Usher Raymond IV (born October 14, 1978) is a five-time Grammy Award-winning American R&B and pop singer, dancer, and actor who rose to fame in the mid-late 1990s. To date, he has sold approximately 20.4 million albums in the U.S. and over 30 million worldwide. His 2004 album, Confessions, sold 1.1 million copies in the United States in its first week of release — setting a record for the most number of records sold in week for an R&B artist and has sold almost 14 million worldwide.
Usher's parents are Usher Raymond III and Jonetta Patton, who lived in Dallas, Texas at the time of his birth. ; Usher was primarily raised by his mother, who relocated the family from Chattanooga to Atlanta, Georgia when he was a child. Usher's mother focused family life around her faith and religion.
Usher started singing in the church choir, and soon his singing talents were noticed. As early as junior high school, Usher began entering local talent shows in which he won by unanimous vote.
In 2005, Usher announced that he was beginning his own record label, Us Records. The first three signees are rapper Rico Love, R&B group One Chance, and R&B solo artist Ryon Lovett. The first album from the label, One Chance's Private, is expected to be released November 28. Rico Love's The 5th Element is expected to be released in fall 2006.