At 45, Usher Raymond IV has 8 Grammy Awards, 18 Billboard Music Awards, 9 Soul Train Music Awards and 8 American Music Awards.
Usher debuted with his self-titled album Usher in 1994, and rose to fame in the late 1990s with the release of his second album My Way in 1997. It spawned his first Billboard Hot 100 number-one single “Nice & Slow”, and saw similar success with its follow-ups “You Make Me Wanna…” and “My Way”. His third album, 8701 in 2001, saw continued success with the number one singles “U Remind Me” and “U Got It Bad”, as well as the 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.
Usher has received numerous awards throughout his career from having one Diamond certified album in Confessions, two multi-platinum albums in My Way and 8701, two platinum albums in Here I Stand and Raymond v. Raymond and more, collectively selling over 23 million albums in the US and 43 million albums worldwide. This includes 8 Grammy Awards, 18 Billboard Music Awards, 9 Soul Train Music Awards and 8 American Music Awards.
In 2004, Usher became the top Billboard honoree by taking 11 awards. At the 26th annual ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards in 2013, he was honored with the Golden Note Award. Yahoo Music classed him as the best R&B act of the decade behind Michael Jackson on album sales, while Fuse ranked him as the 10th most award-winning musician of all time.
He has sold over a total of 100 million records. Usher was inducted into the 29th Annual Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 2007, and the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2016 with a star located at 6201 Hollywood Boulevard. On June 17, 2021, Usher was inducted into the Black Music & Entertainment Walk of Fame as a member of the inaugural class. On July 6, 2023, Usher became the first music act to receive SoundExchange Hall of Fame award. The award was presented to him backstage at his Las Vegas residency by Michael Huppe, President and CEO of SoundExchange. His songs “Love in This Club” and “OMG” are also amongst the best-selling digital singles worldwide.
Usher amassed nine number-one and eighteen top-ten singles on the Billboard Hot 100, and accumulated 47 weeks at the top, more than any other male solo artist at the time. Usher spent 28 weeks at number-one in 2004 alone, marking an then-record for most cumulative weeks spent atop in a calendar year on the Hot 100 of all time. “OMG” made him the first 2010s artist to collect number-one singles in three consecutive decades (1990s, 2000s, 2010s).
He became the fifth artist of all-time to achieve that feat, following Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, and Madonna, and became the third male soloist in history to have at least one number-one single from five consecutive studio albums. On the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, Usher has 13 number-one singles tied with Michael Jackson and Marvin Gaye, the most of the 2000s with 8 number-ones, and set a chart Guinness World Record in 2010.
Usher also has 14 number-one singles on the Rhythmic chart, 17 number-one singles on the Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, and 16 number-one singles on the Airplay chart, with “You Make Me Wanna” (12 weeks) and “Climax” (11 weeks) as two of the longest stays on the latter. Usher has topped several Billboard Year-End charts including seven in 1998, seventeen in 2004, and one in 2010. The Year-End Hot 100 chart of 2004 was topped by “Yeah!” while “Burn” held second place, making him the first act since The Beatles in 1964 to have two singles occupy the top two positions. On the 2000s Billboard Decade-End chart, “Yeah!” finished second, behind Mariah Carey’s “We Belong Together”.
Billboard’s 2nd most successful artist of the 2000s, he was placed at number 6 on their list of “Top 50 R&B/Hip-Hop Artists of the Past 25 Years”. The same magazine placed him at number 14 on their “Greatest of All Time Hot 100 Artists” list, 6 on their “Top 60 Male Artists of All-Time” list, and 31 on their “35 Greatest R&B Artists of All Time” list. Confessions is placed at number 16 on their “Greatest of All Time 200 Albums” list, and 10 on Vibe magazine’s “Greatest 50 Albums since ’93”. “Yeah!” is placed at number 14 in their “Greatest of All Time Hot 100 Songs” list, and 15 on VH1’s “Greatest Songs of the 2000s”.
Confessions (2004) established Usher as one of the best-selling musical artists of the 2000s decade, containing four consecutive Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles—”Yeah!” (featuring Lil Jon and Ludacris), “Burn”, “Confessions Part II”, and “My Boo” (with Alicia Keys)—and the top-ten “Caught Up”. It sold over 20 million copies worldwide and was certified Diamond by the RIAA. After splitting from his manager and mother in 2007, he released the albums Here I Stand (2008) and Raymond v. Raymond (2010), both of which debuted atop of the Billboard 200 chart and spawned the number-one singles “Love in This Club” (featuring Young Jeezy) and “OMG” (featuring will.i.am) respectively. A single off the latter album, “There Goes My Baby”, won a Grammy Award while its parent album received another. The EP Versus produced the top-five single “DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love” (featuring Pitbull). His fourth consecutive number one album, Looking 4 Myself (2012), was supported by the Grammy Award-winning lead single “Climax”. A standalone single, “I Don’t Mind” (featuring Juicy J) reached the top-fifteen in 2014, while his eighth album Hard II Love (2016) peaked at five on the Billboard 200 chart. In 2018, he released A, a collaborative album with record producer Zaytoven.
Referred to as the “King of R&B” by various media outlets, Usher has sold 23.8 million albums and 38.2 million digital songs in the United States. Internationally, he has sold 80 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. At the end of 2009, Billboard named him the second most successful artist of the decade, the number-one Hot 100 artist of the decade, and ranked Confessions as the top solo album of the decade. The same magazine placed him at number 6 on their list of “Top 50 R&B/Hip-Hop Artists of the Past 25 Years” and number 14 on their “Greatest of All Time Hot 100 Artists” list. Usher has earned 9 number-one singles. Considered an pop icon and sex symbol, he has been inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, the Black Music and Entertainment Walk of Fame, SoundExchange Hall of Fame, and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Usher has won numerous awards and accolades including eight Grammy Awards, 34 ASCAP Awards, nine Soul Train Music Awards, and eight American Music Awards. With 18 awards, Usher is the fifth-most awarded artist at the Billboard Music Awards. He owns the record label Raymond-Braun Media Group (RBMG), a joint venture with talent manager Scooter Braun that includes Canadian singer Justin Bieber. Alongside a successful music career, Usher is also acclaimed for involvement in humanitarian causes and is the founder of Usher’s New Look foundation.
Usher Raymond IV was born on October 14, 1978, in Dallas, Texas, USA to Jonetta Patton (née O’Neal; from Tennessee) and Usher Raymond III. He spent the majority of his young life in Chattanooga, Tennessee.