Hard 2 B N Love ((NEW))
Primroses and landscapes, he pointed out, have one grave defect: they are gratuitous. A love of nature keeps no factories busy. It was decided to abolish the love of nature, at any rate among the lower classes.
Hard 2 B N Love
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Preparing for his debut album, Usher lost his voice. Usher was going through puberty and had a difficult time adjusting his voice. LA Reid became skeptical of Usher and put his album on hold; he thought about dropping him from the label. Usher pleaded with the label to keep him and they did. From this point Reid didn't know what to do with Usher so he sent him to New York in the spring of 1994 to live with record executive Puff Daddy to "attend" what Reid called "Flavor Camp". Usher quickly adapted to the lavish lifestyle of Puff Daddy although in an interview with Rolling Stone, he described this period as the "hardest days" of his life. "I had to knuckle up, figure shit out in New York" he said.
Usher's music is generally R&B, but also incorporates pop among other genres. Elias Leight of Rolling Stone wrote that "catching pop's waves has always been one of Usher's greatest strengths, whether that means collaborating with Lil Jon when crunk was going mainstream or charging into EDM". Complex stated that Usher provided some of "the best of pop music in R&B". His narratives have an autobiographical nature of emphasis on lifestyle, relationships and love, resembling "an R&B Casanova". Usher was new jack swing oriented, while My Way contained influences of soul. 8701 "introduces touches of '80s rock guitar and the minimal rhythm of '80s hip hop" displaying versatility, according to NME's Lucy O'Brien. Confessions is viewed as a "top-of-the-line pop-soul showcase", with established critic Robert Hilburn of Los Angeles Times seeing lead single "Yeah!" as something Michael Jackson would have created "if he still had the old Thriller magic". Here I Stand was noted as more ballad-heavy by critics, where the title track's usage of jazz notably drew comparisons to Stevie Wonder. Raymond V Raymond was described as a "skillful fusion of R&B/hip-hop/pop" by Billboard. Looking 4 Myself further explored progressive R&B, hip hop ballads and synth pop, with its overall sound coined "hybrid pop" for its dynamic incorporation of EDM, dubstep, neo soul and funk. Hard II Love sees Rolling Stone's Maura Johnston view it to "stretch the boundaries of R&B while winding toward the brooding atmospherics that have enveloped much of pop over the past 12 months".
The boy band New Edition and its solo member Bobby Brown were childhood influences. Usher told ABC News, "I can remember as a kid attending a New Edition Concert", and called it "one of the greatest moments in my performance history" years later when he was invited on stage with the group to perform "N.E. Heartbreak" at a concert in Washington, D.C. On Bobby Brown, Usher told CNN, "the first record that I ever bought was Bobby Brown's Don't Be Cruel", and that he admired him "Just for being an edgy artist, being a true representative of R&B and rhythmic music". Usher's Live album would feature a medley performance of Brown's original singles - "Don't Be Cruel", "Every Little Step", "Rock Wit'cha", and "Roni". Usher was inspired by Frank Sinatra's My Way album released in 1969 so much that he decided to name his second album My Way. Prince would inspire "Nice & Slow" while giving him his first number-one single on the Hot 100 chart. Usher's third album 8701 would be inspired by love and heartache, containing influences from Donny Hathaway, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and Michael Jackson. His fourth album was inspired by rapper Eminem, who he credited for being transparent. Usher said in an interview with Sway Calloway; "the honesty of hip-hop and what Eminem was saying on his records it motivated me ... there'd been other story tellers but never quite as vivid as his".
