Usher donates 2,000 meals, performs virtual show in support of small businesses

The 'Don’t Waste My Time' crooner debuted a new song during his live-streamed concert.

(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Usher has found an unique way to give back amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Confessions singer not only donated 2,000 meals to several local businesses in need in the Atlanta area, but he also performed a virtual concert with Jermaine Dupri and Bryan-Michael Cox on Verizon’s Pay It Forward series.

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Decked out in a black mask and black jacket, Usher met with volunteers on Thursday to deliver food purchased from Buford Highway Farmers Market, prepared by Shadiydah “Sha” Avery, chef and owner of Veganaire.

The meals were assembled at J’s Kitchen Culinary Incubator, owned by Jonnetta Patton, and delivered to Mary Hall Freedom House, Donna Center for Women and Families, Clayton County Schools, Future Foundation Gateway Center, the Salvation Army, Nicholas House and My Sister’s House.

“I’m here at Culinary Incubator. Chef Sha and myself just delivered our meals to the 2,000 people in the community,” the I Don’t Mind singer said in a video shared with theGrio. “We had a few interviews just to talk about the importance of small businesses.”

Just a few hours later, Usher teamed up with Dupri and Cox for an epic, hour-long performance of some of his biggest hits, including Confessions (Part 1), Confessions (Part 2), U Got It Bad, Burn, Stevie Wonder’s You’ve Got It Bad Girl and his newest single, Don’t Waste My Time.

Usher also debuted a new song, Believe, from his upcoming album.

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“I’m gonna tell you guys the truth. I have to be made to put out records, ’cause I’ll just hold on to stuff forever,” he explained about the exclusive track during the YouTube livestream. “I’m gonna keep it real. I want to make sure that it’s right, and I think honestly [this song] is probably appropriate—in addition to us introducing it—it’s appropriate for the moment.”

“We’re in a time where a lot of belief is what we need in this country,” Dupri added, while introducing the song. “We need to believe that everything is going to be alright, even though it looks crazy. It looks like it’s going sideways, but the belief has to be there.”

Verizon’s Pay It Forward Live showcases intimate, at-home virtual performances in support of small businesses affected by COVID-19. Previous performers include Alicia Keys, Janelle Monáe and Chance the Rapper.