Happy Birthday, Usher!

Tennessee’s native son Usher Raymond, who began his outstanding career as a teen heartthrob, is having a big day – but this time, it isn’t related to his music. Today, the handsome singer and entertainer is celebrating his 33rd birthday.

Releasing his first album Usher in 1994, a young Usher worked under the tutelage of producer and mentor Sean “Diddy” Combs who worked on a few tracks on Usher’s debut and served as a co-executive producer. Usher’s sophomore effort My Way was much more mature effort from the singer and yielded the singer the hot selling singles “You Make Me Wanna,” “Nice and Slow,” and the album’s title cut. The singles helped propel the sales of the album, which reached six times platinum in the United States alone.

Usher’s third effort 8701 also went multi-platinum in 2001 but his fourth album Confessions released in 2004 is the singer’s highest selling album to date – selling Diamond (10 times platinum) in the states and a reported 20 million worldwide. Following albums Here I Stand and Raymond v. Raymond were milder hits, both going platinum but nowhere near his multi-platinum efforts of the past.

Usher also dipped his hand into the acting pool, appearing in The Faculty, She’s All That and Light It Up while also performing a brief stint on R&B singer’s Brandy’s sitcom Moesha in the late 90s. Usher also struck gold when talent manager and business partner Scooter Braun discovered a young Justin Bieber on YouTube, bringing the teen sensation to Usher’s attention. Usher eventually helped Bieber land a deal with his longtime mentor L.A. Reid on Island Records.

As one of the most successful entertainers of all time, Usher has long maintained his top billing status for having one of R&B’s best live shows. An accomplished dancer, Usher’s moves have been compared to the late Michael Jackson – a known idol of his. The proud dad of two, Raymond V and Naviyd from his now dissolved marriage, Usher keeps himself busy these days by playing mentor to Bieber and various other business investments.

Happy Birthday, Usher!

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