting a second child.