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Usher Raymond III



P R E S S   R E L E A S E


For Immediate Release:

January 10, 2006


Contact: Corrine Innis

(212) 598-4000


 Usher to be Honored at CORE’s MLK Celebration in NY



Usher will be honored at CORE’s 22nd Annual Martin Luther King Ambassadorial Reception and Awards Dinner at the New York Sheraton Hotel and Towers on Monday, January 16, 2006. The Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) holds the preeminent Martin Luther King Celebration in the country. In years past, attendees have included the First Lady Laura Bush, Robert DeNiro, and former Mayor Rudy Guliani. Notable honorees have included Elie Weisel, Janet Jackson, B.B. King, Rosa Parks, Muhammad Ali, and Secretary of State James Baker III.


This year’s celebration will focus on the state of our nation. We are concerned about the role that hip-hop culture plays in today’s society. We are pleased that a young artist like Usher can set such a positive example for young people through music. This is the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the 60’s civil rights movement, and martyrs like Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner, young CORE civil rights workers.


Roy Innis, National Chairman of CORE, calls Usher” a breath of fresh air: “ At a time when many hip hop entertainers profit by using ‘criminal chic’ to market themselves, Usher has consistently projected core values of hard work, respect and self-discipline. As a father and a grandfather, I admire his courage.  It’s a challenge for a young man of such fame and fortune to stay on the straight and narrow.” The Chairman praised Usher’s mother, Jonnetta Patton, for managing his career in a way that is consistent with her family’s values. Family values, hard work and respectability is the right message, especially at this time.


Usher Raymond IV was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee in l978. He moved with his mother to Atlanta, Georgia at age 12. At 14, Laface Records discovered him at a local talent show. He released his first album “Usher” less than a year later in l994. The rest is history; Usher has 3 Billboard Music Awards, 2 Grammy Awards, and 3 Soul Train Awards.


This year, CORE will also honor the people of Mississippi for the strides they have made in race relations. The Honorable Haley Barbour, Governor of Mississippi, will accept the award for his state. Other Honored guests include Ambassador John Bolton, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.


For more information call CORE.


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CORE -- Congress of Racial Equality  *  P.O. Box 264  *  New York, N.Y.  *  10276  *  Tel: (212) 598-4000  *  Fax: (212) 982-0184


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