Usher: Biography and music career

Published At: 11 February 2020 , 04:34 PM


American R&B singer Usher is one of the most commercially successful performers of our time. Since the release of the first Usher album in 1994, over 75 million copies of all collections have been sold. Now the musician has expanded the field of creative activity: acting in films, dancing, helping young singers become stars.

His biography is full of ups, and his musical career marked by prestigious awards: Grammy Awards, World Music Awards, American Music Award, Billboard Music Awards.

Childhood and youth

Usher Terrence Raymond IV (real name of the musician) was born on October 14, 1978, in Dallas, Texas, in the family of Jonetta Patton (née O'Neill) and Usher Raymond III.

Usher in childhood

The father left the family when the boy was one year old. Jonetta, having taken the child, returned to her hometown of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and after a while, she married a second time. Usher has a younger half-brother - James Lakey (born 1984).

Jonetta was a believer and, in her free time, directed performances by a youth church choir. At 9, Usher joined him. His grandmother drew attention to the boy's talent, but she insisted on moving to a large city, where there are more chances to develop creatively. So the family ended up in Atlanta, Georgia.


Along with studying at North Springs High School, the 10-year-old Usher sang in the beginning R & B quintet. This was the first experience of performing and working in the studio. In 1991, as a member of the group, the boy recorded ten songs, they included in the collection "Nubeginning Featuring Usher Raymond IV." The album was distributed only in Atlanta and by mail subscription. Jonetta called such an advertisement "ridiculous" and took Usher from the group.

At age 13, the boy met with Jay Alexander, the bodyguard of musician Bobby Brown. The man considered Usher's talent began to take young performers to talent contests and festivals. Alexander invited Al Ey Reid, representative of LaFace Records, to one of his speeches. The producer liked the way Usher performed "End of the Road" Boyz II Men and offered the boy a contract. The manager of the young talent was his mother (until May 2007).

During the recording of the first album, Usher's voice began to break, and "LaFace Records" seriously thought about terminating the contract. The boy helped to recover by the famous rapper Sean Puff Daddy Combs. He also acted as executive producer of the debut collection "Usher," which released on August 30, 1994. The audience was surprised that the 14-year-old musician was singing about sex, but the tracks were incendiary, and the album took 25th place on the Billboard Top R & B / Hip-Hop chart. To date, more than 500 thousand copies have been sold.

Usher's song, "You Make Me Wanna ..."

The second album "My Way," released on September 16, 1997, was more successful - it nominated for the Grammy Awards, became platinum six times in the USA. The single "You Make Me Wanna ...", written together with rapper Jermaine Dupree, took the lead in the UK, received a gold and platinum disc in the United States, and won the Soul Train Music Awards. The second single, Nice & Slow, reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100.

In 2001, songs from the third album, All About U, prematurely appeared on the Internet. Because of this incident, Usher postponed the release, saying that not one of the "merged" tracks will fall into the final version of the collection.

Usher's song "U Remind Me."

The reworked album was released on August 7, 2001 and received the name "8701". It included 17 songs, including "U Remind Me," which brought Usher the first Grammy award as the best R&B artist. A year later, the song "U Don't Have to Call" was awarded the same high praise.

The famous track, "Yeah!" Which made Usher popular far beyond the borders of his native country, was included in the 2004 album "Confessions." The song held the first place on the Billboard Hot 100 for six weeks, which brought the record incredible popularity: 1.1 million copies were sold in the first week (now more than 20 million). Two more tracks, "Burn" and "Confessions Part II," lasted eight weeks on the leaderboard of the Billboard Hot 100.

Usher's song, "Yeah!"

In the United States, the Confessions album was brilliant and has received many awards, including three Grammy awards. In 2004, at the Billboard Music Awards, Usher was recognized as the performer of the year.

The next collection, "Here I Stand," was released in May 2008 and immediately became the head of the American Billboard 200. In the first week, 433 thousand copies sold, today, more than 1.5 million copies in the USA and over 5 million worldwide.

Usher's song, "Burn."

The song "Love In This Club" from this album is considered one of the most popular in Usher's work, and the clip for it was nominated for the "Best Male Clip" at the MTV Video Music Awards, but lost the clip to Chris Brown's song "With You."

Sixth studio album Raymond v. Raymond "2010 was accompanied by a large-scale tour - the musician gave 92 concerts and earned more than $ 75 million from ticket sales. Billboard placed OMG Tour in 17th place on the Top 25 Tours.

Usher's song, "Good Kisser."

