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Usher

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Usher Raymond IV was born in Dallas, Texas, to Jonetta Patton (née O'Neal) and Usher Raymond III. He began singing when he was six years old, joining the local church choir at the behest of his mother who acted as choir director. Jonetta, a single mom, raised Usher and his younger brother, James, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, before moving the family to Atlanta, Georgia, when Usher was 12 years old. Cited by the singer as his best friend, Usher's mother continues to guide the teen star's career as his manager, a duty she assumed after quitting her full-time office job several years ago. Upon moving to Atlanta, Usher began participating in various local talent shows. It was at one such exhibition, in 1992, that he was spotted by Bryant Reid, brother of L.A. Reid, the famed R&B producer and co-president (with 'Kenneth Babyface' Edmonds') of LaFace Records. Bryant arranged for Usher to audition for his brother, and the popular producer was immediately taken with the young singer's precocious talent--legend has it that Reid offered Usher a contract on the spot. Usher recorded and released his debut album on LaFace in 1994. The record, which was co-executive-produced by Reid and Sean 'P. Diddy' Combs, generated the minor hit "Think of You". Usher was only 14 when he worked on the album, and puberty proved somewhat of an impediment to the process. As a result, the producers brought in several vocal coaches in order to help him complete the record. Their efforts were not in vain, as the album captured Usher's youthful exuberance and native singing prowess, not to mention the interest of many listeners. After graduating from high school, he entered the studio to record his sophomore effort, "My Way", which was produced by Jermaine Dupri of So So Def Records, and was released in October of 1997, around the time of Usher's 19th birthday. The record was already highly anticipated based on the success of its first hit single, "You Make Me Wanna", an impassioned love song in the classic R&B tradition. The song was an instant juggernaut, hovering at or near the top of Billboard's R&B singles chart from the moment of its release, and it eventually spent considerable time in the # 2 position on the pop singles chart, second only to Elton John's wildly popular "Candle in the Wind '97." The success of "My Way" proved that the teenage crooner had won over the hearts of legions of listeners. It also illustrated the artistic maturation he had undergone since his debut recording. This time around, Usher wrote his own songs, penning five of the album's nine tracks. The remaining four songs were contributed by such R&B heavyweights as Babyface, Teddy Riley and producer Dupri. Usher spent six months living at Dupri's house while recording the album; the time together, he says, helped them understand each other, and helped Dupri realize the genuine growth Usher was experiencing in his life. "My Way" yielded a second smash, "Nice & Slow", that also put a chokehold on the singles charts upon its release, and the video for the song garnered a fair share of critical acclaim. Shot by famed hip-hop director Hype Williams, the video, which was filmed in Paris, features a dramatic romantic storyline that almost rivals the song itself. Usher was recognized for the strength of his recent work when he won the 1997 Soul Train Award for Best R&B Single by a Male, for "You Make Me Wanna" He also earned a Grammy nomination, though one of the few blemishes on his young career came during the awards telecast when he inadvertently introduced Album of the Year award winner Bob Dylan as "Bill" before an international television audience. For the most part, though, TV has been kind to the kid. In addition to numerous appearances on programs like The Oprah Winfrey Show, Usher has also been a recurring character on the syndicated TV show Moesha, which stars pop songstress Brandy Norwood. Usher appeared on several episodes as Jeremy Davis, a boarding-school student romantically involved with the show's title character. For the foreseeable future, however, Usher is concentrating on taking his musical abilities to the next level by perfecting his skills as a live performer. He's had plenty of practice, touring on P. Diddy's No Way Out spectacular, and with Mary J. Blige on her national tour.  See full bio on IMDb »

LATEST STORIES
  
Usher -- Justin Bieber Made Bad Choices ... But He's No Racist

Usher
Justin Bieber Made Bad Choices ... But He's No Racist

Usher is finally speaking out about the videos that surfaced this month showing his protege Justin Bieber using the n-word ... and even though he wasn't happy, Usher says J.B. is no bigot.Usher… READ MORE >

Usher -- Pleads the 5th On Justin Bieber's Racist Joke

Usher
Pleads the 5th On Bieber's Racist Joke

Usher had the opportunity to join the growing list of BFOJBs who have leaped to Justin Bieber's defense ... but instead he bolted.Our photog spotted Ush yesterday in L.A. ... and of course asked… READ MORE >

- 760 days ago
Usher: Cop Chase Ends with Photo Op ... But NO TICKET  [VIDEO]

Usher
Cop Chase Ends with Photo Op But NO TICKET [VIDEO]

Usher's celebrity burns bright on the Sunset Strip -- so bright he can turn a chasing cop into a photo-seeking fan and walk off Scot-free.The video is nuts -- you can see Usher driving on Sunset… READ MORE >

- 788 days ago
Usher In No Mood To Celebrate Conviction of His Stepson's Killer

Usher
No Mood To Celebrate Conviction of Stepson's Killer

Usher was in no mood to celebrate the conviction of the man who killed his stepson when he arrived Thursday at LAX.Jeffrey Hubbard was just convicted of homicide for recklessly jet skiing. … READ MORE >

- 862 days ago
Usher -- Jet Skier Found GUILTY In Stepson's Death

Usher
Jet Skier Found GUILTY In Stepson's Death

The verdict is in on the man accused of killing Usher's 11-year old stepson, Kile -- GUILTY.TMZ broke the story ... Jeffrey Hubbard was arrested last March for running over the boy with a jet ski… READ MORE >

- 863 days ago
Usher and Scooter Braun Mum On Justin Bieber

Usher, Scooter
Mum On Biebs

Usher and Scooter Braun had nothing to say as they arrived back on U.S. soil after spending time with Justin Bieber.Several photogs peppered both -- especially Usher -- with questions about what… READ MORE >

- 886 days ago
Justin Bieber -- No Worries in Panama ... No Matter What Usher Says

Justin Bieber
No Worries in Panama ... No Matter What Usher Says

Usher helped make Justin Bieber a superstar, but it's gonna be way harder to get his former protege back on the straight and narrow -- since Justin's yet to suffer any consequences for his… READ MORE >

- 886 days ago
Justin Bieber -- Usher in Panama for Save Justin Summit

Justin Bieber
Usher in Panama for Save Justin Summit

Usher has high-tailed it down to Panama to talk some sense into Justin Bieber ... TMZ has learned. Justin and his mentor posed for pics with a woman who appears to be a Panamanian Belieber (they… READ MORE >

- 888 days ago
Usher Sued  For Stealing Hit Song ... Allegedly

Usher
Sued For Stealing Hit Song ... Allegedly

Someone caught up with Usher ... and sued him for allegedly stealing a huge hit.Three guys claim they wrote a song, "Caught Up" back in 2002.   It's about a man lost in love.  Usher… READ MORE >

- 967 days ago
Usher vs. Tameka -- If You Won't See Me ... I'll See You In Court

Usher vs. Tameka
If You Won't See Me... I'll See You In Court

Usher's ex-wife, Tameka, wants a judge to punish him for being a lousy dad who does whatever the hell he pleases with their kids and makes her life a living hell ... this according to court… READ MORE >

- 999 days ago

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