American singer Usher is a teen sensation turned R&B icon who has several bestselling albums, numerous awards and his own recording label. He was born Usher Terry Raymond IV on October 14, 1978 in Tennessee. His father abandoned the family when Usher was only a year old. As a child, he performed in the church choir. At the age of 11 he joined a group called “NuBeginnings” with whom he recorded some tracks before being pulled out of the band by his mother. The family moved to Atlanta so Usher could get a better exposure to the music scene. At the age of 13, he began competing in talent shows and one such performance at “Star Search” came to the notice of a representative from L.A. Reid’s company, LaFace Records. Usher was asked to come and audition for Reid, duly impressed him, and was given a contract.
His first performance was on the soundtrack of the 1993 film “Poetic Justice”. He then released his debut album titled “Usher” on August 30, 1994. Several of the tracks on this album were produced by the rapper P. Diddy. The album reached No. 25 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart. Following the release of his debut album, Usher graduated from high school and kept honing his skills for the production of his second album. This was titled “My Way” and released on September 16, 1997. The album was a phenomenal success and was certified 6x Platinum in the U.S. It included hit singles such as “You Make Me Wanna…” which became his first gold and platinum certified single in the U.S., and “Nice & Slow” which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.
His third album, released in August 2001, was titled “8701”. This was another phenomenal success and went Platinum four times over in the United States. Following one success with another, Usher released his fourth album in 2004, titled “Confessions”. It became his bestselling album to date, selling 10 million copies in the U.S. and over 20 million copies worldwide. It sold more than 1.1 million copies in its first week alone, which made it the highest first