Hip-O Turns Back The Clock On Usher
Youthful R&B star Usher's musical beginnings will see the light of day April 16 when Hip-O Records re-releases the self-titled debut of his first group, NuBeginning. "NuBeginning Featuring Usher RYouthful R&B star Usher's musical beginnings will see the light of day April 16 when Hip-O Records re-releases the self-titled debut of his first group, NuBeginning. "NuBeginning Featuring Usher Raymond IV" includes 10 tracks by the quintet, which featured Usher and four other pre-teen male singers. The group performed locally in its hometown of Chattanooga, Tenn., in the early '90s.
"NuBeginning," also featuring Anthony Byrd, Adrian Johnson, Reginald McKibbon, and Charles Yarbrough, was originally only available in Tennessee. The disc features the single "A Mother's Luv" as well as tracks such as "Chatt Town," "I Wanna Be," "Superstar," and "Keep Dreamin'." Local entrepreneur Darryl Wheeler put together the group after spotting Usher singing in his church choir.
Usher and his family subsequently moved to Atlanta, where he was signed by LaFace Records co-founder Antonio "L.A." Reid, and released his solo debut in 1994. His third album, "8701," debuted at No. 4 on The Billboard 200 last August. Last month, the album was certified triple-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for U.S. shipments of 3 million copies. It has to date spawned the singles "U Remind Me" and "U Got It Bad," both of which topped The Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart.
The disc's third single, the Neptunes-produced "U Don't Have To Call," is No. 13 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart and No. 31 on The Billboard Hot 100 this week. As previously reported, Usher is planning a two-month U.S. tour this spring in support of "8701," having been forced to cancel his original tour last fall after dislocating his shoulder in rehearsals.