Usher Terry Raymond IV (born October 14, 1978), who performs under the mononym Usher, is an American singer, songwriter, dancer, and actor. Usher rose to fame in the late 1990s with the release of his second album My Way, which spawned his first Billboard Hot 100 number-one hit, "Nice & Slow". The album has been certified 6-times platinum by the RIAA. His follow-up album, 8701, produced the Billboard Hot 100 number one hits "U Remind Me" and "U Got It Bad". The album has been certified 4-times platinum by the RIAA.
Usher's 2004 album Confessions sold over 10 million copies in the United States, and been certified diamond by the RIAA. Confessions has the highest first week sales for an R&B artist in history. It spawned four consecutive Billboard number-one hits-"Yeah!", "Burn", "Confessions Part II", and "My Boo". Usher's 2008 album Here I Stand sold over 5 million copies worldwide, and its lead single "Love In This Club" peaked at number-one on the Billboard Hot 100.
On March 30, 2010, Usher released his sixth studio album Raymond v. Raymond, which became his third consecutive album to debut at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart. It has been certified platinum by the RIAA, and spawned another Billboard Hot 100 number-one hit "OMG". The song became his ninth number one in the United States, making him the first 2010s artist to collect number one singles in three consecutive decades. He later released an extended play and deluxe edition of "Raymond v. Raymond", entitled Versus, which debuted at number four on the Billboard 200 chart. Its lead single "DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love" reached number four on the Billboard Hot 100.
The RIAA ranks Usher as one of the best-selling artists in American music history, having sold over 23 million copies in the United States alone. To date, he has sold over 65 million records worldwide, making him one of the Best selling music artists of all time. Usher, has won numerous awards including seven Grammy Awards. At the end of 2009, Usher was named the number one Hot 100 artist of the 2000s decade. Billboard named him the second most successful artist of the 2000s decade, with his 2004 album Confessions being ranked as the top solo album of the 2000s decade. Billboard also placed Usher 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 hits (all as a lead artist) and has attained seventeen Hot 100 top-ten hits.
Usher was born in Dallas, Texas, the son of Jonetta Patton (née O'Neal) and Usher Raymond III. Usher spent the majority of his young life in Chattanooga: his father left the family when Usher was a year old. Usher grew up with his mother, then-stepfather, and half-brother, James Lackey, born in 1984. Directed by his mother, Usher joined the local church youth choir in Chattanooga, when he was nine years old; there, his grandmother discovered his ability to sing, although it was not until Usher joined a singing group that she considered he could sing professionally. In the belief that a bigger city would provide greater opportunities for showcasing his talent, Usher's family moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where there was a more conducive environment for beginning singers. While in Atlanta, Usher attended North Springs High School. Usher's father died of a heart attack on January 21, 2008. Fanart Banner