Usher Raymond IV Bio

by Joe Gabriele Managing Editor

Born in Chattanooga on October 14, 1978, Usher Raymond IV was raised by his single mother (and manager) Jonnetta Patton. As early as junior high school, Usher began entering local talent shows. He was performing at a “Star Search” competition at age 13 when he was spotted by an A&R rep from LaFace who arranged an audition with L.A. Reid. A record contract soon followed.

Usher was one month shy of his 15th birthday when his modest debut LaFace single made the R&B chart in late-’93, “Call Me a Mack,” from the movie soundtrack of John Singleton’s Poetic Justice. One year later, Usher, his self-titled debut album arrived, co-executive produced by Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs. It rose to #25 on the R&B chart.

My Way, co-executive produced by L.A. Reid, Babyface and Dupri, marked the real genesis of Usher’s career as a star, has gone on to earn 6-times platinum album sales in the U.S. alone. Usher received his first Grammy Award nomination as Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for “You Make Me Wanna,” which was also nominated for a “Soul Train” Music Award as Best Male R&B/Soul Single.

Usher’s fourth album, 8701 was released August 7, 2001. Because of Grammy deadline peculiarities, "U Remind Me" was able to win the Best Male R&B Vocal award at the ceremonies in February 2002 and "U Got It Bad" won the same award one year later, making Usher the only artist besides Luther Vandross and Stevie Wonder to win that award in consecutive years.

His fifth album, "Confessions" is certified 7-times RIAA platinum in the U.S. alone and has surpassed 11 million copies worldwide. It spun off three consecutive #1 Pop/#1 R&B hit singles: “Yeah!” (featuring Lil’ Jon & Ludacris), “Burn” and “Confessions Part II.” Awards received from this album include:

  • 2004 BET Awards: Best Male R&B Artist award and “Yeah!” won the Viewers’ Choice award.
  • MTV Video Music Awards: Best Male Video and Best Dance Video for the hit "Yeah!"
  • World Music Awards: Best Mae Artist, Best Male Pop Artist and Best R&B Artist.
  • Source Hip-Hop Music Awards: "Yeah!” won as the R&B/Rap Collaboration of the Year and Usher was named Male R&B Artist of the Year.
  • Radio Music Awards: Artist of the Year – Hip Hop/Rhythmic Radio, Cingular Artist of the Year, and “Yeah!” won as Song of the Year – Hip-Hop/Rhythmic Radio
  • American Music Awards: Favorite Male Artist and Favorite Album (Confessions) in both the Pop/Rock and Soul/R&B categories.
  • MTV Europe EMAs: Best Male and Best Album.

    At this year’s 47th Annual Grammy Awards which took place on February 13th, 2005, Usher picked up three Grammy awards for Best Contemporary R&B Album, Best Rap/Sung Collaboration and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.