James Brown once remarked that singer Usher Raymond was "the Godson of Soul." With an accolade like that, it's no wonder that Usher is one of the bestselling artists in American music history.
Usher has won seven Grammys and was the second biggest selling artist of the 2000s. He's also acted in films and won critical praise for his Broadway performance in Chicago.
All this, and he's only in his early 30s.
Usher is about to release his seventh studio album called Looking 4 Myself. He tells Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin that what he tried to do with this album, musically, was to make it enjoyable to anyone that is willing to listen.
"What I have recognized is that there aren't really boxes anymore," he says. He says the barriers between an artist being simply a hip-hop, rock, R&B or pop artist are broken down.
"As I make songs ... I always try to be cognizant of who is listening," he says.