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At age 10, Usher joined an R&B local quintet called the Nu Beginnings, which was organized by local music svengali, Darryl Wheeler.Usher recorded 10 songs with the group in 1991, and the ensuing album, Nubeginning Featuring Usher Raymond IV, was only made available regionally and by mail order.
The album received backlash because Usher was singing about sex which the public had a hard time believing coming out of a 14-year-old's mouth.Throughout his career, he has sold 43 million albums and 75 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time.Usher has won numerous awards and accolades including 18 Billboard Music Awards and 8 Grammy Awards.Alexander invited Bryant Reid, an A&R representative from La Face Records to see Usher perform on Star Search.Following the performance, he arranged an audition for Usher with L. Reid, the co-founder of La Face; Reid signed Usher on the spot to a contract with the record company after singing Boyz II Men hit record "End of the Road".Bolstered by its four consecutive Billboard Hot 100 number one singles; "Yeah!
", "Burn", "Confessions Part II", and "My Boo", it has been certified Diamond by the RIAA. Raymond (2010), debuted atop of the Billboard 200, and produced the number-one singles "Love in This Club" and "OMG".
Again the La Face had their reservations about signing Usher because the album wasn't as successful as they anticipated. After graduating from high school, Usher continued to develop his skills as a stage performer and laid the groundwork for his second album.
At this time Jonetta Patton, Usher's mother took control of his career and put him in more talent shows the summer of 1995 building Usher a larger fan base and ultimately putting more confidence in L. He also appeared on their version of "Let's Straighten It Out", a 1995 duet with fellow Atlanta teen recording artist Monica; Usher developed a friendship with American record producer, Jermaine Dupri, with whom he co-wrote and produced several tracks for his second album, My Way, released on September 16, 1997.
Usher was going through puberty and having a difficult time adjusting his voice. Usher quickly adapted to the lavish lifestyle of Puff Daddy although in an interview with Rolling Stone, he expressed it as the "Hardest days" of his life.
LA Reid became skeptical of Usher and put his recording on hold thinking about dropping him from the label. "I had to knuckle up, figure shit out in New York" he said.
"I Don't Mind" reached the top-fifteen in 2014, while Hard II Love (2016) peaked at five on the Billboard 200 albums chart.