Genre: R&B, Soul
Hometown: Dallas, Texas
Albums: Usher (1994); My Way (1997); 8701 (2001); Confessions (2004); Here I Stand (2008); Raymond v. Raymond (2010); Versus (2010)
Awards: 5 Grammys, 13 Billboard Music Awards, 6 American Music Awards, 7 Soul Train Music Awards
Hits: "You Make Me Wanna," "Nice and Slow," "U Remind Me," "U Got It Bad," "Yeah!," "Burn," "Confessions Part II," "My Boo," "Love in This Club," "OMG,"
Other: The album Confessions is certified diamond, selling over 10 million copies.
Usher Raymond, more commonly referred to by just his first name, has been one of the most popular singers of the last decade. Also known as the King of R&B, Usher has used his smooth vocals to propel him to superstardom since he burst on the scene in the late 1990s. He has since become one of the highest selling artists in United States history.
Usher got his start at a very young age when he joined the R&B group the NuBeginnings. The group would ultimately fail to be successful, but after a 13-year-old Usher performed on Star Search, he attracted the attention of record executive L.A. Reid. In 1994, Usher, now 16, released his self-titled debut album. It turned out to be a moderate success for his first foray into the industry, eventually selling 500,000 copies.
Though his debut was a relatively successful first effort, it would not be until he graduated high school and released the 1997 album My Way that he became wildly popular. The release featured appearances from several established artists including Lil' Kim, Monica and Jermaine Dupri. Anchored by the hit singles "You Make Me Wanna" and "Nice and Slow," the album earned significant critical praise. It became certified six-times platinum and sold more than 3.7 million copies.
With the success of his musical career, Usher began to try his hand at acting, appearing in hit films such as The Faculty and She's All That. His third album, 8701, was also successful, but it would be nothing compared to the next release, 2004's Confessions. The record sold 1.1 million copies in its first week and featured some of Usher's most iconic hits including "Yeah," "My Boo" and "Burn." Confessions would eventually earn him a trio of Grammy award's and is widely considered to be one of the best albums of the 2000s.
Much like Confessions, his fifth album, 2008's Here I Stand, was also a significant commercial success and debuted at number one on the Billboard charts. Despite not matching the popularity of its predecessor, Here I Stand still included a number of hit songs including "Love in This Club."
Usher has continued to work tirelessly since then, releasing 2010's Raymond v. Raymond, which featured the song "OMG." At just 32-years-old, Usher will certainly be around for years to come and will continue to wow audiences.