Music

Usher Honored with 2024 BET Lifetime Achievement Award: Celebrating a Legacy of Unmatched Talent and Influence

Under the dazzling lights of the Peacock Theatre in Los Angeles on June 30th, Usher Raymond IV, affectionately known as Usher (or Ur-Shur, if you’re fancy), received the night’s highest honor: the BET 2024 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Usher, a name synonymous with R&B and pop, has continually redefined the music landscape with his smooth vocals, dynamic stage presence, and innovative artistry. From his breakout hits in the late 1990s like “My Way” and “You Make Me Wanna…” to the chart-topping success of “Confessions” and “Yeah!,” Usher has consistently delivered anthems that resonate across generations. His influence extends beyond music, impacting dance, fashion, and culture, including a longstanding relationship with Rémy Martin.

In a collaboration that epitomizes luxury and excellence, together, they have created a synergy blending music and refined living, producing exceptional cognacs and unforgettable cultural moments. Their partnership started with the OMG World Tour over a decade ago and includes exclusive celebratory events, and integrations in Usher’s projects, as well as the “Life Is a Melody” and “Team Up For Excellence – The Film” campaigns over the last three years, marking a mutual appreciation for excellence, and continuing to elevate entertainment, music, and spirits, celebrating the past and inspiring the future. Usher’s influence is as profound as his talent is unparalleled.

From topping the charts with iconic hits like “Yeah!” to mentoring the next generation of artists on The Voice, and his recurring role on the 90s sitcom Moesha, Usher’s multifaceted career exemplifies versatility and impact. His recent triumph of reclaiming a top 20 spot on the Billboard Hot 100, following an illuminating halftime performance, further cements his enduring relevance.

Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis took the stage and shared heartfelt words about the King of R&B, and the room roared in agreement, praising the act for still having more to come.

The award presentation was preceded by a medley of Usher’s greatest hits, performed by music’s hottest acts including an opening from Childish Gambino, and cameos from Keke Palmer, Victoria Monét, Teyana Taylor, Tinashe, Summer Walker, and Chlöe Bailey, before closing out the sixteen-minute compilation with Latto’s infectious Atlanta energy rapping to “Yeah!” Dressed in a suave white top and black-out shades, a proud Usher stood nearly the entire time at the front row of the theater cheering on the performances on stage and singing along to his hits.

With a career spanning over three decades, Usher’s comrades’ electrifying performances, soulful voices, and undeniable stage presences ensured all eyes were glued to the screen. It was clear that this Lifetime Achievement Award celebrated not just past accomplishments but an enduring legacy. Usher’s contributions to music, culture, and the arts continue to inspire and influence, making him a true legend.

Babyface and L.A. Reid and others then joined Jam and Lewis on stage as Usher made his way up to accept the honor. Usher then delivered a heartfelt speech off the cuff, a decision he said was rooted in being present in the moment rather than preparing a monologue in advance. Last night’s honor saw a humble artist reflecting on his journey from a young artist with a dream to a global superstar. He expressed deep gratitude to his fans, family, and mentors who fueled his rise to fame.

“You have to express your goals outwardly, no matter what people see, no matter what they feel…because that is the only way it will ever become a reality – you have to see it first and then move in action and decide this is what I am going to do, this is what I am committed to…so long as you stay connected to what you feel and love, something major will happen,” reflects a proud Usher as he takes the audience, both within the theater and watching at home, through his 30-year career culminating in this prestigious award tonight.

As he stood amidst roaring applause, the room filled with ad-libs and head nods in agreement at every word he said (regardless of how passionate or profound the delivery) and the world at home celebrated not just a performer, but a legend whose legacy continues to shape the sounds of today and tomorrow.

Powered by Billboard.

Related Articles

Back to top button