Usher Embraces Being Called “The King Of R&B”


Does the southern vocalist have the talent, longevity, and accolades to claim the crown?

Sean “Diddy” Combs recently ignited a conversation among Rhythm & Blues artists and fans about the state of the genre in 2022. After Diddy suggested R&B is dead, Usher Raymond responded to his former mentor.

“So, when I do hear people, even like Puff saying, ‘R&B is dead,’ he sounds nuts to me. It sounds crazy especially knowing he was a pioneer in understanding and beneficiary of it,” Usher told SiriusXM personality Bevy Smith.

Usher’s interview with Bevelations also included a conversation about the “King of R&B” title. Bevy Smith suggested the Chattanooga-raised, Atlanta-based musician is ready to sit on the throne, and Usher agreed.

“If you call me that, I’ll definitely carry it. I’m gonna tilt my crown knowing that I’m standing on the shoulders of all of the icons of our time,” responded Usher.

The 43-year-old vocalist went on to acknowledge R&B legends Michael Jackson, James Brown, Ronald Isley, Luther Vandross, Barry White, Teddy Pendergrass, Marvin Gaye, Little Richard, Rick James, and Prince.

“As a result of that, you wanna give me that crown. You tell me who’s gonna do it better?” asked Usher. The Confessions album creator also declared that he is the last of his kind in the R&B space.

Usher later said, “King, whatever you wanna call it. Yeah, I’ve been working to the point where I do own that, and I do deserve that. And I ain’t gonna ask for it no more. You’re gonna give it because I did work for it.”

Usher Has Earned Numerous Industry Accolades

Throughout his four-decade career, Usher scored 4 Number One albums on the Billboard 200 chart, 9 Number One songs on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and 13 Number One songs on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

Usher already holds a Top 10 spot in the all-time lists for most cumulative weeks at Number One on the Hot 100, most cumulative weeks in the Hot 100’s Top 10, most Number Ones on the Hot 100 in a calendar year, and most Number Ones on the Hot 100 from one album.

Additionally, Usher has won 8 Grammy Awards on 22 nominations. The classic 2004 studio LP Confessions took home the honor of Best Contemporary R&B Album at the 47th Annual Grammys in 2005.

The RIAA certified Confessions as Diamond (10 million units sold). “My Way” (6x-Platinum), “8701” (4x-Platinum), and “My Boo” with Alicia Keys (3x-Platinum) are among Usher’s highest-selling songs.

Usher’s discography also includes 1994’s self-titled album, 1997’s My Way, 2001’s 8701, 2008’s Here I Stand, 2010’s Raymond v. Raymond, 2012’s Looking 4 Myself, and 2016’s Hard II Love. Plus, he worked with music producer Zaytoven for the A collaborative project.