Usher, whose full name is Usher Raymond IV, is a 44-year-old American singer-songwriter who has been ruling the music industry since 1994. He was only 15 when he debuted with his self-titled album, “Usher” (1994). But it was only after he released his second album, “My Way” (1997), that he catapulted to stardom with his hit single “Nice and Slow” landing on the number one spot on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. His third album, “8701” (2001), got him his first two Grammy Awards as Best Male R&B Vocal Performance in 2002 and 2003. And the rest, so they say, is history.
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It is unknown what causes the speculations about Usher’s sexual orientation. It could be his closeness with some members of the LGBTQ+ community, his fashion choices that challenge traditional gender norms, or something else about his personal life. But whatever sparked these rumors, we will get to know in this article if there’s any truth to them. Is Usher gay? That we will find out.
VOTE: What is Usher’s Sexuality?
On His Failed Marriages
Usher had been married twice, which both ended in a divorce. He had two children from his first marriage, of whom he had primary custody.
His first marriage was with fashion stylist Tameka Foster in 2007. In spite of Usher’s 10-year age difference from his ex-wife, they fell in love and got married. Tameka, who was older than the singer, had been through a divorce before she married Usher. The couple had two children, Usher Raymond V, born on November 26, 2007, and Naviyd Ely, born on December 10, 2008. The marriage, however, didn’t last long as they broke up three years after they tied the knot.
The singer’s second marriage was with his then-manager, Grace Miguel. They dated for a few years before they decided to get married in 2015. The marriage didn’t end well, either. Rumor has it that Miguel wanted kids and Usher did not. That somehow put a strain on their marriage, which led to divorce. There was also an STD scandal surrounding the singer, in which he was accused by several women of spreading herpes. That, too, caused the breakup.
Other Past Relationships
Usher was also involved with several women outside his two failed marriages. The R&B artist had, at least, 15 girlfriends, and here are his main relationships.
He briefly dated Karon Vereen in 1993. She is the daughter of American actor Ben Vereen. The romance didn’t last long though.
The singer was then linked to another musician, Monica, in 1995.
Usher also dated singer-songwriter Brandy Norwood, also known as just Brandy. They worked together on the song “Who Is She To You”, released in 1999. They were rumored to be dating at that time, too.
The singer was also in a relationship with American author Karrine Steffans in 1999. They were in an on-and-off relationship for five years before they called it quits in 2004.
He was romantically linked to actress and singer Rozonda ‘Chilli’ Thomas, too. They dated in 2001 but went their separate ways in 2003. Usher then married his first wife, Tameka Foster.
Usher was also linked to Jennifer Freeman, Stefanie Thomas, Ayesha Butler, Melinda Santiago, Mimi Faust, Joy Bryant, Naomi Campbell, Eishia Brightwell, Keyshia Cole, and Pamela Anderson.
The Current Love of His Life
The R&B singer is currently dating Jenn Goicoenchea. Rumors about them dating started when they were spotted together at the Hollywood Bowl concert in October 2019.
The couple now had two children. The firstborn, Sovereign Bo Raymond, was born in September 2020. And in September last year, Usher announced to his Instagram followers the new addition to the “Raymond crew”, Sire Castrillo Raymond.
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The R&B singer now has four children in total. Two from his previous marriage with Tameka Foster, and another two from his current relationship.
The STD Scandal
Usher was involved in an STD scandal in 2017. It was after several people accused him of giving them herpes. It all started with a woman filing a $20 million lawsuit against him for exposing her to STD without prior warning. This was followed by more lawsuits from three more victims. What shocked the fans was the fact that one of these victims was a man.
That started the rumors about the singer’s sexuality. Fans began to wonder if he was bisexual.
The man, whose real identity was kept hidden, was referred to as “John Doe” in court documents. According to some reports, Usher and John Doe had sexual contact at a spa in Koreatown in Los Angeles sometime between 2012 and 2013.
Out of the three victims, only one tested positive for herpes. The accusers remained anonymous except for one, Quantasia Sharpton, who came out in public and even held a press conference with celebrity attorney Lisa Bloom. Sharpton shared that she met the singer at a concert and that they slept together after the event.
Atty. Bloom posted an official statement on her Twitter account last August 5, 2017, with regards to the lawsuits.
I will be doing a New York press conference Monday morning regarding a new case I’m filing against Usher. Here are the details. pic.twitter.com/MNXWyETXOJ
— Lisa Bloom (@LisaBloom) August 4, 2017
According to E! News, Usher’s legal team responded to the lawsuit by denying the allegation without specifying if the singer has herpes or not. It only stated that Usher “specifically denies each and every allegation contained in the complaint and the entirety thereof, including each purported cause of action contained therein.”
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The Hints on Usher’s Sexuality
The STD scandal which involved Usher and several accusers, including one man, sparked gay rumors around the singer. But it wasn’t the only hint that the artist is not really straight. His ex-wife, Tameka Foster, had also dropped some hints about his sexuality.
During their legal battle for sole custody of their two sons, Foster tweeted something about “undercover” gay guys.
I really feel that the ‘undercover’ gay guys that LOOK str8 should wear a bright wristband. Cuz this isnt really fair. Timbs, caps, vests?
— tameka j foster (@TamekaRaymond) November 20, 2011
After getting some backlash because of that tweet, Foster clarified that she was not talking about gay men in general. Only those who do some “trickery”.
Aside from his ex-wife’s subtle hints, Usher’s sexuality was also questioned because of some hints dropped by other celebrities. That includes Sean “Diddy” Combs, whom Usher had collaborated with in the past. In an interview with Kevin Hart in 2012, Diddy said something about waking up together with Usher.
This made fans speculate that Diddy must have, at some point, slept with Usher.
Adding fuel to the fire was actress Jenny McCarthy. In an interview with The Huffington Post in 2013, when asked if she found Usher attractive, she said:
One Twitter user with the handle @CreoleCanadian, who claimed to have worked with Usher at an Atlanta concert, said that they weren’t surprised about the news about Usher getting involved in a scandal with a man. They said that the singer’s behavior towards the staff indicated that there was more to him beyond his ladykiller persona.
Usher also once said that “bisexuals are best to be friends with” in an interview with MTV in 2010 to promote his single “Lil Freak”. This was after he was asked how it was to work with several bisexual women on the music video.
In an interview with MTV News in 2008, the singer also mentioned bisexual relationships.
Is Usher Gay?
Usher never talked openly about the rumors regarding his sexuality. However, fans still wonder if he might be bisexual. But since he has never publicly identified himself as such, it’s only sensible to assume that he is straight.