Usher has been through some extremely difficult times over the years, but none hit him as hard as the tragic deaths of his father and stepson.
The 45-year-old singer – who will perform the 2024 Super Bowl Halftime Show on February 11 – is a proud dad to four children, Usher 'Cinco' Raymond V, 16, Naviyd Ely, 15, Sovereign Bo, three, and Sire Castrello, two.
While his father, Usher Raymond III, was absent for most of his life, the Confessions singer decided to track him down following the birth of his first son in 2007, only to discover he was dying in hospital.
What happened to Usher's dad?
Usher's father reportedly battled a drug addiction and when his son found him, he was critically ill in intensive care awaiting a liver transplant.
Despite agreeing to pay his medical bills, Usher's dad's condition deteriorated quickly, and he slipped into a coma and died.
"There were some very intimate moments that probably should be preserved in my life story, like looking at my father when he was unconscious in a coma, and then having to leave and go watch my (newborn) son," the singer told the Mail on Sunday in 2023.
"But I remember showing a picture of my son to my father, who was unconscious, saying, 'Look at this, this is Usher. This is the continuation of us.'"
Usher added: "Because I didn't have a relationship with my father, it made me feel like he had given me something – his name – that was very hard to walk around with and hold, because, well, my father wasn't there.
"I can't escape this reality of what I have to deal with: temptation; or loneliness; or the fact that you feel some sense of abandonment because a lot of our mothers or fathers weren't there when we needed them."
What happened to Usher's stepson?
In July 2012, Usher's stepson, Kile Glover – the son of his ex-wife, Tameka Foster – was playing on an inner tube being pulled by a pontoon boat on Lake Lanier in Georgia.
The 11-year-old was struck by a jet ski being used by family friend, Jeffrey Simon Hubbard, and was rushed to hospital with serious injuries. y
He was declared brain dead and died two weeks later after being taken off life support.
In 2014, Hubbard was found guilty of homicide by vessel, as well as serious injury by vessel and unlawful operation of a personal watercraft.
He was sentenced to four years in prison and an additional 15 years on probation following his release.
Speaking about his stepson's death to Oprah Winfrey in September 2012, Usher said: "I miss Kile. We cooked together, we laughed, we sang. He loved to sing and dance. He loved to tell jokes."
Usher was accused of not attending Kile's memorial because of his strained relationship with his ex – he and Foster were in a bitter custody battle at the time. Usher was later awarded full custody of their sons, Usher V and Naviyd.
Despite not being pictured, Usher stated he did attend: "It hurts me to hear people speculating that I wasn't at the funeral. I absolutely was at the funeral. I was at the burial as well."
What happened to Usher's son?
Just over a year after the death of his stepson, Usher faced another desperate race to the hospital after his son, Usher V, almost drowned when his arm became caught in a pool drain while he was trying to retrieve a toy.
At the time, the then-five-year-old was rushed to intensive care and placed in the ICU at an Atlanta, Georgia hospital after he was reportedly given CPR after being pulled from the pool.
"I am blessed and fortunate to say that my son Usher V is doing well and is recovering," Usher said in a statement at the time.
"I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of prayers, love, and support for my family's well-being."
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