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MAIN Arrow to Art & Culture Art & ... Arrow to Pop Culture Pop Culture Arrow to Pop IconsUsher

usherBorn Usher Terry Raymond IV on October 14, 1978 in Dallas, Texas, the future R&B superstar's family later relocated to Chattanooga, Tennessee, where the 9-year old began singing in the church choir.

By age 12 he was part of NuBeginnings, a local R&B group, and a two years later appeared on national television, ultimately winning Best Teen Vocalist on Star Search. The teenager's singing style and young ladies-man image was about to go under a major transformation, however, when up and coming producer, Sean "Puffy" Combs took the 15-year old under his wing and moved him to New York for a gangsta makeover.

Combs influence was quickly evident in Usher's self-titled debut album containing explicit lyrics and an attitude that most critics panned as (at best) unconvincing. Dropping the tough-guy image in favor of a more natural R&B lilt, Usher's second appropriately titled album My Way in 1997 went multi-platinum with the single You Make Me Wanna nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance.

Following that success, Usher next released his biggest-selling album, 8701 which produced the hit singles U Remind Me and U Don't Have To Call, both of which eventually went on to win Grammy awards for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. Later, his Confessions album broke a record for R&B albums selling over a 1 million copies its first week.

Usher walked away with the lion's share of accolades at the 2004 Billboard Music Awards with a total of 11 trophies including Artist of the Year, Album of the Year for Confessions and Hot 100 Single of the Year for Yeah!

In 2005, the singer continued to vie for, and win, similar top honors at international awards shows. He was also on the way to movie stardom with his role in the Hollywood comedy In the Mix following up in 2006 with a live appearance on Broadway in New York City in the hit musical Chicago.

Offstage, Usher and longtime girlfriend, Tameka Foster announced in early 2007 that they were expecting the couple's first baby. Although a wedding date had been planned for late July, a gala wedding was cancelled the very weekend that the marriage would have occurred. The following week, however, the couple were rumored to be married in a very private ceremony at the Atlanta office of the singer's lawyer. Usher filed for divorce a year later.

In 2008, the R&B superstar put his name on a new line of cologne and fragrances, and released a new album, "Here I Stand" in May.

The singer's next big blockbuster album, "Raymond v. Raymond", was released in 2010 only months after Usher's divorce from Tameka Foster. "Papers", the emotion-filled single based on his failed marriage with Tameka Foster, topped the charts. Another wildly successful spin-off from the album, "OMG" featured a duet with will.i.am quickly went to No. 1, and subsequently pushed sales of the album to platinum status within months.

Usher's seventh studio album "Looking 4 Myself" was released on June 8, 2012 garnering rave reviews worldwide.

The pop star later became a judge on the NBC hit The Voice in its fourth and sixth seasons, and created a musical score for Macy's 2013 fireworks display in New York City -- the first time ever that the retail giant has asked a music artist to compose something especially for Macy's 4th of July spectacular.

More about Usher around the Web:



UsherWorld
- The official site, featuring the latest news, pictues, music & video clips, tour dates, fan club access and online shop.

MTV.com - Usher - News, biography, video and music clips, picture gallery, discography, with downloadable music and ringtones.

Usher - Wikipedia bio, career history, photos, related links.

 

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