One who ushes.

In the theatre, there is a tradition of using volunteers to usher. If you want to see a show for free: Call the theater's box office for ushering information. They may have a regular pool of ushers or accept individuals. There's usually a dress code, and a set time to arrive early. In addition to taking tickets and seating patrons, you may be asked to help set up or serve at the concession stand.

Usher is an R&B singer who has developed from a teen star into one of the masters of the male R&B scene. His seductive lyrics seem to excite the girls just as much as his good looks and well toned body. Usher Raymond was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 1979. With his mother's encouragement he began singing in his church choir, which his mother also directed, at the tender age of six. When was 12 he moved to Atlanta with his mother and brother. He continued to sing and in 1993 at age 14 he was invited to audition by LaFace Records. Co-founder of LaFace L.A. Reid was suitably impressed by Usher's talents and the teenager was signed to a record deal. Just one year later Usher inspirationally titled debut, Usher, hit the stores on the back of his gold selling single Think of You.

The album was produced by Sean Combs but did not sell stunningly. Despite this Usher was approached in 1995 by Coca Cola to do a jingle for the "holiday season" and more impressively became one of the Black Men United to record a one off single for the Jason's Lyric soundtrack entitled U Will Know. Since even an abridged list of other members of the one off group includes D'Angelo, Lenny Kravitz, LL Cool J and R Kelly it is possible to see the respect this young performer had already garnered from the music industry. A collaboration with Monica on Let's Straighten it Out was to be Usher's last release for a few years as he concentrated on finishing high school.

In 1997 Usher returned to the music world but he was no longer a sweet singing choir boy, he was a sexy star with some of the best moves since Michael Jackson. This time Usher meant business and the single he chose to announce his return was You Make me Wanna and announce his arrival it certainly did. In the US it topped the R&B chart for eleven weeks while it was only kept off the billboard top spot by Elton John's A Candle in the Wind. Usher took a greater role in his second release "co-writing" six of the ten songs but the album was essentially created by the team of producers which included Jermaine Dupri, Babyface and Sean Combs. This time the album managed to come through on the early success of its singles and went multi-platinum.

In 1998 Usher took the obvious next step from stunning vocalist and R&B performer, namely poorly acting support roles in teen films. In 1998 he featured in teenage scary movie, The Faculty which was actually less frightening than a 4 inch gnome threatening to head butt you. To tie his adoring fans over whilst he pursued his acting career in 1999 he released a live album and he proved his way with words by entitling it Live.

His third album was originally scheduled for release in 2000 and was to be called All About U. However some of the tracks were leaked onto the internet and the decision was made to delay the release. When it did appear in 2001 it was name 8701. Apparently the title "represents the year Usher began exploring the world of music ('87) and the place where music brought him by the time of this recording ('01)". The lead singled from the LP was Pop Ya Collar, which Usher openly admitted had been inspired by Michael Jackson. Indeed in the video there is a break where Usher shows off his dancing talent that is extremely reminiscent of the king of pop. Usher continued to release singles from the album into 2002 and his name continually appeared at the top of the charts thanks to help from producers like the Neptunes and Jermaine Dupri.

Usher has matured from a teenage sensation into one of the hottest R&B talents around. His ballads are sultry and with 8701 he embraced the revised more complex attitude towards popular hip hop pioneered by the likes of the Neptunes. While he has not excelled in his acting career he has not bombed and his performances so far, whilst not Oscar winning, a decent enough. I find that Usher makes excellent pop R&B and his out and out soulful ballads hit the mark as well. The most important thing for Usher is that he doesn't get carried away with trying to follow chart trends and remembers that he has the voice and the performing talent to make his own style of pop hit.

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Usher, 1994

"Usher delivers more than the typical '90s R&B feel. With its samples and break beats, his music is extremely hip-hop-oriented in both its content and production values" -
  1. I'll Make It Right
  2. Interlude I
  3. Can U Get Wit It
  4. Think of You
  5. Crazy
  6. Slow Love
  7. Many Ways
  8. I'll Show You Love
  9. Interlude 2 (Can't Stop)
  10. Love Was Here
  11. Whispers
  12. You Took My Heart
  13. Smile Again
  14. Final Goodbye

Usher's first offering was a much more ballad oriented album and he doesn't stretch his voice much beyond supplying the listener with a pleasant supply of ballads and R&B grooves. It is perhaps easy to see why the album didn't achieve the success that the single Think of You promised. Whilst Usher does not experiment with his voice the production of Sean Combs gives the album a more hip hop and slightly edgier feel that many other 90s R&B performers, like Boyz II Men.

