More than 20 years ago — a time when such artists as Whitney Houston, Boyz II Men and Mariah Carey ruled the pop and R&B charts — a 13-year-old singer and dancer named Usher graduated from “Star Search” to a soaring career that would lead to album sales of more than 50 million and eight Grammy awards.
With his mom managing his fledgling career and Sean “P Diddy” Combs producing several tracks on his self-titled, 1994 debut album, the native of Dallas reached No. 25 on Billboard’s R&B/hip-hop chart. Driving sales were the singles “Can U Get wit It,” “Think of You” and “The Many Ways.” With Usher’s sophomore album, “My Way,” the hits kept coming, making him one of the most successful artists of the 2000s.
Usher’s sexy blend of pop, R&B, soul, hip-hop and dance music has served him well for more than two decades. The now 36-year-old star has dubbed his first concert tour in three years “The UR Experience.”
The trek features fresh versions of his early hits as well as songs from his eighth studio album. “Clueless,” one of Usher’s new singles, will be the prize (in the form of a download) at the bottom of specially marked Honey Nut Cheerios boxes at Wal-Mart stores across the country.
7:30 p.m. Wednesday, KeyArena, Seattle Center; $35-$150 (800-745-3000 or ticketmaster.com).