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How old is Usher? Usher is 33 years old, and despite his young age, he’s had a career that’s spanned more than 20 years. Born Oct. 14, 1978, in Dallas, Texas, Usher Terry Raymond IV grew up in Chattanooga, Tenn., before moving to Atlanta to pursue his career. At 13, he appeared on “Star Search,” and his performance on that talent show earned him a deal with LaFace Records. Usher’s self-titled debut album followed in 1994, and he’s since dropped six more full-lengths, establishing himself as the preeminent lover-man crooner in modern R&B.

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At 33 years old, Usher has weathered his share of personal drama. In 2001, he dated Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas, a member of the group TLC, and when they broke up, her faced allegations of infidelity. In 2007, he married Tameka Foster, who subsequently gave birth to two sons: Usher Raymond V (born Nov. 26, 2007) and Naviyd Ely Raymond (Dec. 10, 2008). Unfortunately, the couple divorced in 2009, and ever since, they’ve been embroiled in a bitter custody dispute. They were brought together by tragedy in July 2012, however, as Tameka’s 11-year-old son from another relationship, Kile Glover, was struck by a jet ski in Atlanta’s Lake Lanier. He was pulled from the water unresponsive, and after being declared brain died, he died July 21, 2012.

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At 33 years old, Usher is no young buck, but soul and R&B performers often continue well into old age. If he keeps at it, he might wind up like Solomon Burke, who kept playing live and making records until his death at the age of 70, or Bobby Womack, who’s still going strong at 68. Another of his influences, Michael Jackson, was still in touring shape at the time of his death at 50—re-watch This Is It if you don’t believe us—and R. Kelly, perhaps the only modern R&B singer that can match Usher’s sensual delivery, is 45. So the future seems bright for Usher, who’s sold 65 million records around the world and topped the Billboard Hot 100 nine times. His most recent album, Looking 4 Myself, topped the charts in 2012, spawning the no. 9 hit “Scream.”

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