Known professionally by his first name only, Usher Raymond IV was born October 14, 1978 in Dallas, Texas. After moving to Tennessee, Usher joined the local church youth choir in Chattanooga, when he was nine years old. Believing that a bigger city would provide greater opportunities for showcasing his talent, Usher's family moved to Atlanta, Georgia.
At age 11, Usher joined an R&B local quintet called the NuBeginnings, which was organized by local music svengali, Darryl Wheeler. Usher recorded 10 songs with the group in 1991, and the ensuing album, Nubeginning Featuring Usher Raymond IV, was only made available regionally and by mail order. The album was re-released nationally in April 2002 by Hip-O Records.
|(Photos courtesy of usherworld.com)|
Usher's 2004 album Confessions sold over 10 million copies in the United States, and has been certified diamond by the RIAA. Confessions has the highest first week sales for an R&B artist in history. It spawned four consecutive Billboard number-one hits—"Yeah!,” "Burn,” "Confessions Part II,” and "My Boo.”
Usher's 2008 album Here I Stand sold over 5 million copies worldwide, and its lead single "Love in This Club" peaked at number-one on the Billboard Hot 100.
On March 30, 2010, Usher released his sixth studio album Raymond v. Raymond, which became his third consecutive album to debut at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart. It has been certified platinum by the RIAA, and spawned another Billboard Hot 100 number-one hit "OMG.” The song became his ninth number one in the U.S., making him the first 2010s artist to collect number one singles in three consecutive decades.
He later released an extended play and deluxe edition of Raymond v. Raymond, entitled Versus, which debuted at number four on the Billboard 200 chart. Its lead single "DJ Got Us Fallin' in Love" reached number four on the Billboard Hot 100.
The RIAA ranks Usher as one of the best-selling artists in American music history, having sold over 23 million copies in the United States alone. To date, he has sold over 65 million records worldwide, making him one of the best selling music artists of all time.
Usher has won numerous awards including eight Grammy Awards. At the end of 2009, Usher was named the number one Hot 100 artist of the 2000s decade. Billboard named him the second most successful artist of the 2000s decade, with his 2004 album Confessions being ranked as the top solo album of the 2000s decade.
Billboard also placed Usher at number six on their list of Top 50 R&B/Hip-Hop Artists of the Past 25 Years. Usher has attained nine Hot 100 number-one hits (all as a lead artist) and has attained eighteen Hot 100 top-ten hits.
Usher joined as a new coach of American reality talent show The Voice alongside Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and Shakira for season 4, which premiered on March 25, 2013 on NBC.
Usher is credited with discovering Justin Bieber.
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