T.I. is ensuring his late sister is remembered by giving back to students in need.
At the taping of Dear Mama: A Love Letter to Mama, VH1’s annual tribute for celebrities to honor the special women in their lives, the Atlanta rapper honored his late sister Precious Chapman, his mother, Violetta Morgan, wife Tiny Harris and her mother Dianne Cottle-Pope.
During his tribute, held last Thursday inside the Theater Ace Hotel in Los Angeles, T.I. announced the Precious Chapman Scholarship Fund, which awarded Tierani Scott, a junior at Philander Smith College with $25,000.
Chapman, whose birth name was Antoinette Chapman, died back in February after succumbing to injuries in a car crash. She was 66.
The ceremony, which was hosted by Anthony Anderson and La La Anthony, also provided an intimate atmosphere for Anderson, H.E.R., Ciara and Ashanti to pay homage to the special women in their lives.
Anderson thanked his mother, grandmother and wife for their sacrifices and love.
“Mothers are the cradle of civilization,” Anderson told ESSENCE. “Had it not been for mother’s none of us would be here today. So to come out and to celebrate my mother and mothers across the world, I love it.”
Singer Ashanti gave an appreciable performance, honoring her mother, Tina Douglas, whom she refers to as the original “momager.” Douglas has been managing Ashanti since she began her career over a decade ago.
“I’m very fortunate to have an amazing relationship with my mom and my sister, so I think this is an amazing platform to be a part of,” Ashanti said.
The ceremony also included performances by Luke James and Monica. Monica had a special guest during her performance, her daughter Laiyah Shannon Brown, who helped her distribute roses to the crowd while she performed “Angel of Mine.”
Ciara attended Dear Mama on behalf of #SeeHer, which honors deserving moms for strides they’ve made in support of the group’s mission to increase representation of women in advertising and media.
Her tribute honored Codie Elaine Oliver, director of OWN’s Black Love series and CNN correspondent April Ryan.
Grammy Award winner H.E.R. closed the ceremony with a heartfelt cover of Donny Hathaway’s “A Song for You” for her mother, who she said “doesn’t look a day over 25.” She continued the performance with surprise special guests Shai and SWV, who she mentioned were her mother’s favorite groups growing up.
Dear Mama was an all-around family celebration for women, which honored our strength, love and support—a perfect kickoff to Mother’s Day.
Dear Mama: A Love Letter to Mom airs Monday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on VH1.