One of the most successful pop-R&B artists of the late 20th century and the early 21st century, Usher debuted during the mid-'90s as a fresh-faced teenager. As part of the thriving LaFace label roster, he made an instant impact in R&B's post-new jack swing era. He successfully rode mainstream songwriting and production trends across three decades and peaked artistically and commercially during the mid-2000s, when his landmark fourth album, Confessions, outshone all of its competitors. It generated four straight number one pop hits and joined the ranks of Thriller, Whitney Houston, and CrazySexyCool by achieving diamond platinum status -- over ten million copies sold in the U.S. More than anyone else, as a singer, songwriter, producer, dancer, and all-around entertainer, Usher was the successor to Michael Jackson.