Usher Has Special Message For ‘Strong’ Women In NAACP Image Awards Speech

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After receiving the President’s Award at Saturday’s 55th NAACP Image Awards, Usher paid tribute to the women in his life.

He then thanked his mother and wife, Jennifer, for supporting him, adding, “They say behind or beside or with every strong man is a stronger woman.” He then thanked his children and his late grandmother, Ernestine Carter.

After receiving a special introduction from NAACP President Derrick Johnson, the singer—who had just performed at the Super Bowl halftime show—remarked on the honorary award he had dedicated to his family.

Usher, who was also named Entertainer of the Year, attributed his success to his mother’s influence, who “made [him] understand what purpose lies with the opportunity to be able to speak to the entire world” via his music.

As part of his charitable work, Usher established Project Restart to aid hundreds of families in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and provided financial support for scholarships to HBCUs.

Additionally, he was a co-founder of Usher’s New Look, an organization whose stated mission is to address “systemic barriers that prevent teens from graduating from high school and college.”

Usher continued by paying tribute to the nonprofit’s co-founder, his mother Jonnetta Patton, whom he wished to honor “more than anybody.”

It was even more difficult for a mother to believe in the dreams that I had when my career was just starting out, he said, adding, “being raised without a father in our home, being raised from a single parent, it was a lot.” He went on to say that women in his industry “far too often do not get the recognition that they truly deserve.”

“The unfaltering faith in your son that persisted through the years despite working in a male-dominated field is the reason I am here today,” he continued.

Sophia Johnson

Sophia's talent for weaving captivating narratives of fashion personalities and her knack for breaking fashion news make her a trusted voice in the industry.

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