R&B professional singer Usher Raymond IV was born on October 14, 1978 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He was raised there alongside his younger brother James by his single parent mother named Jonnetta Patton, who previously worked as a full-timer in an office. Usher began his singing career at his six-year age by joining the local church choir. Next at his twelfth year age, the guy followed his family moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where he began participating in various local talent shows. Later on in 1992, he met Bryant Reid, brother of the famed R&B producer and co-president of LaFace Records Antonio Reid, in an audition in his school. Got impressed by Usher's singing talent, Bryant attempted his audition for Reid, who at the end offered him a recording contract.
After that began working on his debut album, Usher's hard work came to fruition with the release of his eponymous LP "Usher" on August 30, 1994 under LaFace's wings which sad to say peaked at number 167 on the Billboard 200, making it his lowest-selling album to date selling a little over 50,000 units. In 1996, the will-becoming notable rapper had also made recording jingles for Coca-Cola and that year Summer Olympics in Atlanta. Soon afterwards, together with some other vocalists, Usher formed a vocal group dubbed Black Men United and recorded a song called "U Will Know," featured as the 1994 romantic drama film "Jason's Lyric" soundtrack, which became his most successful to date, reached number 28 on the Billboard Hot 100 late that year and number 5 on the Hot R&B/Hip Hop Charts. Graduated from North Springs High School in Sandy Springs, Georgia, Usher entered the studio to record his sophomore album "My Way" with 6 out of its 9 tracks were co-written by Usher himself. Released in October 1997, the LP went success as it reached number 4 on the Billboard 200, number 1 on the R&B album charts, number 13 on the Canadian charts and that its two hit singles; "You Make Me Wanna" (1997) and "My Way" (1998) had eventually led the album to be certified multi-platinum.
Singing aside, Usher also spent time acting, made his acting debut in the UPN TV series "Moesha" (1996) which led to his first leading film role in the 1998 "The Faculty," also starred pop songstress %cBrandy%. The following year saw him cast in the daytime drama "The Bold and the Beautiful" and in the family series "Promised Land" before completed two more films, "She's All That" and "Light It Up", both hit the theaters in 1999. Later that year he released a live album, titled "Live", featured %cLil' Kim%, %cJagged Edge%, %cTrey Lorenz%, %cShanice%, %cTwista%, and Manuel Seal, Jr., which sadly failed to repeat the success of "My Way," peaked only at number 73 on the Billboard 200 and number 30 on the R&B/Hip Hop Charts.
In the wake of the failed effort, Usher got back in the recording studio, worked on his third album "8701", meant as a referring to its release date of August 7, 2001. Proved to be another success, the set peaked at number one in the UK and Canada, number four on the Billboard 200 and number three on the R&B charts, thus started to build a market for Usher outside his traditional markets in Canada and the US. Greater than all, the album's hit singles "U Don't Have To Call" and "U Remind Me" won the star two Grammys for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance in 2002 and 2003 respectively, made him the only artist besides %cLuther Vandross% and %cStevie Wonder% to win that award in consecutive years. Then again added more film projects into his resume, he made an appearance in "Geppetto" in 2000 and "Texas Rangers" in 2001. Stepped back to where he from, Usher worked on his next music effort, "Confessions", dropped on March 23, 2004, sold 1.1 million records in its first week of release, the most copies ever sold in one week by an R&B artist. Following this, the album became one of the most successful records of the year, topped the world charts for several weeks and eventually sold over 9 million copies in the US alone, made it Usher's most successful album to date, as not only the set spawned several chart-topper hits, like "Yeah", "Burn", and "My Boo," which is a duet with singer %cAlicia Keys%, but also it certified 9x platinum in the US while won him the 2005 Grammys Best Contemporary R&B Album, Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group for "My Boo", and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for "Yeah" among others. Then again in November 2005, Usher back to act, starred in Lions Gate's drama musical comedy "In the Mix," portrayed New York's hottest nightclub deejay named Darrell. The following year, he invaded Broadway, gave hand to play the role of Billy Flynn in the long-running musical "Chicago."
In 2007, Usher got engaged to his stylist Tameka Foster and by June the same year the couple publicly announced that they were expecting their first child together. Initially planned to walk down the aisle on July 28th at record executive L.A. Reid's home in New York's Hamptons, the couple called it off two hours before the ceremony was due to begin, issued a statement through his publicist, saying "It was announced today that the wedding ceremony for Usher Raymond IV and Tameka Foster was canceled. No additional information will be given regarding the circumstances of the cancellation, but we hope the privacy of this matter will be respected." The quick wedding cancellation reluctantly raised heavy media speculation on the couple's split, which he repeatedly denied. After all the negative rumors, Usher and Tameka finally held their marriage in a private and low key ceremony took place on August 3rd in the office of his Atlanta lawyer. On November 26th Tameka gave birth to a baby boy named Usher Raymond V.
Notwithstanding with the good news, Usher's marriage to Tameka has been assumed by many as the cause of his long-delayed fifth studio album. Reports, which Usher constantly denied, said that Tameka forced him to drop his mother as a manager as well as to concentrate on the new family instead of working in the studio. Despite the claims, Usher announced in September 2007 that he was "nearly there" with the album that will feature collaborations from %cR. Kelly%, %cT-Pain%, %cTimbaland%, %cKanye West% and many more.
After a long delay, Usher returned in 2008 with his fifth studio installment, "Here I Stand". Inspired by love for his new wife Tameka and their son, Usher recorded many ballads for the album. His dad, who died months before the album release, was also an influence.
The album debuted at No. 1 on Billboard 200 with 433,000 copies sold in its first week. It failed to match the success of its predecessor, but received positive reviews from most music critics who praised the maturity in the album's lyrics. It generated the hit "Love in This Club" which peaked at No. 1 on the Hot 100 and spent three consecutive weeks at the summit.
In 2010, Usher dropped his sixth album "Raymond v. Raymond" which was expected to follow in "Confessions" album's footsteps. The single "OMG" from the project reached No. 1 in several countries including the U.S., making him the first 2010s artist to collect number one singles in three consecutive decades, and only the fourth artist of all-time to achieve the feat. Usher also became the third artist to have at least one No. 1 song from five consecutive studio albums.
"Raymond v. Raymond" also debuted at No. 1 on the US Billboard 200 chart, becoming his third consecutive No. 1 album and making him the first male artist since %cEminem% to have three consecutive albums debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart.
Usher released "Looking 4 Myself" in 2012. It received generally positive reviews from contemporary music critics. The following year, he began teasing his next album which was initially believed to be titled "UR". He even launched a tour to support it, but the album never came out.
Now, he's gearing up to release "Hard II Love". "No Limit" arrived in June as a preview. The song has so far peaked at No. 33 on Billboard Hot 100.