Usher Praises the 'Strong' Women in His Life During Career Milestone Moment


Usher's 2024 is still going strong, as the singer accepted the President's Award from the NAACP not long after dominating the Super Bowl Halftime Show stage in February. In a touching speech, the singer paid tribute to the women in his life and their influence and support.

On Saturday, March 16, Usher took the stage to accept the President's Award surrounded by many of his peers. Although the award was addressed to him, Usher used the moment to focus on women around him—his mother and new wife in particular.

Usher began, “They say behind or beside or with every strong man is a stronger woman, and for that, I thank my mother and I thank my beautiful wife, Jennifer [Goicoechea], for holding me down," before mentioning his late grandmother, Ernestine Carter, and his kids.

He then shared an emotional message fully dedicated to his mother, Jonnetta Patton, saying, "Far too often in our industry do women not get the recognition that they truly deserve. It was even harder for a mother to believe in the dreams that I had, ’cause I was unwavering."

He noted how much work his mother put into supporting his dream as she raised him on her own, calling out her "tenacity" before crediting her for where he is now, saying, "Because of that, I have this moment."

While Usher is well-known for his contributions to the music industry, he also has a passion for philanthropy, co-founding the non-profit Usher’s New Look with his mother that develops a curriculum focused on supporting "under-resourced youth" to create a "global network of leaders," as the official website states.

Fans cheered on the artist in the comments, with notes like, "Usher really is a beautiful person. I really appreciate his spirit so much," and "Thank you Usher, for acknowledging single black mothers."

Other winners at the 2024 NAACP Image Awards included Colman Domingo, Fantasia Barrino, Taraji P. Henson and more.

Next: Usher's Rarely-Seen 3-Year-Old Daughter Makes Acting Debut in New Music Video