“An impressive showcase for Usher’s achievements” – Entertainment Weekly
A dancer, singer, and songwriter, Usher has had a career spanning nearly three decades. His extensive catalog of robust hip-hop beats and silky-smooth R&B tunes have earned him the title of one of the most successful music artists of all time. His relentless work ethic and confident attitude have enabled him to remain on the leading edge of American popular music for the better part of the millennium. His meteoric rise from a local star to a global sensation is an inspiration for aspiring musicians of all backgrounds and ages. He has managed to remain dynamic and relevant over the years by adapting his sound to current trends and expanding his music across multiple platforms.
During his childhood, Usher was surrounded by supportive caregivers who saw his potential as a performer. His mother first introduced him to music when he was nine years old when she let him join the local church youth choir in Chattanooga, Tennessee. After this, his grandmother took notice of his talent. Later, they moved to Atlanta, Georgia, hoping a larger city would provide more opportunities for showcasing his talents. At only 10, he joined an R&B group in 1991, where he first experienced recording.
After he left the group, Usher went on performing in different singing competitions and venues to court record labels. It did not take long for him to gain attention, LaFace Records took notice of him, and he was immediately signed. During the 1983 drama-romance feature film Poetic Justice, Usher’s song “Call Me a Mack” introduced him to the public. However, when prepping for his debut album, Usher lost his powerful voice due to puberty. This predicament nearly led to him getting laid off by the record label. Determined, he persevered and was able to release his eponymous debut album in 1994. It barely reached the charts but was enough to continue his career.
In 1997, Usher released his second album, “My Way,” which was co-written and produced by Jermaine Dupri. This was his breakout album, exponentially surpassing his first album. It sold over 10 million copies worldwide and spawned the hit singles “Nice & Slow,” “My Way,” and “You Make Me Wanna…” Praise from critics poured in after. The hip-hop magazine The Source commented on his performance, saying, “Usher proves that he’s aiming to become more than just R&B music’s best-kept secret.”
In this album, his flexible tenor voice started to fully form. Critics describe his voice as “velvety,” impressively adaptable,” and “one of the most soothing in R&B.” When asked about his influences, he has named Michael Jackson as the biggest inspiration for his music. Later on, he said that the king of pop motivated his humanitarian activities and philanthropy.
Usher’s third album, “8701,” found him taking inspiration from multiple stellar artists, including Donny Hathaway, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and Michael Jackson. It was released in 2001 and was a huge success, selling over 10 million copies worldwide and spawning the hit singles “U Remind Me” and “U Got It Bad.” The album deals with Usher’s relationship experience and the emotions associated with it.
His fourth album, “Confessions,” was released in 2004 and was an even bigger success, selling over 20 million copies worldwide and spawning the hit singles “Yeah!”, “Burn,” and “Confessions Part II.” Usher’s versatility shone in this album. Mixing ballads with uptempo, he became a crooner by blending dance-pop, hip-hop, and crunk genres. As ranked by Billboard, it is the second best-selling album in the United States for the decade of the 2000s, behind NSYNC’s “No Strings Attached.” As the best-selling R&B album by a male artist of the 21st century, “Confessions” has been certified Diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
Usher has continued to release successful albums throughout the 2000s and 2010s, including “Here I Stand” (2008), “Raymond v. Raymond” (2010), “Looking 4 Myself” (2012), and “Hard II Love” (2016). He has also released several successful singles, including “OMG” (featuring will.i.am), “Scream,” and “No Limit” (featuring Young Thug). Usher is also an accomplished actor, having appeared in films such as “The Faculty” (1998), “She’s All That” (1999), and “In the Mix” (2005). Usher has sold 23.8 million albums and 38.2 million digital songs in the United States. One of the most successful musicians of all time, he has sold 80 million records worldwide.
According to Billboard, he was the second most successful artist of the 2000s, the top artist on the Hot 100, and the top solo artist of the 2000s with “Confessions.” In 2019, Billboard ranked him 14th on its “Greatest of All Time Hot 100 Artists” list. Nine of Usher’s singles have reached number one. Among his many accolades are being inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, Black Music and Entertainment Walk of Fame, and Hollywood Walk of Fame. He also has bagged many illustrious awards. He has garnered 34 ASCAP Awards, nine Soul Train Music Awards, eight American Music Awards, and eight Grammy Awards. Usher is the fifth-most honored performer at the Billboard Music Trophies with 18 awards.
With such decorated discography, his venture widened. He began his own record label Raymond-Braun Media Group (RBMG), a collaboration with talent agent Scooter Braun and pop superstar Justin Bieber. In addition, to his successful career in the music industry, Usher is known for his humanitarian works. He founded the Usher’s New Look foundation, which aims to help teenagers develop their leadership skills.
Usher has also had a successful acting career, appearing in many films and television shows. He made his feature film debut in the 1998 drama The Faculty and has since appeared in films such as She’s All That, Light It Up, Texas Rangers, In the Mix, and Hands of Stone. He also had a recurring role on the tel vision series American Dreams and has guest-starred on shows such as CSI: Miami, The Bernie Mac Show, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Usher also appeared on Broadway, starring in the musical Chicago in 2006. Additionally, he has made appearances in a number of music videos, both for his own songs and those of other musicians, including Justin Timberlake and Alicia Keys. Usher’s acting career has been met with critical acclaim, with many praising his natural charisma and ability to bring characters to life.
“Two decades later, he’s still got it as a performer and a pop culture icon.” – Complex
To top it all off, Usher’s live performances are renowned for their energy and showmanship. As a result, most of his concerts are usually sold out. Usher is truly an icon of the music industry and will continue to be for many years to come. Due to popular demand, on his “My Way: The Las Vegas Residency” concerts next year, he will set the stage on fire at the Park Theater in Las Vegas. To the delight of all, the Grammy award-winning star will be performing from February to July 2023.
Usher promises an immersive show that incorporates audience interaction and staging throughout the 5,200-seat entertainment venue. If you are a long-time fan of Usher or are interested to see a spectacular concert that is distinctly unique, this is your chance to have an up close and personal experience with the superstar. This exclusive Vegas show will feature the multitalented performer’s new music in addition to his extensive catalog of classics spanning his 20-year career. Tickets are limited, so buy yours now!