Usher walks through the crowd of students Monday at Tyner Academy. Photo by Robert Sharpe
Usher speaks at the Orange Grover Center Monday. Photo by Kristi Tankersley
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -
Popular R&B recording artist Usher stopped by several Chattanooga schools Monday, surprising many with his visit.
One of his first stops was Tyner Academy where he spoke to middle and high school students. They were told that they were attending a Black History month program, only to discover that Usher was in the building.
Usher spoke to students for about 30 minutes, reportedly encouraging students to find their passion and to work hard to achieve their goals.
"The message that he gave the whole school was very inspiring but the most important message he gave us was once we start something we shouldn't just quit. He said things don't always come easy when they start and should always commit to what we are doing," said student Kashius Alexander.
He also took a few questions from the students and allowed teachers and students to take photos.
Usher grew up in Chattanooga, and was mentored by Darryl Wheeler, who formed the teen group "Nu Beginning." Usher was one of five youths who performed in the group. He later moved to Atlanta, and eventually was picked up by a major record label, and has had several hit songs and TV appearances. He has remained in touch with his middle school chorus teacher, Roxanna Edwards, and she reached out to him in December, asking him to speak to the students. He also visited Orange Grove Center and Howard School.