My Way, 1997

"What makes Usher distinctive from his urban love man peers is the fact that he doesn't oversing; he simply delivers his songs soulfully" - AMG
"What remains so appealing about Usher's soulful crooning and sexy whisper, however, is a youthful freshness and vibrancy" -
  1. You Make Me Wanna
  2. Just Like Me
  3. Nice and Slow
  4. Slow Jam
  5. My Way
  6. Come Back
  7. I Will
  8. Bedtime
  9. One Day You'll Be Mine
  10. You Make Me Wanna (Extended Version)

With My Way the endless and tiresome interviews about how this album Usher being himself actually have some truth to them. He develops further the unusual hip hop stylings of his brand of R&B. Whilst co-writing tracks has long been acknowledged as a trick that only fools twelve year old girls Usher genuinely does seem to have more involvement with the album. The major failing of this album is that for an LP so short it has an annoying amount of filler once the singles are taken away.

Live, 1999

"the live performances here all fall flat" - AMG
  1. My Way
  2. Think of You
  3. Come Back
  4. Just Like Me
  5. Don't Be Cruel (Intro)
  6. Every Little Step
  7. Rock Wit'cha
  8. Roni
  9. Pianolude
  10. I Need Love
  11. Tender Love
  12. Bedtime
  13. Nice and Slow
  14. You Make Me Wanna
  15. My Way (JD's Remix)
  16. Nice and Slow (B-Rock's Basement Mix)
  17. You Make Me Wanna (Tuff & Jam Dance Mix)

8701, 2001

"Overall, the record is probably his strongest yet, but he still suffers from a lack of really memorable material " - AMG
"Mixing slow jams with edgy beats and sweet melody, Usher has pulled off a triumph" - Amazon
"Usher's vocals are impressively adaptable, lacing brash beats from the Neptunes and sophisticated ballads from hitmakers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis with equal dexterity" - Rolling Stone
  1. Intro-lude 8701
  2. U Remind Me
  3. I Don't Know (feat. P.Diddy)
  4. Twork It Out
  5. U Got It Bad
  6. Pop Ya Collar
  7. If I Want To
  8. I Can't Let U Go
  9. U Don't Have To Call
  10. Without U
  11. Can U Help Me
  12. How Do I Say
  13. Hottest Thing
  14. Good Ol' Ghetto
  15. U-Turn
  16. T.T.P.
  17. Separated

Now this is what I'm talking about. I have a constant offer out for an artist to fill the void in my life that Michael Jackson left and Usher seems to have seen the ad. He can dance (boy I wish I could dance), he can sing, but above all he is a performer. Whilst Usher's musical direction remains different to that of Michael Jackson - he still stays true to his gospel heritage - I eagerly await his next album to see where is heading.

Confessions, 2004

  1. Intro
  2. Yeah! ft. Lil' Jon & Ludacris
  3. Throwback
  4. Confessions
  5. Confessions, Pt. 2
  6. Burn
  7. Caught Up
  8. Superstar
  9. Superstar
  10. Truth Hurts
  11. Simple Things
  12. Bad Girl
  13. That's What It's Made For
  14. Can U Handle It?
  15. Do It to Me
  16. Take Your Hand
  17. Follow Me

Ush"er (?), n. [OE. ussher, uschere, OF. ussier, uisser, oissier, hussier, huissier, fr. L. ostiarius a doorkeeper, fr. ostium a door, entrance, fr. os mouth. See Oral, and cf. Ostiary.]


An officer or servant who has the care of the door of a court, hall, chamber, or the like; hence, an officer whose business it is to introduce strangers, or to walk before a person of rank. Also, one who escorts persons to seats in a church, theater, etc.

"The ushers and the squires."


These are the ushers of Marcius. Shak.

⇒ There are various officers of this kind attached to the royal household in England, including the gentleman usher of the black rod, who attends in the House of Peers during the sessions of Parliament, and twelve or more gentlemen ushers. See Black rod.


An under teacher, or assistant master, in a school.


© Webster 1913.

Ush"er, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Ushered (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Ushering.]

To introduce or escort, as an usher, forerunner, or harbinger; to forerun; -- sometimes followed by in or forth; as, to usher in a stranger; to usher forth the guests; to usher a visitor into the room.

The stars that usher evening rose. Milton.

The Examiner was ushered into the world by a letter, setting forth the great genius of the author. Addison.


© Webster 1913.

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