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Usher is an American singer, songwriter, and dancer. He is recognized as an influential figure in contemporary R&B and pop music. Usher first released his self-titled debut album (1994) at the age of 15, and rose to fame in the late 1990s following the release of his second album, My Way (1997). It spawned his first Billboard Hot 100 number-one single "Nice & Slow", and the top-two singles "You Make Me Wanna..." and the title track. His third album, 8701 (2001) saw continued success and contained two 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 eight million copies worldwide and won his first two Grammy Awards for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance consecutively in 2002 and 2003. Confessions (2004) established Usher as one of the best-selling musical artists of the 2000s decade, supported by 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". The album sold over 20 million copies worldwide and received diamond certification by the Recording Industry Association of America (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 the Billboard 200 chart and spawned the respective number-one singles "Love in This Club" (featuring Young Jeezy) and "OMG" (featuring The latter also spawned the single "There Goes My Baby", which won his third Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. His debut extended play, Versus (2010) produced the top-five single "DJ Got Us Fallin' in Love" (featuring Pitbull). His seventh album, Looking 4 Myself (2012) likewise debuted atop the chart and saw further electronic production; it spawned the top-ten single "Scream" and top 20 single "Climax"—which received a Grammy Award. His 2014 standalone single, "I Don't Mind" (featuring Juicy J) reached the top-15 of the Billboard Hot 100, and his eighth album, Hard II Love (2016) peaked at number five on the Billboard 200. His ninth album, Coming Home (2024) was released as a first independent project, preceded by the single "Good Good" (with 21 Savage and Summer Walker). Referred to by some critics as the King of R&B, Usher has sold more than 100 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". In 2023, Rolling Stone magazine named him the 97th greatest singer of all time. Usher has earned 9 number-one singles. 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 8 Grammy Awards, 12 Soul Train Music Awards, 8 American Music Awards and 3 Guinness World Records. With 18 awards, Usher is the fifth-most awarded artist at the Billboard Music Awards. Usher co-founded the record label Raymond-Braun Media Group (RBMG) in a joint venture with talent manager Scooter Braun, which was the first label to sign Canadian singer Justin Bieber in 2008. Outside of music, Usher is acclaimed for involvement in humanitarian causes, having founded the charitable non-profit Usher's New Look in 1999.
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