Happy Birthday, Usher!
There are many arguments that could be made about the endless supply of topics covered in R&B music. However, Usher's dominance through the late '90s and early aughts isn't one of them. He is one of the biggest stars that modern R&B has ever seen. Usher turns 37 years old today (Oct. 14).
Usher grew from a pretty face embracing New Jack Swing vibes into a bankable act by his second album. My Way dropped during Brandy's peak and Janet Jackson's Velvet Rope era, but he had enough talent and charm to earn a support system of loyal fans. "You Make Me Wanna..." and "My Way" (which was blocked from the No. 1 spot by Brandy and Monica's "The Boy Is Mine") are two of Usher's most recognizable hits.
8701 proved Usher was here to stay. Confessions tossed him into the stratosphere. Coming off of his split with TLC's Chilli, Usher put together a tour de force that was a mix of breakup tracks with serious replay value ("Burn") and club standards ("Yeah!" with Lil Jon and Usher). Confessions pushed 1 million copies in its first week and went diamond in 2012.
While Confessions was his peak, Usher was still a star by the time he came back with 2008's Here I Stand, his first album in four years. He was still making club hits and showcasing his performing talent, including when he sang through heartbreak at Michael Jackson's funeral.
He's been keeping low since dropping 2012's Looking 4 Myself. Usher's most recent single, "I Don't Mind" with Juicy J, peaked within the Top 20 on the Billboard charts, but there's no sign of a new album. But people will wait just off his powerful use of vocal restraint on the Diplo-produced "Climax," one of the best songs of the decade.
See 16 Lessons Usher Can Teach You About Life