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Usher Thanks Strong Women At NAACP Image Awards, Salutes His Wife And Mother

Usher was named the Entertainer of the Year at Saturday’s 55th annual NAACP Image Awards. But he hasn’t forgotten whose help he needed to get there.

The singer also won the President’s Award at the event, and paid tribute to the women in his life.

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“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, for holding me down,” he said, before giving a nod to his kids and his late grandmother, Ernestine Carter.

“My kids, I love you guys so, so much, I hope that I’m an example, I’m a dad whose just trying to get it right every day.”

Usher then went on to thank his mother (who was his manger at the start of his career).
“I’m thankful for the support that my mother gave me for my dreams,” he said. “I’m so overwhelmed with appreciation for my entire family, without them I wouldn’t be able to do this.”

Usher was also effusive when he took the stage and accepted the award for Entertainer of the Year. He acknowledged his Las Vegas wedding ceremony.

“I want to thank each and every person who bought a ticket,” he said after returning to the stage and accepting the award from Oprah. “Each and every person who decides to believe in themselves and believe in me. This has been an amazing 30 years of passion that lead to me to Las Vegas to celebrate the entire legacy that’s 100 shows sold out and then a residency in Paris and then to play the Super Bowl, get married and also to release and album. I don’t know how many people are able to do that stuff in one.”

Usher went on to address his mother Jonnetta Patton, who he wanted to recognize “more than anybody.”

“Far too often in our industry do women not get the recognition that they truly deserve,” he said, adding that when his career was first picking up, “it was even harder for a mother to believe in the dreams that I had, ’cause I was unwavering — being raised without a father in our home, being raised from a single parent, it was a lot.”

“The tenacity that it took to look within a male-dominated industry to believe in your son unwaveringly … because of that, I have this moment,” he said.

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