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Again the La Face had their reservations about signing Usher because the album wasn't as successful as they anticipated. After graduating from high school, Usher continued to develop his skills as a stage performer and laid the groundwork for his second album.
At this time Jonetta Patton, Usher's mother took control of his career and put him in more talent shows the summer of 1995 building Usher a larger fan base and ultimately putting more confidence in L. He also appeared on their version of "Let's Straighten It Out", a 1995 duet with fellow Atlanta teen recording artist Monica; Usher developed a friendship with American record producer, Jermaine Dupri, with whom he co-wrote and produced several tracks for his second album, My Way, released on September 16, 1997.
Usher's mother left her job as a medical technician to manage his career, but later broke up their relationship as manager-client in May 2007.
Usher was introduced on "Call Me a Mack", a song he recorded for the soundtrack album to the 1993 drama-romance film Poetic Justice.
Alexander invited Bryant Reid, an A&R representative from La Face Records to see Usher perform on Star Search.
Following the performance, he arranged an audition for Usher with L. Reid, the co-founder of La Face; Reid signed Usher on the spot to a contract with the record company after singing Boyz II Men hit record "End of the Road".
Usher was going through puberty and having a difficult time adjusting his voice. Usher quickly adapted to the lavish lifestyle of Puff Daddy although in an interview with Rolling Stone, he expressed it as the "Hardest days" of his life.
LA Reid became skeptical of Usher and put his recording on hold thinking about dropping him from the label. "I had to knuckle up, figure shit out in New York" he said.
The album received backlash because Usher was singing about sex which the public had a hard time believing coming out of a 14-year-old's mouth.
At age 10, Usher joined an R&B local quintet called the Nu Beginnings, which was organized by local music svengali, Darryl Wheeler.