Usher possesses a leggiero tenor vocal range of 3 octaves and 4 notes, and is considered to be "one of the most soothing in R&B". At the age of 13, he set the record for the longest note ever held by a child on Star Search, with 12 seconds. Usher's vocal coach since My Way, Jan Smith, cites him as "the single most gifted singer I've ever worked with in 26 years". On the dynamic 8701, Rolling Stone's Kathryn McGuire describes his vocals as "velvety" and "impressively adaptable" as it won him his first two Grammys as Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. With Confessions, Sasha Frere-Jones of The New Yorker generally noted him as "long on control and short on texture". He received another Grammy Award nomination in 2006 through a cover of Luther Vandross's "Superstar" he performed on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2005. Here I Stand displayed his vocals as "agile" and "balletic", as well as his ability to "easily drift from wavering tenor to fine-tuned falsetto" that create emotions of urgency and burning according to Clover Hope of The Village Voice. On his One Night Stand: Ladies Only Tour in 2008, Lee Hildebrand of San Francisco Chronicle assessed "Usher's chest tones have a ringing, Gaye-like quality, and his high head tones suggest Prince's falsetto, but his frequent use of syllable-splitting curlicues owes much to Wonder. Usher is a stronger, more assured singer than he was a decade ago, though the melismas in his lower range sometimes meander off pitch. His falsetto tonality is more on target." Looking For Myself exemplified his vocal craft earning him positive acclaim as Gawker's Rick Juzwiak states "his vocal range is even more impressive than his emotional one" with emphasis on his falsetto being "something that sounds as natural as a speaking voice ... he's the picture of grace against shrieking synths ... His emotional range is vast enough to sell tenderness, lechery and wistfulness within minutes of each other". On "Climax", his performance lauded as "blistering" by Maura Johnston, and "hair-raising" by Jody Rosen, as he won Best R&B Performance in 2013. "There Goes My Baby" and "Dive" are also commended as showcase standouts of his "superior R&B vocal range" by Consequence of Sound's Ryan Hadfield, and MadameNoire's Brande Victorian. For Hard II Love, Jon Pareles of The New York Times commented "a genuinely expressive voice that encompasses an ardent croon, a melting falsetto and quick, singsong declamation". On the 2023 Rolling Stone's list of the 200 Greatest Singers of all time, Usher ranked at number 97.
Usher made his television acting debut on the American sitcom Moesha in 1997 playing Jeremy Davis, the love interest and classmate of Moesha, played by Brandy Norwood. He has acted in feature films, debuting in 1998's The Faculty. In 1999, Usher appeared as a student disc jockey in the teen romantic comedy film She's All That. The same year he starred in his first leading role in the movie Light It Up with Rosario Dawson, Vanessa L. Williams and Forest Whitaker. The following year, he played in Gepetto and Texas Rangers. He starred in the 2002 Twilight Zone revival episode To Protect and Serve as a police officer. Usher continued to make appearances in various television shows, including the period drama American Dreams (2002) in the role of Marvin Gaye. He also appeared in Sabrina the Teenage Witch in Season 2, episode 6 playing the role of a love doctor. In 2005, he starred in the crime-comedy film In The Mix with Chazz Palminteri and Kevin Hart. He has acted on stage, making his debut on Broadway in 2006 in Chicago as lawyer Billy Flynn and joining the cast of the Off-Broadway play Fuerzabruta in 2012; the former performance was critiqued by theater critic Ben Brantley as unfitting for the character played stating "Usher was "cast so hard against type, you would think you would hear him cracking from the collision", despite commending his vocal and choreographic performance in the show. In 2013, he began filming his role as boxer Sugar Ray Leonard for the 2016 American biographical film Hands of Stone, which follows the life of Panamanian boxer Roberto Durán. In the film he stars alongside Édgar Ramírez, Robert De Niro, Ellen Barkin and Ana de Armas. The film debuted at the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France on May 16, 2016, and was released in the United States on August 26, 2016.
Aside from recording music, Usher is involved in other businesses, including several restaurants. In 2007, Usher worked with Richard Herpin and Honoring Blanc for the fragrances Usher He and Usher She. The promotion of the fragrance featured Usher and Martha Stewart in the Macy's "The Magic of Macy's" commercial. In September 2008, Usher released the fragrances UR for Men and UR for Women. Usher's fifth fragrance, VIP, was launched in 2009.
Upon his marriage to Foster, Usher became a stepfather to Foster's three sons from previous relationships, one born when she was a teenager and two from her first marriage to Atlanta clothier Ryan Glover. Usher and Foster also have two sons together: Usher "Cinco" Raymond V, born in November 2007, and Naviyd Ely Raymond, born in December 2008. 041b061a72