If there’s any artist who has set a standard for longevity in the game for R&B stars surely its Usher Raymond. When he first charmed our hearts with ‘My Way’ back in 1997, few would have known that he’d still be a force in the industry 20 years later. But the 37 year-old has always found ways to reinvent himself and stay fresh. Of the seven albums he has released since his self-titled debut back in ’94, only two have not gone platinum. And he has a new album on the way for which he has already released three singles, including the Young Thug-featuring ‘No Limit’. Its video is only a month old and has already garnered over 25 million views on YouTube. Most of his contemporaries from the 90s would give an arm, leg and eye for such attention. To echo one commenter, I wouldn’t be surprised if U is still making hits in 2080.
That same staying power has replicated itself in Usher’s acting career. From his TV cameo in the teen sitcom ‘Moesha’, the versatile artist has gone on to occupy a variety of roles on both the small and big screen. He plays boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard in the Roberto Duran biopic ‘Hands of Stone’ in is latest outing. With his list of accomplishments over the years and insatiable desire to be the best, it was only a matter of time before the Texas native was offered a spot on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. And he took the accolade in style yesterday, flanked by his family and friends. His two adorable sons Usher Raymond V and Naviyd Ely Raymond as well as his wife Grace Miguel stood proudly beside their father and husband as his star was unveiled and he was handed a star-emblazoned plaque. Also present to witness Usher’s moment of pride was former Destiny Child Kelly Rowland, one of the greats he looked up to, Stevie Wonder, and perhaps one of the artists he’s inspired in the course of his career, Miguel. L.A. Reid, the man who gave Usher his start as a raw teenage talent, was also present.
Miami Based, Internationally Known