"I Cry," one of Usher's latest singles, is one of the more emotional and personal tracks in the singer's discography — and its genesis was all thanks to his kids.
In a recent video interview with Washington, D.C.-based radio station WPGC 95.5 FM, Usher revealed that "the idea" for the song "was born" after he had an emotional moment while watching an animated movie with sons Naveid Ely, 11, and Usher V, 12.
"I'm not shy in terms of being honest with my kids about the fact that I didn't have a relationship with my father at all. And there was a moment between a son and a father and it got to me — I started crying. So my kids, they look over at me and they're like, 'Are you crying?!' " recalled the musician, 41.
"I'm like, 'Yeah, I'm crying!' They're like, 'You cry?!' I'm like, 'Yeah, I cry, and it's okay to cry.' And the beginning of the idea was born there," he added.
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The lyrics to "I Cry," which dropped in June, begin, "I can't keep it together / I usually don't show my emotions / But it ain't getting better / 'Cause you can't be blind with eyes wide open."
"I cry / For the sons without fathers / And the pain that their mothers / Hold deep inside," the chorus goes. "And I'll fight / For the future we're making / We can change if we face it / 'Cause these tears won't dry / So I cry."
"My kids were at the front of my mind when I created it — it wasn't created in this time, but it's relevant to this time and will continue to be relevant as we move forward," Usher told WPGC 95.5 FM's Poet. "I would play [the song] for them later to make them understand that this is an important part of life — to have empathy."
"And then when I listened and paid attention to what was going on in this time, I began to think, 'What thing can I offer to my kids, as well as to the world, that's gonna bring us closer?' " he explained. "It is our ability to be able to empathize with each other and connect in this moment of understanding that a life being taken means more than you can ever imagine."
The "Bad Habits" singer is readying himself for another big life change: becoming a father for the third time, as he and girlfriend Jenn Goicoechea are expecting their first child together.
Usher confirmed the baby news Sept. 4 on Good Morning America while announcing his 2021 Las Vegas residency, saying his sons are "elated" and "excited" about their sibling on the way.
While awaiting their little one, who's due this year, "The family is good. [Jenn's] doing well," the dad-to-be shared last week on The Late Late Show. "I think it's been a tough time for everybody, so [it's] great to have this incredible news, this new arrival. Really anticipating it."
"And also [I'm] putting out new music and finding my way to creativity," Usher added. "I think everybody's had the opportunity to take a beat back and realize what really matters in this time — it's family. It is coming closer to your loved ones and appreciating the ones that you have while you have them."
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