UsherThe 26th annual ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards, held on Thursday, June 27, honored Usher and Kendrick Lamar for their musical achievements. The red carpet started around 7p.m. with some of music’s top artists, writers and producers which included Michelle Williams, MC Lyte, Tyrese, Ne-Yo, Jermaine Dupri, Andre Merritt and Jarrell Perry just to name a few.

The award Ceremony began around 9pm with the honorees hitting the stage to accept their awards for writing and production some of 2012’s top singles. Hip-Hop great, Dr Dre, hit the stage to present Kendrick Lamar with ASCAP’s Vanguard Award, while giving the young artist praise for his achievements over the last year. Kendrick, wearing a red hoodie and jeans, took the stage to accept and pose with the award.

Next, L.A. Reid came out to share his story of the potential he saw in Usher at avery early age.  When speaking of the artist’s early days, he shared a story of the time Usher used is charm with ladies when kissing the leg of a women who was 15 years his senior. Reid continued to joke how this would be a pre-cursor to Usher’s adult years. The audience laughed. Reid continued to discuss Usher’s journey and his introduction to mega-producer, Jermaine Dupri. JD hit the stage with DJ equipment in tow, headphone on, and began to play some of Usher’s top singles from his early days to current hits while the big screen displayed photos of the artist as a toddler growing up in the industry and becoming a sex symbol. Dupri played for quite some time – as he joked that he could go on forever playing Usher’s hits, but he got the audience hyped as he introduced the next surprise guest, Sean “Diddy” Combs.

Diddy also shared his stories of meeting the Usher earlier in his career when Reid insisted he take the young boy under his wing, while introducting him to the New York lifestyle of emerging artists. While discussing the “big brother” role he played in Usher’s life, he explained he was a young man himself and at that time women were on the forefront. This was a segway into his apology to Usher’s mother who thought her young son was in good hands when in reality, Diddy took ownership for showing the teenager the lifestyle that goes hand in hand with “bad boys” in NYC.

After intimate details of his rise to fame shared by 3 of is mentors, Usher was presented with ASCAP’s Golden Note Award. Acknowledging that Kendrick was not able to give an acceptance speech, Usher took to the podium to thank his mentors and peers for everything they have done for him personally and professionally. His sincere gratitude was shown toward his mother for sticking with him through his publicized hardships these last several years. The night ended with a standing ovation for the award winner and the guests finished their glassed of bubble and cheered to an excited evening.

REVOLT TV had exclusive backstage access to the event, check out video highlights from the evening below:

-Sanaz Sarshad