James Lackey (brother)
Ben Vereen (godfather)
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 August 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", with top-five singles "You Make Me Wanna..." and "My Way" earning him his first two Grammy Award nominations in 1998 and 1999. His third studio album 8701 (2001), produced the number-one singles "U Remind Me" and "U Got It Bad". The former won him his first Grammy Award in 2002, along with "U Don't Have to Call" in 2003 for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance.
Confessions (2004) established him as one of the best-selling musical artists of the 2000s decade. It sold over 20 million copies worldwide, bolstered by its four consecutive Billboard Hot 100 number one singles —"Yeah!", "Burn", "Confessions Part II", and "My Boo"—and has been certified Diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America. Confessions earned him three Grammy Awards in 2005, including Best Contemporary R&B Album. Here I Stand (2008) and Raymond v. Raymond (2010), debuted atop the Billboard 200, produced the Billboard Hot 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 of the Billboard 200 chart and produced the Hot 100 top-ten single "Scream". Raymond v. Raymond and Looking 4 Myself notably received Grammy Awards for R&B singles "There Goes My Baby" and "Climax".
The RIAA ranks Usher as one of the best-selling artists in American music history, having sold over 23.8 million albums and 38.2 million digital songs in the United States alone. To date, his worldwide sales stand over 43 million albums and 75 million records overall, making him one of the best-selling music artists. Usher has won numerous awards including eighteen Billboard Music Awards and eight Grammy Awards. At the end of 2009, Billboard named him the number-one Hot 100 artist of the 2000s decade, the second most successful artist of the 2000s decade, and ranked Confessions as the top solo album of the 2000s decade. Billboard also placed him at number six on their list of "Top 50 R&B/Hip-Hop Artists of the Past 25 Years". Usher has attained nine Hot 100 number-one singles. He has been inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame and the 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. The most prominent artist Usher represents is Justin Bieber.