The American singer, songwriter, dancer and actor first rose to fame in 1999 with the release My Way.
Usher Terry Raymond IV was born on 14 October 1978 in Dallas Texas and after his father Usher Raymond III left the family, he was brought up in Chattanooga by his mother Jonetta, then-stepfather and grandmother. At the age of nine he joined the local church choir where his singing talent was recognised by his grandmother who moved the family to Atlanta, Georgia, to improve Usher's career chances.
He joined a local R N' B quintet called NuBeginnings at the age of 11. Usher recorded ten songs with the band and appeared on the 1991 album 'NuBeginning featuring Usher Raymond IV' before his mother took him out of the group. Usher then competed on 'Star Search' at the age of 13 and was noticed by LA Reid, who signed the youngster to his record company LaFace. He was introduced to the public through the song 'Call me A Mack', which he recorded for the soundtrack of the 1993 film 'Poetic Justice'.
On 30 August 1994, he released his debut album called 'Usher', which peaked at number 25 on the Billboard charts and spawned the three singles 'Can U get Wit It', 'Think of U' and 'The Many Ways'. After graduating from high school in 1995 he developed his skills as a performer and prepared for his second album. On 16 September 1997, he released his second album 'My Way', which kick-started his music career. Lead single 'You Make Me Wanna' became Usher's first UK number one and became a platinum-single in the US. He won the Best Male R&B/Soul Single at the Soul Train Awards in 1998.
Second single 'Nice & Slow' was Usher's first US number one. Following this album, Usher made appearances at Mary J Blige's tour and opened for Janet Jackson. His third album was originally titled 'All About U' but the first single flopped pushing the release back. On 7 August 2001 the renamed '8701' was released and has been certified four-times platinum in the US.
'Confessions' was released on 23 March 2004 after lead single 'Yeah!' had been at number one in the US for six weeks. It sold almost 1.1 million copies within the first week of its release, which was the highest ever achieved by a male R& B artist. To date, it has sold over 20 million copies. Usher received numerous awards for this album including four American Music awards, two MTV Europe Music honours and three World Music prizes.
His fifth album 'Here I Stand' was released on 26 May 2008 and despite selling over five million copies worldwide was not as successful as 'Confessions'. This was followed by sixth album 'Raymond v Raymond' released 26 April 2010 in the UK. It topped international charts in several countries, including the UK, Canada, Australia and Spain. The success of the third single 'OMG' from the album, featuring will.i.am, has helped Usher restore his mainstream image and make a good comeback to the industry. His latest albums are 'Looking 4 Myself' and 'Everything You Can Imagine'.
Usher has also turned his hand at acting appearing in TV show 'Moresa' between 1997 and 1999, 'The Famous Jett Jackson' in 2000 and the film 'Texas Rangers' in 2001. He also played Billy Flynn in the Broadway show 'Chicago' in 2006. He also set up his own record label US Records in 2002, with notable sign-ups including Justin Bieber and Rico Love. He also owns several restaurants and is a part owner of basketball team The Cleveland Cavaliers.
Usher dated former TLC member Rozondo Thomas for two years, with the relationship ending in 2004. He then briefly dated Naomi Campbell before meeting stylist Tameka Foster. They got engaged in February 2007 and were married on 3 August 2007. Their first son Usher Raymond V was born on 26 November 2007, while their second child Naviyd Ely Raymond being born on 10 December 2008. They divorced in 2009.