BET Awards 2024: Journey Through the Evolution of R&B Icon Usher

Don't miss the moment when the R&B icon receives the Lifetime Achievement Award during culture's biggest night on Sunday, June 30.

Singer, songwriter, dancer, actor, and entrepreneur Usher Raymond IV is the recipient of the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award at the BET Awards 2024.

The 45-year-old joins the ranks of previous honorees such as Busta Rhymes, Queen Latifah, and Mary J. Blige. In addition to this honor, the veteran entertainer is also nominated for four awards this year, including “Album of the Year” for Coming Home, “Best Male R&B/Pop Artist,” and “Best Collaboration” and “Best Video” for “Good Good” featuring Summer Walker and 21 Savage.

This honor recognizes Usher's extraordinary career, spanning over three decades, with significant contributions to music, film, and philanthropy. From his early days as a teen sensation to becoming a global R&B icon, Usher has consistently pushed the boundaries of his artistry. His influence extends beyond chart-topping hits and critically acclaimed albums.

Join us as we journey through the icon’s career, and don’t miss Culture’s biggest night, hosted by actress Taraji P. Henson, when it airs on Sunday, June 30. Celebrate Usher's remarkable journey and enduring legacy at the BET Awards 2024.

  • Early beginnings

    Growing up in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Usher’s family discovered his singing talent and encouraged him to develop his skills. At 13, he was discovered after performing at a local talent show in Atlanta.

    After a series of impressive performances, Usher’s talent caught the attention of the music industry. The then-burgeoning entertainer landed a life-changing audition with none other than LaFace co-founder L.A., marking a pivotal moment in his career.

    In 1994, Usher released his self-titled debut album under LaFace Records, introducing the world to his unique sound and exceptional talent. The album featured the hit single "Can U Get Wit It," which set the stage for his future success.

  • Rise to stardom

    Usher's second album, My Way, released in 1997, catapulted him to fame and established him as a major force in the music industry. The album produced several hit singles, including his first Billboard Hot 100 number-one single, "You Make Me Wanna…," as well as the top-two singles "Nice & Slow" and the title track, "My Way," all of which became R&B classics.

    The success of My Way earned Usher his first two Grammy nominations for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance, solidifying his status as a leading R&B artist and marking the beginning of his illustrious career.

  • Global superstar and the ‘Confessions’ phenomenon

    Usher’s fourth studio album, Confessions, released in 2004, was both a cultural and commercial triumph, cementing his status as a global superstar. The album sold over 10 million copies in the U.S. and produced iconic tracks such as "Yeah!," "Burn," and "Confessions Part II."

    Confessions received widespread critical acclaim, earning Usher numerous accolades and eight Grammy Award nominations. He won three Grammys, including Best Contemporary R&B Album and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for "Yeah!"

  • Venturing into Hollywood

    The entertainer successfully branched out into acting and business, showcasing his versatility beyond music. Usher made his acting debut as Jeremy Davis in 1998 on the UPN television series Moesha, which led to a recurring role on the show. This performance paved the way for his first feature-length film role in the science fiction horror film The Faculty, where he starred alongside Jordana Brewster, Clea DuVall, and Josh Hartnett.

    Usher’s filmography includes over a dozen appearances in shows and films, including The Famous Jett Jackson, Soul Food (television) , and In The Mix.

  • Influence on a younger generation of artists

    Usher’s work has inspired countless artists. His signature use of sex appeal could be seen in acts like Chris Brown, Trey Songz, Lucky Daye, and more. The singer played a pivotal role in launching the career of Justin Bieber, among others, demonstrating his commitment to nurturing new talent.

  • Continued musical innovation

    Usher continues to release music that resonates with fans, maintaining his relevance in a constantly evolving industry. With over 30 years in the business, the multi-hyphenated artist frequently collaborates with artists across the industry, blending genres and reaching new audiences.

    The “Good Good” singer’s 2016 album Hard II Love and most recent, Coming Home, released last February, showcases his ability to innovate while staying true to his R&B roots


    Tune in to the BET Awards 2024 on Sunday, June 30 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on BET. 

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