||Usher hasn’t stopped reaching for the next level since making his debut at 14 on Star Search. After selling 35 million albums worldwide, winning five Grammy Awards, and achieving global superstardom as a singer, composer, producer, actor, businessman and philanthropist; Usher has truly defined the term “ultimate entertainer.”
His self-titled 1994 debut spawned the synth-heavy club hit “Think of You,” his first Top 10 hit. His breakthrough was 1997’s My Way, which sold seven million copies and featured the massive hits “You Make Me Wanna,” “Nice and Slow,” and the album’s title track. In 2001 he dropped the 4-times-platinum 8701, featuring hits “U Remind Me,” “U Don’t Have to Call,” and smash hit “U Got It Bad.”
But none of that success could compare to the phenomenon that erupted around 2004’s Confessions. “Yeah!,” “Burn,” and “Confessions Part II” all topped Billboard’s Hot 100 singles charts, and Usher became the first solo artist to have three singles inside the Hot 100’s Top 10 simultaneously. His 2008 album, Here I Stand, has been RIAA certified platinum, debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums and Top R&B Album Charts, and features the monster #1 hit “Love in this Club” with Young Jeezy.
Usher has never taken his success for granted, and has poured his energy into bettering himself at every turn. “They say to be an entertainer, you have to do it all,” says Usher. “When I was young and decided I wanted to be in entertainment, I watched people like Bob Fosse, Sammy Davis Jr. and Ben Vereen. They were triple threats: dancing, acting and singing. It really inspired me.”
Usher has exercised his own triple-threat status on stage and screen. In 2006, he took over the role of slick, silver-tongued lawyer Billy Flynn for a six-week run in the hit musical Chicago on Broadway. His performance met with rave reviews from critics and fans alike, and the press hailed him as the “King of Broadway.”
In addition to his artistic pursuits, Usher is the visionary leader behind Usher’s New Look, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering disadvantaged youth by giving them the tools to excel in the sports and entertainment industry. Usher has further evolved as a businessman by investing in sports franchises, opening a successful chain of wine restaurants, and starting his own record label, USH Records.
Usher remains, in his own words: “The Master of the Moment.”