Usher Gives Emotional Speech After Winning 2024 BET Awards

R&B superstar Usher delivered a heartfelt speech as he received a lifetime achievement honour at the BET Awards on Sunday. “Getting here has definitely not been easy, but it has been worth it,” the singer-songwriter said after accepting the award.

Known for hits like “Yeah!” and “You Make Me Wanna,” the 45-year-old also won the award for Best R&B and Hip-Hop Artist at the ceremony.

Opening his 15-minute acceptance speech, Usher pondered, “This life achievement award, I don’t know, man, is it too early to receive it? ‘Cause I’m still runnin’ and gunnin’ like I did when I was eight years old.”

The singer went on to talk about his father’s departure from the family during his childhood. “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 said.

“You have to have a forgiving heart to understand the true pitfalls and hardships of a black man in America, and my father, he was a product of that.”

The star also reflected on what it means to now be a father himself. “This is the year of the father. Stand up for your daughters and sons and lead,” he told the audience at the Peacock Theatre in Los Angeles.

“It’s important to understand that fatherhood is so important. For all the fathers tonight at home or in the audience, I would like y’all to stand up just for two seconds for me.”

As several men in the audience rose to their feet, Usher remarked, “We don’t often get the chance to say ‘Dad, I did it’, so this moment is dedicated to all the men out there guiding their sons and inspiring our future black leaders—young men.”

Willing to Forgive

Usher also expressed a commitment to “turning over a new leaf” and emphasized the importance of forgiveness.

“We’ve got to be willing to forgive, we’ve got to be willing to be open,” he stated. “I’m telling you, you’re standing before a man who had to forgive a man who never showed up.”

“And look what I made with it. Look what I was able to ‘usher’ in. That’s what’s real, that’s what makes us human, that’s what makes us women and men.”

The award was presented to him by producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.

After covering his career highlights, which included clips from his teenage years and his recent Super Bowl performance, there was an all-star tribute to the singer.

Childish Gambino, Keke Palmer, and Summer Walker were among the artists who performed one of Usher’s songs.

Usher’s recognition at the event follows his prestigious halftime show performance at the Super Bowl earlier this year.