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Usher: Behind the Music – From Chart-Topping Stardom to Personal Evolution


In a quiet suburban Atlanta cigar lounge, just a stone’s throw from the Atlanta Braves’ Truist Park, the legendary R&B artist Usher opens up about his life, love, and transformation. Usher, one of the world’s most renowned R&B stars, casually mentions his friendship with football legend David Beckham as he enjoys a Cuban cigar and a glass of Rémy Martin XO, a brand he happens to be an ambassador for.

But this encounter is not just about celebrity friendships; it’s about a man who has spent his life in the limelight, transitioning from noughties male sex-symbol superstardom to a more grounded and introspective version of himself.

Usher’s career has seen monumental success, with his 2004 album “Confessions” becoming a decade-defining masterpiece. Still, he’s more than just a chart-topper; James Brown dubbed him “the godson of soul,” and Beyoncé hailed him as the “Fred Astaire of our times.” Critics have even labeled him the heir to Michael Jackson’s throne. Surprisingly, Usher chooses an unassuming outdoor patio near a sports stadium to discuss fatherhood, middle age, and his newfound passion for gardening. This reveals the man behind the music, a mix of candid confessions and introspection.

He speaks about his vegetable garden, a project he’s undertaking for his kids, emphasizing the importance of his partner in guiding him when things get tough. Despite his fame, Usher comes across as down-to-earth. Through six cigars and a cloud of smoke, we witness a man who can fluently discuss wellness and the Vegas era of Frank Sinatra. He cherishes his experiences and believes that they are curated with age, evolving from strip clubs to something more sophisticated.

Usher’s journey began in a small town in Tennessee, where he was surrounded by music and raised by a supportive mother and grandmother. His career took off when he was signed by music executive Antonio ‘LA’ Reid at just 13, catapulting him into the world of fame. But his personal life has been marked by challenges. Usher’s relationship with his absent father and his marriage to Tameka Foster, which ended in divorce, presented their own trials. He reflects on how men and women process things differently, especially in relationships.

One relationship that never healed was the one with his father. After the birth of his son, Usher tried to mend their relationship, but his father passed away before they could reconcile. Usher’s life has also seen its share of tragedy, from the loss of his stepson Kile Glover to a jet ski accident to a near-drowning incident involving his son.

As he navigates these personal challenges, Usher finds solace in his love for cigars. For him, cigars represent a protest against today’s digital detachment, a return to a more nuanced and authentic experience. In a world of A-list exclusivity, Usher curates his own experiences, acknowledging that Atlanta’s famed strip clubs have given way to a more evolved and sophisticated lifestyle.

Usher’s story is one of evolution, a celebration of the artist’s journey through the highs and lows of fame. His Las Vegas residency marked a comeback, a celebration of his growth and transformation. As he reflects on his life, Usher emphasizes the importance of roots and support. He acknowledges that behind the incredible artist is a network of people who have shaped him and inspired him to push the boundaries of his art.

Usher’s journey is a testament to the complexity of fame and the enduring pursuit of self-discovery. He concludes, “I want you to see me. I want you to see what I have to offer. I want to make you smile. When I get in your face, I want you to know what I am saying”.

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Written by
Derek Chan – Editor


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