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by Mosi Reeves

June 12, 2012

The Best of Usher

by Mosi Reeves  |  June 12, 2012

It's extraordinary that Usher has never released a greatest-hits collection. After three decades of chart success and nine number-one hits - he became the first artist to score number-one hits in the 1990s, 2000s and 2010s with "OMG" in 2010 - it appears that he's ripe for the opportunity.

Usher's life has been full of drama, both musically and personally. He weathered an early stumble with the sales disappointment of his 1995 self-titled debut; became an R&B superstar with records like My Way; finally won respect from the pop establishment with his nine-million-selling 2004 smash Confessions; alienated his female fans by marrying his stylist Tameka Foster, who was a decade older than him, leading to low sales of his 2008 Confessions follow-up Here I Stand; then returned triumphantly after issuing 2010's Raymond v Raymond (and its EP companion, Versus). On Usher's new album, Looking 4 Myself, he threads the needle between the erotic bedroom ballads on which he's built his career such as "Lemme See"; and the electronic pop currently in vogue with "Scream." He holds his own whether working with Britney Spears producer Max Martin ("Scream") or Chris Brown producer Diplo ("Climax"). Usher is one of the few R&B vocalists who has adapted to the electronic pop fad artistically as well as commercially, maintaining his vocal presence without becoming an automaton in the EDM machine.

So until a greatest hits package arrives that documents all the highs (and hopefully the lows, too - it's part of his story), this playlist will have to do. It includes his solo hits, from "You Make Me Wanna..." to "Lemme See"; as well as collaborations with his protégé Justin Bieber ("Somebody to Love"), David Guetta ("Without You") and Enrique Iglesias ("Dirty Dancer"). Enjoy.

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