Grammys Flashback '98: Usher's Stepping Stone

By ROBERT PACE

February 08, 2013

For some music artists awards shows are a mere pat on the back to the industry, but for others, walking the red carpet of their first awards show is like arriving at Mecca. Usher is of the latter variety. The singer received his Grammy first nomination in 1998, which was something he could cross off his childhood wish list.

After a mixed reception of his debut self-titled album, Usher released My Way in 1997 as his sophomore album, which peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 due to his hit single "You Make Me Wanna."

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He was then nominated for his first Grammy at the 1998 ceremony for the single, which encouraged him to strive for longevity in his career even though he didn't win the award.

"This is definitely one thing that I definitely had on my wish list as a child and I finally made it to that point," Usher says in the press room after the show. "I see this is as a stepping stone in my lifetime as well as my career."

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The then-19-year-old soft-spoken singer is all smiles in the press room and playfully jokes with reporters about his jewelry when asked about it. However, one topic Usher is serious enough about to reiterate is his durability in the music industry.

"I always thank the people for believing in me. I've been working at it a long time," he says. "Like I said, I just hope to continue to have longevity, and the music that I make will reflect that."

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While it's uncertain what Usher had in mind in terms of longevity, the singer has received seventeen Grammy nominations since then, of which seven have spawned awards.

Fifteen years after his first nomination, Usher is nominated for yet another Grammy, this time for Best R&B Performance for "Climax."



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