The Life of Usher Raymond

Did you know Usher got his first record deal at the age of 13? “With every album I try to better myself” (Usher Biography) he said, and he has done nothing but simply that. Born October 14, 1978 and thirteen years later he was discovered at a local start search convention. He was signed with LaFace Records and on his way to make millions. Known as the “King of R&B” he has set the bar very high.
Therefore he has many successful albums that have made him the person he is today. “Usher” was the name of his first album released in 1994. It made number 25 on the top Hip/Hop R&B. Today that album has sold over 50,000 copies. “My Way” was his sophomore album. He had many hits such as “You Make Me Wanna” and “Nice & Slow”. That album became a six time platinum. He won best R&B soul single at the 1999 Soul Train Awards. “8701” was Raymond’s third album. It was originally titled “All About You” but songs got leaked and the album was revised and renamed. The new name came from the day it was released (August 7th 2001). “Confessions” was his best album sold thus far. Rumors said the CD was based off his breakup with Chili, Usher proved this to be true when he said “I’m 25-years old and I’m dealing with my responsibilities as a man and I’m not afraid to speak…” (Usher Biography) In the first week 1.1 million albums were sold. He has the highest number ever by an R&B artist in the first week of sales. Over 20 million copies sold worldwide. The album earned a Diamond certification by the Recording Industry of America. Here I Stand was the fifth album by Raymond. It sold over five million worldwide. This album was loved by the UK and New Zealand. Raymond Vs. Raymond was his most recent album. It was his third consecutive number one album. He was the first artist since Eminem to have three albums make number one on the billboards.
At this level in his career besides singing Raymond ventured off into the acting scene. His acting career started when he first appeared on the TV series Moesha. He also played in Light It Up and In the Mix where he really got to be himself. “I've gone through a lot of trial and error to find what works and what doesn’t ... With that comes an understanding of how to offer the same opportunities to other artists.”(Think Quest) As a result he started his own record label called US Records. He signed many people such as Justin Beiber, Rico Love, and group One Chance. Today you can catch him guest starring on talk shows or on tour. Besides venturing off into the acting scene he ventured off in to the sports scene and is now part owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers. He is the third artist to own a large part of a NBA team.
Instead of the four pillars of faith, Raymond believes “the four leadership pillars are talent, education, career, and service.” (New Look Foundation) With all the money he has made it wouldn’t be right for him not to share any. Usher started his own New Look Foundation in the year of 1999 and it still is around to this day. He also participated in Challenge for Children and raised around 50,000. In the 2000’s he partnered with the Make a Wish Foundation and provided funding for youth in foster care and service programs. In September of 2005 after Hurricane Katrina he did a concert to provide youth and families from New Orleans with assistance. Later in 2009 he supported Edward Kennedy in the Serve America Act and raised nearly six billion in funding. Raymond is also committed to helping young people through his foundation. He opens them up to the business side of sports and entertainment and provides a two week summer program for ages 12-17 where they explore these fields.
Even though he makes a lot of money it isn’t all about the money. Just like everyone else this is his job. He provides entertainment for people all over the world… and then some. It has been his passion since he was 13 years old. Only one person can define your success in life, how high will the bar be set?





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