Usher was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee but moved to Atlanta, Georgia at the age of 12 when his mother decided he needed to more actively pursue a career in music.
Usher was raised a Christian and even began singing in a Baptist Church in Chattanooga at the age of 6.
Usher seems to be on a religious quest. No one is sure where he stands at any given time. One clue to his beliefs are the liner notes of his albums, where, in every single one, he thanks God. For example, in his 2008 Album Here I Stand, Usher wrote:
To my Lord and saviour, you have revealed to me where I need to be and what I should be doing. Thank you for my life, my experiences, my struggles, and your grace and guidance to overcome the obstacles.
Only Christians call God their “saviour” and this is as recent as 2008. However, Usher has been spotted wearing the red Kabbalah bracelet popular on so many celebrities such as Madonna and Demi Moore.
But as if one celebrity accessory religion wasn’t enough, Usher’s latest obsession seems to be Scientology. His former wife, Tameka Foster, is reported to be “a devout Scientologist,” Usher has appointed Scientology champion Tom Cruise to a co-chair position of his charity foundation, New Look Foundation, and Usher threw a fundraiser for a Scientology organization in Las Vegas.
Both Kabbalah an Scientology are mysterious, secretive religions that seem to attract celebrities in large numbers. Usher has apparently fallen under both of their spells.
Usher was a big supporter of Barack Obama in 2008 and when Obama won the election, Usher was there to sing his praises at the inaugural celebration concert known as ‘We Are One.’ Usher was optimistic about Obama’s presidency at the time, saying:
Barack Obama’s put the ball back in our courts…We’ve elected an incredible president. Now we need to continue to encourage him and push him to keep all his promises.
Hmm… ‘push him to keep his promises’ is actually a rather enlightened thing to say.
Regarding Obama, Usher took his recommendations of community service to heart with his charity work, visiting inner-city grade schools and focusing his charitable foundation on child development.
But the controversy has to come at some point, right? Like Mariah Carey, Nelly Furtado, and various other R&B singers, Usher has given private concerts to high-paying dictators–in this case the Qaddafi family.
Well, nobody’s perfect, especially when a $1 million is involved.