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“Music Inner City Bio” Usher Raymond

“One Man’s Opinion” by Gordon Curvey

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In the entertainment game, it is good to be a triple threat. Singer, dancer and actor. Only a few can do this big time and they are Beyonce, “J-Lo” Jennifer Lopez,  Justin Timberlake and Usher Raymond. There are others but the folks I mentioned are doing it on a big scale.

I remember interviewing a very young Usher Raymond when he was a young teenager out on the road with his mom as his manager. He came to Seattle to perform. You could tell when he was a 14 or 15 that this young fella was going places. He could sing and dance and had he knew what he was doing on the stage at a young age. He was trained well.

Usher is 37 years old and born in Dallas, Texas. His mom and former manager is Jonetta Patton and his father is Usher Raymond III. He has two children.  He was born in Dallas but was brought up in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He and family moved to Atlanta and at 12 his mom started to put a young Usher in singing contests.

A young Usher grabbed the attention of a person who worked for LaFace Records. And in the summer of 1994 Usher released his first album called by the way “Usher”. Singles from that album included “Can U Get Wit Me” and “Think Of You”.

Raymond really blew up in the late 1990s with his second album called “My Way” which came out in 1997. The album produced his first U.S. Billboard Hot 100 #1 single called “Nice & Slow”. That album has went six times platinum by the Recording Industry Of America. Usher album “My Way” won him his first Grammy nomination in 1998 for the single “You Make Me Wanna”.

That song also went to #1 in the UK singles chart and US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop charts. In 2001, Usher’s 8701 album produced Billboard Hot 100 #1 single with the song “U Remind Me” and also “U Got It Bad”. That single won him his first Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance in 2002. The song “U Don’t Have To Call” won him a second Grammy in 2003. That song is my favorite song by Usher.

His 2004 album “Confessions” made him one of the best selling artists of the 2000s decades. “Confessions” sold over a whopping 20 million copies worldwide. And the album had FOUR singles IN A ROW on the Billboard Hot 100 #1 singles with “Burn”, “Yeah”, “Confessions Part II” and “My Boo”. “Confessions” obtained three Grammy Awards in 2005.

“Here I Stand” in 2008 and “Raymond v. Raymond” in 2010 debuted on the top of Billboard 200. Other hits by Usher include “DJ Got Us Fallin In Love” (great song) and “Scream”, also “There Goes My Baby”, also “Climax”.

Check this out. The RIAA ranks Usher as one of the best selling artists in American music history!! This is big. He has sold over 23 million albums and 38 million digital songs in the US alone. His worldwide sales are over 43 million albums and 75 million records overall. He also has won many other awards including 18 Billboard Music Awards and 8 Grammy Awards.

In 2009, Billboard named Raymond the #1 Hot 100 artist of the decade. For sure Usher at age 37 has had a great career and he is still young readers. He has so many mountains to climb in his career. Usher has a big movie coming out in which he plays the great boxer Sugar Ray Leonard in a movie about another great boxer  Roberto Duran called “Hands Of Stone”. It is suppose to be great movie.

More big things are in store for Usher. Remember he is only 37. His talent will continue to grow.

“Music Inner City TV”/Comcast-Xfinity On-Demand & Xfinity X1/All west coast markets/Washington State-Oregon-California/go to “get local” and then “inner city tv” Coming up in a few days new program with guest via Skype from Miami rapper Purpose.

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I Have Much Respect For John Legend

“One Man’s Opinion” by Gordon Curvey

john-legend-billboard-650I have learned to respect singer John Legend. We all know he is a great singer and songwriter. A Grammy and Oscar winner.

But I am also learning to respect Legend not only for his singing, but because he is a community activist. John is using his platform as a performer to help change a way of thinking about problems in the inner cities of America.

Legend is a member of President Obama’s “Brother’s Keepers” organization to help young African American boys in America. The group also has former guest on “Music Inner City TV” Tyrese Gibson and others in the group.

John Legend was born in 1978 in Xenia, Ohio. He is one of four children of Phyllis Elaine and Ronald Lamar Stephens. In his childhood, Legend was homeschooled on and off by his mom. Like many other African American singers, he started singing in church. I hear this from guests all the time.

He started playing the piano at age seven. At age 12, Legend attended North High School. He attended the University Of Pennsylvania where he studied English and African American literature.

In college, John served as president and musical director of a co-ed jazz and pop froup called Counterparts. His lead vocals on the group’s recording of Joan Osborne’s “One Of Us” received critical acclaim landing the song on the track of the 1998 “Best Of Collegiate a Cappella compilation” CD.

And I guess the rest is history. He has went on to become a superstar. But like I said I am respecting Legend more because of his speaking out on issues in the African American community.

Most performers sit back and count their money and buy cars and boats and expensive stuff. Which Legend may also do. But unlike others, he has also decided to use his name to speak out on issues. Like for instance he and Donald Trump Jr. recently had a Twitter battle about Trump Sr.

Big shout out to John Legend. A man I have learned to respect on stage and off and you should too!!

 

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Music Inner City Bio: Rihanna

Listen to the latest edtion of ‘SPORTS INNER CITY RADIO” PODCAST (Date 12-4-2011) Urban sports news and issues plus classic soul and exclusive sports interviews. Based in Seattle, Washington. It is 24-7 on-demand! CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE PROGRAM.

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If you are a music fan you have to realize that Rihanna is a very talented and beautiful young lady. She has created her own style and image unlike many other young singers.

Some think she has gone over the line in some of her actions on stage during her concerts but most do not think that way because when you go to one of her concerts one thing for sure you will be entertained.

Yes the the situation with Chris Brown was not good. It was terrible. I was in Los Angeles with Twin Tammy J for the Clive Davis Awards and Grammy Awards when the incident took place.

Everyone wondered why Brezzy(Chris Brown) came to the Davis event by himself and did not talk to anyone on the red carpet. And then everyone’s phones blew up about the problem of Rihanna getting beat up. It was CRAZY!

I just hope Rihanna finds a good man one day. But she is still young so I hope she takes her time and just concentrate on her career.

I hope she has a lot of role models she can look up to besides her parents for advice. I know she is tight with Jay Z. She has a long career ahead of her and wish her the best. Beyonce, Lady GaGa and Rihanna are three ladies who sing and entertain us too. Again, the future is BIG for Rihanna.     Gordon Curvey

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