Who influenced Usher, the singer, on his songs?
The previous post was quite strong. Usher had been influenced by the idea of the "showman," the notion that an artist had to be as dynamic as possible in as many realms as possible. Ben Vereen and Bob Fosse, as well as Sammy Davis, Jr. were talented dancers, singers, and personalities. They expanded the idea of what the artist needed to be. I think that another name in this dialogue would have to be Michael Jackson. There is a great deal of parallel in both Usher and Jackson. Their styles of song, including pop rhythms and melodies in consistent time which allow people to retain it in their minds and dance to it, are very similar. Along these lines, their styles of dancing are extremely similar. Usher might be one of the few truly commercial artists that have done a great job of carrying on the dancing legacy of Michael Jackson. When Usher mimicked the moonwalk, it was a moment where one could see the figurative torch passed to the new generation. This feeds into his songs, which are very danceable and represent a pop as well as R&B element, similar to Michael's.
First of all, I think that Usher had a drive to become an entertainer. He is very talented and not everyone can perform. At a young age he was inspired by many performers and had a passion for entertainment.
"When I was young and decided I wanted to be in entertainment, I watched people like Bob Fosse, Sammy Davis Jr. and Ben Vereen. They were triple threats - dancing, acting, and singing. It really inspired me. I want to live up to that title and showcase all of my talents and be able to say I've experienced it all, and had fun in the process." - Usher
I also believe that most singers/songwriters take their personal lives and reflect on those experiences. They take these experiences, feelings, and emotions and put them into song.