Live is a live album by American singer Usher. It was recorded on October 15 and 16, 1998 in the singer's hometown of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and released by LaFace Records on March 23, 1999. Both audio-only and video longform versions were released; it was distributed to break up the gap between Usher's second and third studio albums, My Way (1997) and 8701 (2001).
Live was released to keep Usher's fans satisfied during the four-year break between My Way (1997) and 8701, his second and third studio albums, respectively. During that time, Usher was busy pursuing an acting career in films The Faculty (1998), Light It Up (1999) and Texas Rangers (2001). The album was recorded at two free concerts Usher performed in his hometown of Chattanooga, Tennessee on October 15 and 16, 1998. Usher stated his reasons for releasing a live album in an interview with MTV, "I really like the sound of a band, that's one, just for myself, but there were so many people who didn't get a chance to see the concert, so I came out with a live version of most of the songs on my album, and I came out with a home video for all the people who didn't get a chance to see the performance, and a little bio of me as well." Seven of the songs included on Live are from Usher's self-titled debut album (1994) and My Way. A medley of songs originally performed by Bobby Brown—"Don't Be Cruel", "Every Little Step", "Rock Wit'cha" and "Roni"—is also featured on the album, along with covers of Force MDs' "Tender Love" and LL Cool J's "I Need Love".
Live received generally negative reviews from music critics. Stephen Thomas Erlewine from Allmusic criticized Usher's "tired and weary" live sound, although he praised the remixed songs at the end of the album.Entertainment Weekly'sJ. D. Considine gave Live a C grade and wrote that, despite Usher's performing ability, the audio album is boring without video footage of the concerts. Neva Chonin of Rolling Stone was unimpressed with Usher's "tinny"-sounding voice on Live.
Live debuted at number 76 on the US Billboard 200 on the chart dated April 10, 2011, with first-week sales of 21,000 copies. The album peaked at number 73, and lasted nine weeks on the chart. On April 27, 1999 Live was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), denoting the shipment of 500,000 units, and by the end of 2001 Live had sold over 200,000 copies in the US. It debuted and peaked at number 30 on the Top R&B Albums, and remained on that chart for nine weeks. The video longform version of Live entered the US Top Music Videos chart at number four on the chart of April 10, 1999. It remained at number four for three weeks, before ascending to number three on May 1, 1999, where it peaked for one week. The RIAA certified the Live video gold, after it shipped 50,000 copies, on December 22, 1999. The video of the performance of "Bedtime" was made available at MTV.com, and the live version of "Bedtime" reached number 66 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart.