September 29, 2009


Posted: 05:15 PM ET

The following is a Larry King Live web exclusive commentary by Usher

$USHER_00001My life has been powered by service for as long as I can remember. As I prepare to announce Powered By Service, an international call to young people to serve and create change using their talents and passion, I’m sure some will say “I can’t wait to become famous like Usher so I can have a real impact.” But, I can tell you there is no need to wait! 

The point of Powered By Service is that everyone, no matter who they are, has gifts and talents that they can use for service right now!  Every single person has a talent that he or she can use against seemingly insurmountable problems —whether it is quick wit in policy debate, the ability to command attention through music, a passion for investigative journalism or the management savvy to start a business that meets a financial and social bottom line. Every single person can and should lead a life that is Powered By Service.

In my life, I have been blessed to be a blessing to others. Through my music and philanthropy I can help others not only through charitable acts that relieve burdens, but also by inspiring and supporting youth as they discover their own ways to be blessings.  It has only been in recent years however, that I discovered this blessing, this power, takes the form of service.

$USHER_00002When I look back, I realize I have been serving my community ever since I was a kid. I still remember when I was about 9 years old, the Boys and Girls Club took a bunch of us out to do a park clean up. Most of us didn’t think much of it at the time. We were outside. We had a good time. We were all able to pitch in and accomplish a goal. But, at the end of the day, we did have a little more pride in our community and a little more belief that even the smallest acts can create change. That small act planted the seed for a life Powered By Service.

As my life continued I was fortunate enough with the support of family, friends and remarkable mentors to find success in music and entertainment, but I was still grounded with the understanding that I must find ways to give back just as much as I have been given. In 1999, I started Usher’s New Look Foundation.


Filed under: Larry King Live • LKL Web Exclusive

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MaryRM   September 29th, 2009 5:53 pm ET

We have lost so many instrumental people in the past year, people who had dedicated decades to social action and justice.

It is so good to see someone like Usher take up the reins with a passion, it is what is so needed now.

Mary   September 29th, 2009 6:07 pm ET

Usher, maybe you should serve your community by actually tipping when you get wings at the Outback Steakhouse in Roswell. Yeah, I was right next to you guys and heard you say that you'll "keep your 10%" (also... 10 percent? wow, get with the times!).

Sandy-Houston   September 29th, 2009 6:28 pm ET

Michael would be proud of you. It is what we all should do. Thank you Usher.

Kim   September 29th, 2009 6:53 pm ET

Usher you are doing a wonderful thing, I love seeing celebrities out in the community working hard and trying to make a difference in the world. You are using you fame and influence to make a change and do good for others and I admire that. Keep up the good work, and hopefully others will follow your lead, and Michael would definitely be proud of you.

Honorine   September 29th, 2009 8:05 pm ET

Usher, keep the lagacy growing.

JIM Carroll   September 29th, 2009 9:25 pm ET

California could create its own money by making it good only in the state of California and exchangeable with the dollar in California. Since the Federal Government has a stupid money policy, there is no need for California to be broke when money is only a medium of exchange for good an service. California could withdraw from the United States and become a new country. It could then create its own money supply like 191 other countries– which would be good anywhere in the world. This would get the USA of the off of a gold standard mentality.

Article 1, Section 8, Constitution gives the Federal Government the power to keep a balanced money supply. New money should be made available to all the states without any matching funds required for creating jobs and funding new businesses which produces new jobs. Goods and services have real value. Money is only numbers on a computer chip which exchanges goods and services.

Shauna   September 29th, 2009 11:28 pm ET

This is really great. I hope I can get involved in my community and in the international community and bring about much needed change. Usher is a great person for making these resources available to the public youth, and for sharing his motivational stories and optimistic views of how we are all capable of making a difference. He inspires me to become an avid philanthropist and to embrace this lifestyle of servitude for as long as I am a citizen of this world.

Lisa   September 30th, 2009 12:34 am ET

Guess, you are saying that charity begins at the Outback Steakhouse.

Lisa S   September 30th, 2009 1:49 am ET

I ve always admire his energy and charisma. And that big smile 🙂

Cocovelvet   September 30th, 2009 10:53 am ET

Great work Usher.........if MJ was still here with us, he would be sooo proud of you !!!!

alex lyrics   September 30th, 2009 1:48 pm ET

It is about time our African American celebs start to man up.

clarice   September 30th, 2009 3:19 pm ET

Good Job Usher, You did a wonderful job at Michaels memorial service, and I'm sure you do good in all the world as he did. Is it possible the girl at the outback heard wrong, and you said keep the change or did you get Bad service.

You have a wonderful talent, and I hope you use it well.,to help the world.

Good luck.

Jessie from Auckland, NZ   September 30th, 2009 9:59 pm ET

You are walking the talk Usher. Admire you and great on you.

gahllin   October 1st, 2009 12:06 am ET

Mary, I hope your experience was a case of mistaken identity! I've followed Usher's charity work for several years and am always amazed by his passion to help and come to the rescue of others in times of crisis. I'm amazed that he, of all people, would act in such a mean-spirited way, especially to a waiter who's probably working his/her butt off trying to get through college! If Usher was the one who actually did this, it makes me feel very sad. I have no idea if his New Look Foundation practices and encourages diversity but I've never seen a Caucasian kid in any of the pictures and/or videos about the foundation. I realize there's only so much to go around and you have to set priorities when you have a foundation of any kind but there are also many bright white kids who are living in equally horrific conditions and the last I knew, the music industry was very diverse. As a matter of fact, the last time I looked, Clive Davis had pretty fair skin! A lot more hands need to be reaching out to kids of all races. They all deserve a hand up. I hope Usher keeps up his wonderful humanitarian efforts – they're very needed. Oh, and I hope he learns to tip appropriately too.

kris   October 3rd, 2009 8:32 pm ET

Usher, saw you @ Atlantis in Bahamas in '07 walking along the path with my 4 yr old g'daughter-she said "I love you Ursher!!" You laughed! Well, keep up your awesome help and I make sure our whole family does everything possible to help save our planet!! Love ya dude!!!

Elna   October 12th, 2009 1:27 am ET

Hi Usher,
You are doing a marvelous job with the young people. I too am running an after school program for youth and it has been very difficult to receive funding in order to provide quality after school for middle school students in my county. How do I obtain financial help? The organization has been operating on board's funds and fundraising. Please help!!!

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