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He rose to fame in the late 1990s with the release of his sophomore album My Way (1997), which spawned his first U. Billboard Hot 100 number-one single, "Nice & Slow", amongst top-two singles "You Make Me Wanna..." and "My Way".
There, his grandmother discovered his ability to sing, although it was not until Usher joined a singing group that she considered he could sing professionally.
In the belief that a bigger city would provide greater opportunities for showcasing his talent, Usher's family moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where there was a more conducive environment for beginning singers.
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".
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.
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".
The EP, Versus, also produced the Hot 100 top-five single "DJ Got Us Fallin' in Love".
Looking 4 Myself (2012), also debuted atop the Billboard 200 chart and produced the Hot 100 top-ten single "Scream". Raymond and Looking 4 Myself received Grammy Awards for R&B singles "There Goes My Baby" and "Climax".
At age 10, Usher joined an R&B local quintet called the Nu Beginnings, which was organized by local music svengali, Darryl Wheeler.