Usher Raymond IV (born October 14, 1978) is an American singer, songwriter, dancer, and actor. Born in Dallas, Texas but raised and lived in Chattanooga, Tennessee until moving to Atlanta, Georgia. At the age of 12, his mother put him in local singing competitions, before catching the attention of a music A&R from LaFace Records. In 1994, he released his self-titled debut album, Usher. He rose to fame in the late 1990s with the release of his sophomore album My Way (1997), which spawned his first U.S. Billboard Hot 100 number-one single, “Nice & Slow”, amongst top-two singles “You Make Me Wanna…” and “My Way”. 8701 (2001) produced the number-one singles “U Remind Me” and “U Got It Bad”, and top-three single “U Don’t Have to Call”. It sold 8 million copies worldwide and won his first two Grammy Awards as Best Male R&B Vocal Performance in 2002 and 2003.
Confessions (2004) established him as one of the best-selling musical artists of the 2000s decade, selling 20 million copies worldwide. Bolstered by its four consecutive Billboard Hot 100 number one singles; “Yeah!”, “Burn”, “Confessions Part II”, and “My Boo”, it has been certified Diamond by the RIAA. Here I Stand (2008) and Raymond v. Raymond (2010), debuted atop of the Billboard 200, and produced the BillboardHot 100 number-one singles “Love in This Club” and “OMG”. The EP, Versus, also produced the Hot 100 top-five single “DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love”. Looking 4 Myself(2012), also debuted atop the Billboard 200 chart and produced the Hot 100 top-ten single “Scream”. Raymond v. Raymond and Looking 4 Myself received Grammy Awards for R&B singles “There Goes My Baby” and “Climax”. Hard II Love (2016) peaked at number five on the Billboard 200 albums chart.
Usher has sold 23.8 million albums and 38.2 million digital songs in the United States. To date, his worldwide sales stand at 43 million albums and 75 million records overall, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. Usher has won numerous awards and accolades including 18 Billboard Music Awards and 8 Grammy Awards. At the end of 2009, Billboard named him the second most successful artist of the 2000s decade, the number-one Hot 100 artist of the 2000s decade, and ranked Confessions as the top solo album of the 2000s decade. Billboard also placed him at number 6 on their list of “Top 50 R&B/Hip-Hop Artists of the Past 25 Years”. Usher has attained 9 US Hot 100 number-one singles. Considered an icon and sex symbol, he was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame and Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2008, he started his own record label Raymond-Braun Media Group (RBMG); a joint venture with talent manager Scooter Braun that includes Canadian singer Justin Bieber.