Usher's Private Moments and Public Performances

ESSENCE.COM Aug, 27, 2008

1 of 13 LaFace Records

After an award-winning career and four-year hiatus, Usher is back with his fifth album, Here I Stand, the highly-anticipated follow-up to 2004’s kiss-and-tell breakout Confessions.

2 of 13 Cliff Watts

“I hope to do something as a businessman that opens up more opportunities for people to believe in themselves. If I can do it, you may believe you can do it as well,” Usher says. “Let me become the motivation for moving forward. Oprah Winfrey is a great motivator for Black people. How can I do the same thing? I’m looking and I’m constantly aware of that desire. There are just so many things I want to do with my life, with my light.”

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Beyoncé beams while friend and collaborator Usher serenades her at the 2005 World Music Awards.

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“I’m ready to shock the world,” Usher says of his new album out May 27th.

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“My first single takes you back to the beginning of my life story—[reintroducing] the guy who wanted to hustle and play in the club but eventually making his journey to lifetime” Usher says of his new project. “Life will take you through high and low valleys, give you seasons—rain and shine. Ultimately, the end of this story leads to a lifetime[ fulfilled]. That’s what this entire project is all about.”

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Defying gratify is just a day in the life of Usher Raymond. Here he works the stage at the 2004 World Music Awards.

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Usher likes combining his loves of singing, acting and dancing and looks forward to performing in more musicals.

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A suave Usher greets fans after his Broadway debut in Chicago.

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Usher checks out the man in the mirror in 1997.

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“When you stand for what’s right, regardless of what anyone else’s opinion may be, you are right,” Usher says. “No man is able to judge another for what he feels and what he stands for.”

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Usher shows off some of the 11 awards he won at the 2004 Billboard Music Awards, including Artist of the Year.

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Ladies definitely had it bad when Usher hit the stage topless. He belts out the hit song at the 2002 American Music Awards.

13 of 13 LaFace Records

Usher is excited for his fifth album Here I Stand to be released on May 27th.

“After four years I’m back on the scene and ready to do it all over again. This is going to be an incredible journey,” he says.

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