Born Usher Raymond IV in 1978 in Dallas, Texas, Usher was raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee. After his father left the family at only one year old, Usher was raised by his mother and step-father. His mother encouraged him to develop his singing abilities by directing him to join Chattanooga’s local church youth choir at the age of nine. During this time, his grandmother recognized his singing talent, and she further encouraged him to sing professionally after he joined a singing group.
To help give him a better chance at a lucrative career in the industry, his family decided to move to Atlanta, Georgia, in the hopes that a larger city would present better opportunities for singers just starting out.
Usher got his start at the age of ten in a local R&B quartet called the NuBeginnings. By 1991, Usher had recorded ten songs with this group, but his mother took him out due to the lack of exposure.
Usher met Bobby Brown’s then-security guard A.J. Alexander after performing at a talent show in Atlanta. Brown saw talent in the young singer and encouraged him to perform in other local talent shows and parking lots. It was during this time that Brown led Usher to A&R representative Bryant Reid of LaFace Records after inviting Reid to watch Usher perform on Star Search. This performance helped land him a record deal with LaFace.
The singer’s debut came with the song “Call Me a Mack,” which was recorded for the soundtrack of the 1993 film Poetic Justice. Despite almost being dropped by LaFace while going through puberty and experiencing changes in his voice, he managed to stay with the label and went on to learn more from Puff Daddy while living with him in New York.
In August of 1994, the debut Usher album Usher was released under the LaFace label, reaching #25 in the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart that year. While it wasn’t as successful as LaFace anticipated, Usher managed to find more success with future Usher albums.
Throughout the ‘90s and into the early aughts, Usher produced the albums My Way and All About U. The first Usher tour engagements also took place at this time, as he performed in Puffy’s No Way Out tour, followed by spots on tours with Janet Jackson and Mary J. Blige.
Usher also began his acting career in the late ‘90s, first appearing in a recurring role on the TV series Moesha and making his film acting debut in The Faculty in 1998. He would later appear in the soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful, along with more film roles in Light It Up and She’s All That.
In 2004, the fourth Usher album Confessions was released, and Usher’s “Yeah!” became a hit. After the success of Confessions, which sold over 1.1 million debut sales in the first week, Usher followed it up with Here I Stand and Raymond vs. Raymond. The artist has continued to experience success and is still recognized as one of the biggest names in R&B.
Usher Relationships: Who Has He Dated?
Usher was married to Tameka Foster in 2007 to 2009 and Grace Miguel in 2015 to 2018.
Usher has also been in relationships with:
- Jessica White (2013)
- Jade Ewen (2009)
- Eishia Brightwell (2005)
- Naomi Campbell (2004)
- Joy Bryant (2004)
- Rozonda ‘Chilli’ Thomas (2001-2003)
- Brandy Norwood (1998-1999)
- Monica (1995)
- Karon Vereen (1993)
- Stefanie Thomas
The Latest Usher News
Over the years, Usher has made headlines many times regarding his relationships and a series of controversies.
In more recent news about Usher, much has been revealed about the artist. In 2017, leaked documents alleged that Usher had carried the herpes virus since around 2009 or 2010, infecting a partner in 2012. TMZ later reported around the time of the leak that another woman had filed a $10 and then $20-million lawsuit for allegedly exposing her to the infection without her knowledge.
Following these allegations, three more individuals filed lawsuits claiming that Usher had committed sexual battery, fraud, and emotional distress, among other offenses, due to his failure to disclose his infection to them.
In March of 2018, Usher also separated from his wife Grace Miguel, followed by Usher filing for divorce in December.
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