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In a genre that's gone through various incarnations and has continuously evolved over the years, one constant has been the presence of Usher. He is an artist who has survived the times to become one of the greatest male vocalist of his generation. A prodigious phenom, Usher scored his first record deal as a teenager, later joining LaFace Records and unleashing his self-titled debut album on August 30, 1994.
From there, Usher would grow into a dominant force, reeling off of a succession of hit records and stamping himself as one of the most electric live performers in music. Now, more than two decades later, his status as one of the greatest to ever do it is iron-clad with a track record that is rivaled by few.
1. "Call Me A Mack"
Roughly a year before his debut album hit stores, Usher got himself acquainted with the public through his contribution to the Poetic Justice soundtrack. Accompanied by a visual that shows the crooner being hunted down by an army of young beauties, this tune helped jumpstart one of the more illustrious runs that we would see from him over the forthcoming decades.
2. "Think of You"
In 1994, Usher hooked up with director Hype Williams, who filmed the clip for this single from his self-titled debut, arriving during the height of the mid-90s hip hop soul renaissance. This video presented the Texas native as a heavy contender for top rank as the prince of R&B.
3. "My Way"
In anticipation of Usher's breakout sophomore effort, My Way, the rising star reconnected with Hype Williams who conceptualized this entertaining clip. The track peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Featuring a cameo from future R&B singer Tyrese, this short helped set the stage for even more ambitious visuals down the line.
4. "U Got It Bad"
Continuing his evolution with his third studio album, 8701, Usher delivered a passionate performance with this number, which has gone down as one of the superior ballads in his arsenal to date. Co-starring Usher's then-girlfriend Chilli of TLC, this Little X-directed vid channeled the emotions that heartbreak can bring and cast the heartthrob in a more mature setting.
5. "U Don't Have to Call"
Little X and Usher continued their streak of eye-popping visuals with the video for this single from the latter's 8701 album. Picking up where the clip left off on "U Got It Bad," this visual captures Usher receiving an uplifting pep talk from Diddy, who prompted him to shut down the club while flanked by his homies.
6. "Confessions Pt. II"
For this confessional cut from Usher's seismic fourth studio album, the crooner connected with director Chris Robinson for the song's accompanying visual. Beginning with a riveting introductory scene that arrests the viewer's attention, this clip provides the backdrop for what has become one of the more pivotal artistic statements of Usher's career.
7. "Caught Up"
Usher's Confessions album may have boasted more successful selections in chart performance and radio airplay. But, the music video for this uptempo offering was by far the most captivating. Directed by Little X, this production melds an intriguing plot with choreographed dance routines and an appearance from actor Clifton Powell. It's a memorable video that captures Usher in all of his splendor.
8. "Moving Mountains"
Brothers Strause controlled the lens during the filming of this video, which is a continuation of Usher's "Love In This Club" video. After exiting the venue, Usher enters into another dimension in search of his female counterpart, yet finds himself in solitude upon reaching the apex of a mountaintop in this visually stunning short.
Things get cinematic in this production supporting the lead single from Usher's seventh studio album, Looking 4 Myself. Directed by Sam Pilling, this explosive viewing presents Usher as a victim of infidelity who goes to extreme measures in the name of exacting revenge as a result of his heartache.
If you love Atlanta stars and hip hop, you'll definitely want to join us and AT&T in the ATL on Sept. 12- Sept. 14 for our three-day REVOLT Summit, which was created to help rising moguls reach the next level. Head to REVOLTSummit.com for more info and to get your passes now!
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