Usher Raymond IV has sold over 48 million albums, dated some of the world’s most beautiful women, helped discover other multi-platinum artists (e.g., Justin Beiber). But what is his most prized accomplishment? Being a father. That’s right. One of music’s most eligible bachelors, says, “I’m a dad, first and foremost. Of course I have to travel and make a living, but my sons are my priority….I never knew I could be so happy just hanging out with them. I was born for this.”
To make it all work, the singer has forged a cordial relationship with their mother, Tameka Foster, 39, whom he divorced in 2009 after a rocky two-year marriage that included a canceled wedding and what he calls “epic” disagreements. “We had to put our issues aside and focus on raising them,” says Usher. (He and Foster share custody of Usher V, who turns 3 in November, and Naviyd, who turns 2 a month later.) “It’s what responsible parents do. There will never be another mother for my sons. And I’ll always be their father.”
“Our past can lead us down a road because we didn’t even know it would,” explains Usher. “The time spent with a father will teach you a certain understanding of life and how to cope and deal with things. The lack of a father being there can also teach you how to deal with life.”
“I’m adding to the statistic that there are fathers out there who are there for their children, who are there to raise them, who understand that they have to take that time and really make sure that they make that connection. And understand that these kids are future adults – they’re not kids – so if you don’t give them the time and attention they need now, then they’ll be running around and somebody else will be knocking them upside the head or they’ll be incarcerated. That song in itself is kind of a testament to the father that I became.”
“Now I represent what he is to become,” Usher says about his sons. “They’re gonna admire me, they’re gonna look up to me. They’re gonna say, ‘I wanna be’ – or he should say – ‘I wanna be like my father. I wanna be a man of valor. I wanna possess what my father has as a man.'”
Though the singer’s relationship with his own father, Usher Raymond III, was troubled, he says, “I don’t judge my father because I forgave him for anything he’d ever done to hurt me unintentionally.”
However, Usher’s childhood has colored his views on fatherhood. “You should never abandon that responsibility, which is to be there, reading with your child, being supportive of your child’s growth,” he says when asked what advice he’d give to young parents.
And, it goes without saying, a future Mrs. must love kids. “When I’m home, I spend a lot of time with my sons,” he says. “I make great breakfasts for them: pancakes, eggs and turkey bacon. We go for bike rides. I goof off with them all day long. Any future relationship will have to fit in with this.”
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