Hoping To 'Usher' In Grammy Wins

R&B sensation Usher has eight Grammy nominations, and a big hit in "Yeah, Yeah."

And he gave The Early Show national correspondent Hattie Kauffman a peek backstage as he prepared for his Grammy performance this weekend.

"What's it like for you," she asked, "when the lights go down and the announcer says, 'Ladies and gentlemen, Usher.'"

"That is the most nerve-wracking moment of life. Because it's all or nothing."

And, observes Kauffman, he gives his all: An Usher performance is a party. His dance moves are electrifying.

Usher's album "Confessions" already has earned more awards than any mantel could possibly hold.

"Confessions" was the top seller of 2004. In fact, it sold more than a *million* copies in just the first week it was out.

"Do you remember getting the telephone calls, you sold a million?"

"Actually, I can remember the day my mother received the call. …and she started hitting me."

As Kauffman laughed, Usher added that he said to his mother, "What did i do; why are you hitting me? What did i do this time?"

And, he continued, "She says, 'You sold a million units in one week. …That was like an amazing, monumental moment."

Monumental, Kauffman points out, when you consider Usher is R&B, in an era of rap.

"I'm not saying in all cases go against the grain, but in this situation, it really proved to be a good thing, at a time when hip hop, rock, mostly hip hop, was really dominant, R&B had sort of taken a backseat."

"Right," Kauffman interjected. "It's 'old school.'"

"It was, before now," Usher said.

Acting is the next step in his career, Kauffman notes. Usher is releasing his own DVD, "Rythm City," and he plays a bodyguard in the upcoming romantic comedy, "Dying for Dolly."

Actor, dancer, and hugely successful recording artist, Usher hit number one again with his duet with Alicia Keys, "My Boo."

Usher says his world of success is the result of his life's philosophy that can be summed up in three words.

"Prayer, patience and persistence," he says. "If you can have all of those, you can do anything you want to do in life."

And let's not forget, Kauffman chimes in: Having a killer set of abs doesn't hurt.

Kauffman: "I read somewhere the reason you ripped off your shirt somewhere is because…

Usher: "It was hot."

Kauffman: "It was hot, and then it really got hot."

UsherAnd then it really got hot and then it worked!

Kauffman: So is it an Usher concert if you don't rip off your shirt?

Usher: I don't think it's quite an Usher concert if I don't flash my abs (he laughs). Let's just hope that we can keep it ab and not flab (he chuckles). 'Cause, at fifty, it may be more flabs of steel instead of abs of steel. (he laughs again)."

Kauffman: See, and I didn't even ask for a peek.

Usher: Well, I'll just show you just in case. (he laughs)

Not bad, Kauffman noticed.

The Grammy Awards will on CBS Sunday night.

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