For R&B singer Usher love is not just an option, itâs a career. In 2009 the âConfessionsâ turned âHere I Standâ award winner went from studio to divorce court while also dialing 911 and returning to the R&B charts. In what has shaped up to be a defining year, the father of two made two calls that fans and longtime supporters expected â a decision to file for divorce and the decision to record a new album after making a stand in 2008. From a traditional standpoint filing for divorce is not applauded or deemed a celebratory event however, for Usher, the ending of an embattled, tabloid ridden and lambasted marriage was deemed a home run for many who had watched and commented from the sidelines. Officially calling his marriage âirretrievably brokenâ in papers made public in June, Usher and now ex-wife Tameka Foster Raymond began to part ways before our eyes this year. But, just like their tabloid and blog-ridden marriage began, it ended with a severe amount of drama including 911 calls, controversial interviews and writings, alleged verbal altercations and an alleged affair. Shifting focus from his personal life to music, where it all began, Usher raised eyebrows with the now Billboard chart-topping hit âPapersâ. With lyrics like âI done damn near lost my mama, I done been through so much dramaâ and âFor you I gave my heart and turned my back against the world,â Usher ended up with mixed reviews but as in the past climbed the R&B charts. While the singer/actor has uttered very few words, if any, regarding the single, it struck a chord with fans and thus leads an album tentatively titled âRaymond Vs. Raymondâ. Due in late 2009, âRaymond Vs. Raymondâ caps off a strong year for Usher beyond music and divorce. Giving brevity to the definition of entrepreneur and activist, Usher spent a good portion of 2009 helping others. In addition to launching his latest fragrance, Usher VIP (available through Macys), Usher gave back through his long-running New Look Foundation and empowered young men and women through educational seminars, technology related opportunities and chances to work with some to the industryâs movers and shakers. He was also recognized for philanthropic efforts by both the Nonprofit Summit and L.A.âs Best. After taking control in 2009, Usher looks poised to return to prominence last seen with 2004s mega hit album âConfessionsâ in 2010 while continuing efforts to give back and inspire others.
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