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[MUSIC] Do you still get nervous before performance? I mean obviously, yeah everyone kinda has the shakes but I mean, especially for this audience. I mean, it's like, you got everybody here. You know this It's always kind of felt like the family reunion festival for me, you know, where, you know, everybody from the family can enjoy it. When I'm playing in front of this audience I think, what would Luther do? I think, obviously, always, what would Quincy feel? What would Michael do? What would Charlie Wilson do in a way, too? Like I said, you're kinda playing to this kind of multi Generational audience. And they just love real music. I mean, out of all the festivals that I've attended, this one culturally is sound because it's specifically for African-Americans and celebrating the culture of our music at a very significant time for us. So [MUSIC] You know, I wanted to be here this year. I want to be here every opportunity that I can. This will be my third time performing on the Essence stage. And, you know, just really happy. How are you, you're raising two black sons. Mm-hm. How are you, are you having conversations with them about race, and what's happening in the world. I let them find their way through it. And then, you know? They'll ask the questions, because kids are curious. And you don't want to spoil their ration of things. So you have to allow them to be in diverse settings. I don't allow my kids to just stay in one group or with one setting of people. I allow my kids to ask questions. You know, my philosophy really is that I'm raising future adults. [MUSIC]

This article originally appeared on People. 

Usher has revealed why he was absent from Ariana Grande‘s One Love Manchester benefit concert on Sunday: it was his son’s first day at summer camp for children with diabetes.

The 38-year-old singer shared a post on Instagram Monday explaining why he did not perform in Manchester despite being announced as part of the star-studded lineup.

“So happy to see that last night’s concert in Manchester proved that love always prevails,” he captioned a photo of the stage. “I would have loved to be there but it was my son’s first day at Camp Kudzu, one of the few summer camps for kids living with diabetes. This was an important day for him and for myself as a proud father.”

He concluded his message, “Stay strong UK.”

 

The Voice alum has previously spoken out about his 9-year-old son Usher V (aka “Cinco”)’s struggle with type 1 diabetes and used his platform to advocate for a cure for the disease, which prevents the body from producing insulin.

“A child that every day has to prick himself and has to be cautious of what he eats and also to carry this disorder around — that really is the type of bravery that we all aspire to have,” Usher told PEOPLE at the 2015 JDRF‘s Promise Ball, which aimed to raise awareness and money for research and a cure.

While he’s inspired by his son (with ex Tameka Foster), the “I Don’t Mind” singer says it’s been hard on him too.

“There’s been some difficult moments,” he said, but “having dealt with it on a daily basis, I have a great deal of understanding of what people have to deal with. It’s personal.”

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