There are some days that seem to be especially fruitful for celebrity birthdays, and apparently October 14 is one of them. Today you can celebrate the birth of actress and former WWE star Stacy Keibler, Insane Clown Posse member Shaggy 2 Dope (born Joseph Utsler), Dixie Chicks singer Natalie Maines, British actor Steve Coogan and “Tank Girl” star Lori Petty. But we’ll mostly spend the day shaking our tailfeathers in honor of Usher, who turns 32 years old today.
The man born Usher Raymond has been singing and dancing professional for most of his life. He famously competed on “Star Search” when he was only 13 years old, and that performance lead to an audition in front of LaFace Records co-founder Antonio “L.A.” Reid. Usher’s self-titled debut hit store shelves just shy of his 16th birthday (that’s half his life ago), featuring production from Diddy and backing vocals from Faith Evans. Though it was not much of a hit, it did establish Usher as a talented up-and-comer.
By the time his second album My Way peaked, he was already an industry veteran. A parade of hits followed, including smashes like “You Make Me Wanna,” “Nice and Slow,” “My Way,” “U Got It Bad,” “U Remind Me,” “Confessions Part II,” “Love in This Club,” “Yeah!” and “Burn.” He continues to deliver hits, as proven by the recent killer singles “OMG” and “DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love.” In addition to being an excellent singer and having a way with a beat, Usher is also a tremendous dancer, and his mix of the smooth and the funky have informed quite a bit of styles over the past decade (and also contributed to one of the best performances from this year’s MTV Video Music Awards).
Over the course of his career, Usher has also proven himself to be an excellent collaborator, tag-teaming with the likes of Diddy, Jay-Z, Justin Bieber, Beyoncé, Alicia Keys, Lil Jon, Ludacris and R. Kelly. The latter hooked up with Usher on the single “Same Girl” (from Kelly’s 2007 album Double Up), a tasty hunk of R&B sleaze that blends the two singers together extremely well.