‘Peace up! A-Town down:’ Usher’s mom stops by WSB-TV ahead of singer’s Super Bowl performance

ATLANTA — We all know a mother’s love can create opportunities when none exist, and it takes determination and talent to get superstar status.

While almost everyone knows a lot about Atlanta’s own Usher, many do not know the woman behind the scenes who made his rise to stardom possible: his mother, Jonnetta Patton.

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Patton, a true mogul and powerhouse in her own right, served as her son’s first manager for 17 years.

Every mom thinks her child is exceptional, but what exactly was it that Jonetta saw in her little superstar?

“I wanted my kids to understand that there’re so many kids that are less fortunate, so don’t ever take it for granted, to take what God has given you for granted.”

Patton told Channel 2′s Karyn Greer that she knocked on doors, showed up at talent shows, and made sure Usher was seen and heard. She told Channel 2 Action News that Usher wanted to be a superstar at the age of 10.

“This was a dream of my kid. This is something that he wanted to do. This was his passion, not mine,” she said. “And I heard him, and I stand here today and say thank you, God.”


But the big break came when he signed on with La Face Records in Atlanta. In 1994, his self-titled debut album was released.

On his 19th birthday, he released his sophomore album, My Way produced by Atlanta’s own Jermaine Dupri.

But when his voice started changing, and Usher started going through puberty, Patton credits one man with helping to stay on top, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs.

“He said to me, ‘It wasn’t bad, I don’t understand, and I want to work with him.’”

She wants to thank Atlanta for believing in him and supporting him these last 30 years.

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Patton will be in Las Vegas to cheer on her son when he headlines the Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show on Sunday.

Usher is heading back to A-Town in October for a series of concerts at State Farm Arena.