Usher Bibliography

Early Life

Usher Raymond IV was born on October 14th, 1978 in Dallas Texas. His father left when he was only one years old and he was raised by a single mother. Since his father left, him and his family moved to Tennessee. When he moved to Tennessee, that is when Usher found his love for singing. Usher began singing in his church’s choir because his mother urged him to do so. He was nine years old at the time and completely fell in love with the rhythm and the power words that he sang about. His family wanted his singing abilities to further so they moved back to Atlanta, Georgia.

Music Career in the 90's

Usher’s musical career began when he was just 11 years old when he joined R&B local quintet called NuBeginnings which was created by Darryl Wheeler. He recorded an album with them but later left the group because it wasn’t a good experience for him but just two years later he went on a singing competition and got signed by a company named LaFace Records. His first song at the label was called “Call Me a Mack” which was recorded for the 1993 film Poetic Justice. In 1994, when Usher was just 15 years his first album was published and it was named after himself. His album sold more than 500,000 copies.  After graduating high school he began to start focusing more on his music career and began to start recording his second studio album. Before his second album officially came out he released a single with Monica called “Let’s Straighten It Out” and he released a couple more singles after that. In the midst of Usher working on his second album he began to form a relationship with a famous producer named Jermaine Dupri who helped him perfect is second album named “My Way”. His lead song on the album “You Make Me Wanna” became number one in the United Kingdom which made the song popular all of the country. That song earned him his very first Grammy and also he won the Best Male R&B/Soul Single at the Soul Train Award show. During that same year he went on tour with Janet Jackson and was the opener for some of her shows and he also went on tour with Mary J. Blige and opened for a couple of her shows as well.

Music Career 2000's to Now

In 2001, Usher released his third studio album named 8701. Before Usher had released the full album, he released two of the songs off the album, “U Remind Me” and U Got It Bad”. Both of those songs were on the Billboard Top 100 and stayed there for 6 weeks. In February of 2002 Usher had won another a Grammy for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. The next year he had won yet another Grammy for the hit song “U Don’t Have To Call” . In 2004, Usher released his 4th studio album, which he named “Confessions”. This album sold over 1.1 million copies during its first week. This was the highest numbers for a male artist in R&B. This album ended up selling over 20 million copies worldwide. The Confessions album earned the Diamond certification from the Recording  Industry Association of America. The first song on the album was the hit song “Yeah!” which spent six weeks at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The second single off of the album, “Burn” succeeded Yeah and was on the Billboard Hot 100 for twelve weeks. Since those songs did so well, Confessions spent 95 weeks on the Billboard Hot 200. 2004 was a good year for Usher because the Confessions album earned him over 15 awards. In 2005, Usher took a little break from releasing an album but he was featured in a song with Lil Jon called “Lovers & Friends”.   In the spring of 2006, Usher released another album named “Here I Stand”. This album only sold 433,00 copies during the first week. It didn’t do as well as Confessions but it still went platinum by the RIAA. The song “Love In the Club” helped the album become more popular and with doing so the album sold over 5 million copies worldwide. In 2010 Usher released his 6th album named “Raymond v. Raymond” which is rumored to be about his failed marriage to Tameka Foster. The songs “Papers” and “There Goes My Baby” put the album on the charts and made more people listen to the album. This album sold over 1 million copies and sold 329,000 its first week. Just two years later in 2012, Usher released his 7th album titled “Looking 4 Myself” which was produced by the new label RCA Records. This was the first album he had done after LaFace Records had been taken over by RCA Records. The hit song on this album was “Climax”, which was on the Billboard Hot 100 for 11 weeks. This album sold over 128,000 copies its first week. Usher had taken a four year hiatus before he released his next album titled “Hard II Love”. This album was  number 5 on the Billboard Hot 200. He sold over 38,000 copies during the first week of the album being released. It didn’t get that many copies sold because now people are starting to stream everything instead of buying CD’s. The song that made fans listen was the song “No Limit” featuring Young Thug, which was number 32 on the Billboard Hot 100.

What Usher Did Outside of Music

In 1998, Usher appeared in the hit tv show “Moesha”, he appeared in The Faculty, he also was in a soap opera called “The Bold and the Beautiful.” He also was apart of two more films, the first one being ” She’s All That” and the second one he had a leading role. The movie was called ” Light It Up.”  He later would appear in the Disney movie “Geppetto.” In 2001, he would make an appearance in the film “Texas Ranger.” In 2002, Usher made some appearances in “The Twilight Zone”,  “7th Heaven”, “Moesha” again, and lastly in “American Dream” which he portrayed Marvin Gaye. In 2005 Usher appeared in the film “In The Mix” as a disc jockey and in 2006 he appeared in the Broadway musical production of “Chicago” where he played Billy Flynn.  Also when Usher wasn’t in Hollywood, he had created a non-profit organization called New Look which focuses on providing young people with a new look on life through education and real-word experiences. The camp was held at Clark Atalanta University in July of 2005. In 2006, he started a charity called Our Block to help rebuild some of the city blocks in New Orleans. He has also helped raise money for Georgia State University and he has also signed on the Hurricane Katrina relief concert. He also has created his own recording label named US Records and he is also part owner of the NBA team, the Cleveland Cavaliers. In 2008, Usher found a young star on YouTube and signed him to his label: That kid was Justin Bieber.

Summary

Usher is a celebrated singer who got his start when he was just 9 years old and was introduced to the music industry when he was just 11 years old. He first began singing in his local church choir and then he got signed by a local record company. His career truly started to take off when he released the song “YEAH!” with Lil Jon. Usher was already popular but that song made his career sky-rocket through the roof. Usher is one of the most hardworking artist in the music industry and his music and career really shows that. 

Usher's Personal Life Then and Now

In 2001 Usher started dating TLC singer Chilli, but they later broke up in 2003. In 2007 Usher married a woman named Tameka Foster and they had two kids together, Usher V and Naviyd. The pair later divorced two years later. In 2015, Usher got married for the second time to a woman named Grace Harry but they soon divorced just three years later. Now Usher is currently dating Jennifer Goicoecha and they currently have 2 kids together, Sovereign and Sire.

Usher doesn’t make as much music anymore but that doesn’t stop him from being featured on other artists’ songs. One of his most popular features is on the song “Come Thru” which was written by Summer Walker in 2019. The latest thing that Usher was featured in was in the remix of the hit song “Peaches” written by Justin Bieber in 2021.

Method of Research

I conducted my research by looking for scholarly websites and articles that could tell me about Usher. The research I conducted I made sure to look for different articles to tell me about Usher’s life before fame, during fame and what he does outside of the music industries. When I found the best articles that fit what I was looking for, I found out that Usher is much more than the music that he creates.

Sources

Sources about Usher:

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