Usher joined dozens of volunteers yesterday at New Orleans' International School of Louisiana -- which has been closed since Hurricane Katrina struck last August -- in an effort to trim back the property's overgrown lawn. The R&B sensation, who was born in Chattanooga and raised in Atlanta, also toured nearby neighborhoods in his first visit to the devastated area.

This isn't Usher's first effort to reverse the state of the Big Easy. Shortly after Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast, the singer launched Project Restart, an organization that help families in the storm-torn region find housing.

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