In subsequent years, Usher released two albums - "Looking 4 Myself" (2012) and "Hard II Love" (2016). National music charts led the tracks "Good Kisser", "Missin U", "No Limit". However, not one of the collections could repeat the success of "Confessions".


Usher tried himself not only in music but also in cinema. His first role is the beloved of the main character of the series "Moysha" performed by Brandy Norwood. After that, the young man immediately appeared on the big screen, playing the student Gabe Santor in the 1998 mystical detective "Faculty." Then came the cameo role of the DJ in the film "That's All She Is."

Usher in the movie "Light Up Guys!"

As a full-fledged actor, Usher appeared in the 1999 crime drama "Light Up Guys!". The film tells about 6 teenagers who hold wounded policemen hostage. With a budget of $ 13 million, the picture raised $ 5.9 million, and critics dubbed the plot "predictable."

In subsequent years, Usher appeared in episodic roles: "Jeppetto," "Texas Rangers," the series "Twilight Zone," "American Dreams," "Sabrina is a little witch."

Usher in the movie "Mix."

In 2005, the musician again got the leading role. He played DJ Darrell in the comedy Mix. The film, however, received negative reviews.

"Fans may enjoy the charming Usher, but the film itself is empty and unoriginal, even by the standards of romantic comedy," critics said.

In 2006, the musician appeared on Broadway as a lawyer for Billy Flynn from the musical Chicago. After two months of performing, the artist diagnosed with acute pharyngitis, and he had to leave the show. Upset fans of Usher handed tickets to the box office of theaters. Broadway lost $ 400 thousand due to star illness. After six years, Usher joined the actors of the play "Fuerzabruta," and critics positively noted his vocal and choreographic performance in the show.

Usher in the film "Hands of Stone."

Usher's most severe and mature role considered to be the image of Sug Ray Leonard, a rival to the legendary boxer Roberto Duran in the 2016 film "Hands of Stone." And while box office paid four times less than what spent (budget $ 20 million, $ 5 million), and critics smashed the actors' game to the nines, Usher considers this experience the most useful in his acting career.

Personal life

Usher's first love was Chilly Thomas, a member of the TLC group. Their romance lasted 2 years, since 2001. At that time, the musician composed songs for the Confessions album, and most of them inspired by the personal lives of Usher's friends and staff. For example, there were songs about infidelity and unplanned pregnancy. It was supposed that such a move would arouse the curiosity of fans, but he aroused only Chilli's suspicions. The girl ceased to trust him, and the couple broke up in December 2003.

Usher and Rosonda Thomas (Chile)

In 2004, the musician credited with an affair with supermodel Naomi Campbell. Together they attended the MTV Europe Music Awards ceremony. A year later, Usher appeared on the Grammy carpet with beautiful Aisha Brightwell.

In November 2005, the artist began a relationship with his stylist Tameka Foster, in February 2007, the couple announced their engagement. The world of show business was preparing for a magnificent wedding, which was supposed to held in July in Hampton, but suddenly the newlyweds decided to hold a modest ceremony. Tameka became the wife of Usher on August 3, 2007. They were married by a judge of Atlanta. A month later, on September 1, a gala reception was held.

Usher and Tameka Foster

The couple has five children. Tameka gave birth to three sons - Darren (1991), Ryan Glover, Jr. (1999), and Kyle Glover (2001-2012) in previous marriages. In an alliance with Usher, two more boys appeared - on November 26, 2007, Usher Raymond V was born on December 10, 2008 - Navid Eli Raymond.

In June 2009, Usher filed for divorce from Foster, on August 24, 2012, the court secured the rights to raise two sons, Usher V and Navid Eli, for the musician. A year later, Tameka tried to challenge this decision in court, because the eldest son Usher V ended up in the intensive care unit after being stuck in the drain hole of the pool. The woman appealed to the fact that the musician does not pay due attention to children. As a result of the hearings, Usher retained the right to raise boys.

Usher and Grace Miguel

In September 2015, news of the wedding of the singer and his manager Grace Miguel appeared. The first rumors arose due to a photo of the girl's golden ring on Instagram, and later Usher confirmed the rumors in an interview with Ellen Degeneres. The marriage broke up in January 2018.

In July 2017, the musician was at the center of a sex scandal: four girls and one guy accused Usher of having infected them with a venereal disease. In January 2018, the court dropped all charges against the Americans.

Usher has been following a vegan diet since 2008.

Usher now

On October 12, 2018, Usher announced the release of the ninth studio album, entitled "A."

Usher is 2018

The producer will be Zaytoven, with whom Raymond v. Raymond. "So far, the tracklist has eight tracks, including duets with Future and Gunna, American rappers.