Usher says the women in his life have made him the man he is today.

Usher says the women in his life have made him the man he is today

Usher says the women in his life have made him the man he is today

The 45-year-old rapper, born Usher Raymond IV, paid tribute to his mum and wife for their support when he became a special honouree at the 2024 NAACP Image Awards, where he picked up the President’s Award – given to celebrities and other figures “in recognition of special achievement and distinguished public service”.

Dad-of-four Usher said: “I’m so overwhelmed with appreciation for my entire family – without them I wouldn’t be able to do this.

“They say behind or beside or with every strong man is a stronger woman, and for that I thank my mother and my beautiful wife Jennifer (Goicoechea) for holding me down. “My kids, I love you guys so, so much.”

Recent winners of the President’s Award include Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and her husband Prince Harry, as well as Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Rihanna.

Usher has sons Usher ‘Cinco’ V, 16, and Naviyd Ely, 15, with his former spouse Tameka Foster, 53, as well as a daughter, Sovereign Bo, three, and a son, Sire Castrello, two, with his 45-year-old wife Jenn.

In a statement ahead of the NAACP ceremony, its president Derrick Johnson said about the musician: “We are honoured to present this year’s President’s Award to Usher for his unparalleled talent and remarkable contributions as an artist and advocate for our community.

“Beyond his vocal talent and stage presence, Usher has empowered thousands of under-resourced youth to pursue their dreams through college readiness programs, financial literacy, and career planning.

“His dedication to creating positive change in the world has touched countless lives, redefining the boundaries of creativity and compassion.”

Black Entertainment Television president and CEO Scott Mills said in his own statement: “Usher stands as a distinguished multihyphenate performer, consistently setting new standards for Black Excellence.

“With a career spanning over three decades, Usher has earned his place as one of the foremost performers of our era and a beacon for social change in our community.

“It is a profound honour to recognise his extraordinary impact and lasting legacy.”