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Usher is a successful American R&B and pop musician who began making music at age 15. His hit albums include My Way, Confessions and Looking 4 Myself.
Usher - Mini Biography (2:51)
Alicia Keys - Mini Biography (3:03)
Adam Levine - Songwriting (1:44)
After performing on "Star Search," Usher landed a recording contract with LaFace Records and released his first album at the age of 15. His album "Confessions" sold over 10 million copies and featured the hit song "Yeah!"
Jennifer Hudson first entered the spotlight as a contestant on "American Idol" in 2004. In 2006, she starred in the movie musical "Dreamgirls," which earned her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Born and raised in New York City, Alicia Keys began piano lessons at age 7. After graduating from the Professional Performance Arts School, she signed a deal with Clive Davis. Her debut album "Songs in A Minor" earned her five Grammys.
Watch a short video about Adam Levine and the songwriting process.
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Usher hasn't missed a beat over his more than 15-year career, and it doesn't look like he'll be slowing down any time soon. In June 2012, he produced the album Looking 4 Myself, which found a No. 1 spot on Billboard's albums chart.
Outside of music, Usher has worked as a film and stage actor. One of his earliest roles was in the teen horror film The Faculty (1998). He went on to make guest appearances on several television shows, including a role as Marvin Gaye on the program American Dreams (2002). In 2005, Usher played a disc jockey in the film In the Mix, and a year later, he landed the lead role of Billy Flynn the Broadway play Chicago (2006).
In 2012, Usher was announced as one of the newest judges/coaches of The Voice, the popular singing-competition series on NBC. Along with Latin songstress Shakira, Usher made his Voice debut on March 25, 2013 (the season 4 premiere). Replacing Cee Lo Green and Christina Aguilera, Usher and Shakira starred on the show alongside returning judges/coaches Adam Levine and Blake Shelton. "Usher and Shakira are coming into it as a big frickin' institution," Levine said in late 2012, according to The Huffington Post. "So it's different, but it still feels good, because they're legitimate artists."
Usher soon won over TV viewers with his offbeat coaching style. Despite this success, he will sit out the fifth season of The Voice along with Shakira to make way for the return of Cee Lo Green and Christina Aguilera. But Usher and Shakira will return to their judges' chairs for the sixth season.
Usher also stays busy with his charity, New Look Foundation, which was founded in 1999 and works to provide funding for children in foster care and service programs; holds conferences and camps for at-risk youth; and, ultimately, works to promote leadership skills for kids in impoverished communities. For his work with the nonprofit, Usher has received honors from such groups as the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Trumpet Foundation and National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Additionally, Usher has invested in several entrepreneurial endeavors. He owns the record label US Records and a men's cologne line, and is a co-owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team.
In the early 2000s, Usher dated Chili, a former member of the all-female group TLC. In 2007, he married Tameka Foster. Usher and Foster have two children together, Usher Raymond V (born in 2007) and Naviyd Ely Raymond (2008). The couple later divorced.
In July 2012, Foster's 11-year-old son from a previous relationship (Usher's stepson), Kyle Glover, suffered a severe brain injury in a water accident. According to several media reports, Glover had been riding on an inflatable tube on Lake Lanier in Atlanta, Georgia, when a jet ski struck him in the head and knocked him unconscious. After being rushed to a local hospital, Glover was declared brain dead by doctors.
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