Singer Usher Raymond IV has killed the game with his “My Way” Las Vegas residency. Star-packed, the show is the hottest experience in Sin City, with tickets costing as much as $1,000.
The once-child star has been fortunate enough to have a charmed singing career that has opened doors for him to grow into a powerful businessman, boasting a net worth of $190 million.
Though the lion’s share of his wealth has come from his music career, investments, endorsement deals, being a stakeholder in the streaming company Tidal, and some acting have rounded out his extensive portfolio and array of revenue streams.
And he has a new record label venture with producer L.A. Reid on the way.
Since his 1994 debut album “Usher,” the singer has put out 12 studio projects. Five of these albums “My Way,” “8701,” “Confessions,” “Here I Stand,” and “Daddy’s Home,” have gone platinum.
According to RIAA and Best-Selling Albums, he has sold close to 100 million units worldwide and is one of the best-selling artists in history.
Outside of album sales, Usher has earned millions through music publishing, syncing, streaming royalties, tours, and downloads.
In fact, according to Fuse TV, ten years ago, Usher was the 10th-most award-winning artist of all time. By 2014, he had received 339 awards from 633 nominations. The most prized in 2023 are his eight Grammys and three NAACP Awards.
While most know the “U Remind Me” star because of his chart-topping albums, smart brands have tapped him as a trustworthy face for their brands. Fans have grown up with him, and for the most part his career has been scandal-free.
Uber Reserve is one of his most recent campaigns, launched in February 2023, after he announced the second season of his residency.
Over the past 20 years, he has pulled out great endorsement deals with companies like MasterCard, Microsoft Dance Central 3, Samsung, Pepsi, and Belvedere Vodka.
Many times, these partnerships lend themselves to his philanthropic efforts. His work with Belvedere Vodka and the global aid charity RED has raised HIV/AIDS awareness in those who enjoy the product, prompting them to support programs with the mission to eliminate AIDS in Africa through the purchase of a limited (BELVEDERE) RED Special Edition bottle.
Using his brand as a vehicle to give back and find peace, not just access to wealth, was developed in part by his former Project Manager and friend, Sheri Riley. Riley, according to Usher’s foreword in her book “Exponential Living,” helped him to see “how easy it is for artists and athletes and other intensely career-focused individuals to ‘spend 100 percent of their time on 10 percent of who they are,’ to the point where they become unknown even to themselves.”
One way Usher was able to do that was to invest his money into his own nonprofit, Usher’s New Look (UNL), a global youth leadership movement that has been serving young people for almost 25 years.
“Usher’s commitment to young people (specifically the young people in UNL) is motivated by his desire to use his platform to shape a generation of Disruptivators: individuals are positively purposeful in their desire to disrupt systems that don’t serve them or the spark inside them to change the world,” said Geoff Streat, the chief operations officer at Usher’s New Look, in an exclusive statement to Finurah.
“It is inspiring to see him not only lead by example,” Streat continued. “But through models of financial stability, academic excellence, and political advocacy, all tenets we believe the young people we serve take with them throughout life.”
Even with his residency, he has offered special tickets and experiences funneling money directly to his organization.
A wise investor, in 2005, Usher became a part owner in an NBA franchise, the Cleveland Cavaliers. He is a member of an investment group that collectively put up $375 million to participate in the growth of the Ohio team that launched the career of LeBron James.
He also invested an undisclosed amount of money in two thriving companies when they first started: the ride-sharing service Lyft and the investment app Robinhood.
In 2008, one of Usher’s investments changed the landscape of pop music. He formed the Raymond Braun Media Group with Scooter Braun, and together they discovered, signed, produced, and launched the star of singer Justin Bieber.
So successful a star is the Canadian chart-topper that he sold his publishing to Hipgnosis for $200 million, one of the largest deals of this kind for a person in his generation with a career that is less than two decades and only six studio albums, according to Billboard.
In March 2017, he and others invested approximately $6 million into Mass Appeal Magazine, a New York City-based media, and content company, owned by fellow entertainer Nas.
And two years later, he joined a group that included Jay-Z to invest nearly $8 million during the Series A funding round into a catering startup, Hungry, launched by his mother Jonetta Patton, according to Forbes.
Later in the same year, he partnered with Kevin Hart, Bieber, and more in July 2019 to invest about $5 million in Liquid I.V., a California health-science and nutrition wellness company.
Art, business, and charitable efforts. Usher proves that synergy between all lanes in one’s world can be possible.