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Usher Receives Lifetime Award at 2024 BET Awards, But Audio Cuts Out

Usher accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2024 BET Awards on Sunday night (June 30) at the Peacock Theater in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, for those watching from home, the audio cut out for a significant portion of his speech.

“It is great to see him get the flowers while the garden is still growing, so keep growing them flowers,” said Terry Lewis at the start. He, along with Jimmy Jam, highlighted their role in producing Usher’s hit “Bad Girl” from his 2004 album, Confessions. They were joined by L.A. Reid and Babyface, who acknowledged Usher’s mother, Jonnetta Patton, for her pivotal role in his life.

Usher, taking the stage for his approximately 12-minute acceptance speech, found about four minutes of it inaudible for the home audience. Billboard has reached out to BET for comments on the audio issue.

“Getting here has definitely not been easy, but it has been worth it. … I didn’t write anything because I wanted this moment to be exactly what it was: present. In this moment, how I am feeling and the appreciation that I have for each and every person that had anything to do with this moment tonight as well as the 30-plus-year career that I celebrate. … I don’t know, man, is it too early for me to receive it? Because I’m still running and gunning and I still love this s–t like I did when I was eight years old,” Usher began.

He shared insights on his journey, touching on the complexities of his birth name given to him by his father, a figure who wasn’t present in his life. Usher emphasized the importance of a forgiving heart in understanding the struggles of Black men in America. “And my father, he was a product of that. He made a lot of decisions, he made a lot of choices, and the one that probably hurt and helped me at the same time was to stay away. But that’s part of the reason why I say this is the year of the father, where all the fathers gotta stand up for their sons and daughters and be the man that they need them to be for them,” he said.

Usher also praised Jam, Lewis, Reid, and Babyface for their mentorship and support throughout his career. “They were the men who motivated me, who speak to me, who have spoken to me, who have been solid no matter how f–ked up it may have been — sorry, I’m cursing to let you know how I really feel,” he said, where “f–k” was censored but “s–t” was not. His speech began to cut in and out almost four minutes in.

A Billboard reporter inside the awards show noted that while Usher did say “f–k” and “motherf–ker” once each, he barely swore throughout his speech, which was free of any salacious content.

When the audio was restored, Usher gave a heartfelt shoutout to his eldest sons Usher “Cinco” Raymond V and Nayvid Ely Raymond, who were in the front row, as well as his son Sire Castrello Raymond and daughter Sovereign Bo Raymond, who were at home. “It is 100% all about my children and making certain that you understand that your dreams can come true if you are truly committed. If you are dedicated to something and you find passion and you stay committed to it, this could potentially be you. This could be your moment. Not on this stage, because I’m the only one that’s gonna have this one,” he humorously concluded.

Source: Billboard