Usher’s Emotional Night: Honored with Lifetime Achievement at BET Awards

Usher’s acceptance speech at the BET Awards left no one indifferent. The 45-year-old superstar, celebrated for his iconic hits like “Yeah!” and “You Make Me Wanna,” received the Lifetime Achievement Award, reflecting on his journey with heartfelt emotion.

As he stood before the audience, Usher acknowledged the struggles he faced to reach this pinnacle. “Getting here has definitely not been easy, but it has been worth it,” he shared, his voice filled with sincerity. Alongside this honor, he also took home the award for Best R&B and Hip-Hop Artist.

Georges Biard, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Opening his 15-minute speech with humility, Usher questioned if it was too early for such a lifetime accolade, humorously noting, “I’m still runnin’ and gunnin’ like I did when I was eight years old.” This introspective moment set the tone for a deeply personal address.

Usher delved into his past, speaking openly about his father’s absence and the impact it had on him. “I was trying to make sense of this name a man gave me that didn’t stick around because he didn’t love me,” he admitted. He emphasized the importance of forgiveness, understanding the hardships faced by black men in America, including his father.

Reflecting on his own role as a father, Usher declared, “This is the year of the father. Stand up for your daughters and sons and lead.” He called on fathers everywhere to recognize their vital role, asking those present to stand in solidarity.

As the audience rose, Usher dedicated his award to all fathers, acknowledging their often unspoken contributions. “We don’t get a chance to say enough, ‘Dad, I did it,’ so this one is for all the men out there being generals to their sons, and motivation for our future black leaders – young men,” he said.

Turning to the theme of forgiveness, Usher spoke of a personal transformation. “We’ve got to be willing to forgive, we’ve got to be willing to be open,” he urged. “I’m standing before you as a man who had to forgive a man who never showed up. And look what I made with it. That’s what’s real, that’s what makes us human.”

Producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis presented the award, following a montage of Usher’s career highlights, from his teenage years to his recent Super Bowl performance. The tribute featured performances by Childish Gambino, Keke Palmer, and Summer Walker, who each brought their unique style to Usher’s classic hits.

The night also saw Will Smith debuting his first new single since 2017, “You Can Make It,” delivering an inspiring message to the audience. “Whatever’s going on in your life right now, I’m here to tell you, you can make it,” Smith said before his performance.

The BET Awards, celebrating black talent across various industries since 2001, highlighted numerous other achievements. Notable winners included SZA for Best Female R&B/Pop Artist, Kendrick Lamar for Best Male Hip-Hop Artist, and Victoria Monét for Video of the Year with “On My Mama.” Tyla’s win for Best New Artist marked a significant achievement for South African artists, reflecting the global influence of the event.


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