‘He Could’ve Kept This In the Group Chat’: Usher Calling Out Ex-Wife Tameka Foster Backfires When Fans Accuse Him of Painting Her as a Difficult Co-Parent

Usher is the 2024 BET Awards’ recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award honoring his career that spans three decades, but it is his evolution as a man that he chose to highlight when he finally hit the stage on June 30.

Following a tribute from stars like Childish Gambino, Coco Jones, Victoria Monét, and more, the R&B crooner delivered a speech addressing the many highs and lows that have motivated him throughout the years. An overarching theme of his message was uplifting Black fathers and emphasizing the importance of having a forgiving heart.

Usher’s BET speech about fatherhood derails when he calls out ex-wife Tameka Foster. (Photos: @usher/Instagram, @tamekafoster/Instagram)

“This is the year of the father, where all fathers gotta stand up for their sons and daughters,” said Usher.

As he spoke about the impact of his own father being absent in his life throughout childhood and adolescence, he shouted out his children, sons Usher “Cinco” and Naviyd Ely, whom he shares with his first wife Tameka Foster, as well as daughter Sovereign Bo and son Sire Castello, whom he shares with current wife Jenn Goicoechea.

“I forgive each and every person that had something negative to say about me,” the night’s biggest honoree continued. “‘Good Good’ is more than just a song, I’m turning a new leaf,” he said of his latest single from his 2024 album, “Coming Home.”

“You know we gotta be cool for the sake of the kids,” Usher added. “I look at Swizz Beatz and his ex-wife [Mashonda Tifre] and Alicia Keys and the fact that they’ve managed to pull things together. I’m trying Tameka,” he said, looking in his ex’s direction as she watched from the audience.

Foster and the “There Goes My Baby” singer separated after two years of marriage. The singer filed for divorce in 2009, beginning a back-and-forth exchange of insults and contentious encounters between the two before their separation was finalized that same year.

One of their battles dealt with the custody of their sons. Four years after ending their marriage, a judge ruled that Foster’s ex would retain primary custody of the boys. As a result of their soured relationship, her public remarks about the superstar have not always been the kindest, though in recent years it has appeared as though their co-parenting journey has been less tumultuous.

Producer Swizz Beatz and his ex-wife, singer Mashona Tifre, endured a messy divorce that saw her publicly accuse him of having an affair with Alicia Keys. The “I Keep Falling” songstress and Swizz denied her having a hand in the failed union.

They reportedly had been dating quietly for two years before tying the knot three 2010, the same year his divorce from Tifre was finalized. Months after the wedding, Keys welcomed their first child that October.

After years of being at odds, the couple and Tifre wrote the “Blend: The Secret to Co-Parenting and Creating a Balanced Family” book and have been spotted taking vacations as a blended family.

Still, Usher’s fans were baffled at him calling out the former celebrity stylist in the midst of acknowledging naysayers. “Ehhhhhh. I don’t like this. A star of his magnitude mentioning his ex-wife in this light can have the masses assuming she’s the problem or tough to parent with. He could’ve kept this in the group chat,” tweeted one person.

“Although this was not the place, I didn’t take his comment to think that she is the problem. I took this as HE is the problem, and a public manipulation tactic for her to give him grace,” a second X user wrote.

A third individual commented, “This wasn’t necessary. We saw the photos and reels from Mother’s Day. We know they have been in the same room together and are co-parenting.”

At least one speculator assumed that the Grammy Award winner had crossed his ex and was using the live broadcast to extend an olive branch.

“All the baby mamas in the world watching this know that whatever he did it was BADDDD. Tameka got the public apology and rolled her eyes hearing it don’t ask me how I know, I just know,” the tweet read.

Earlier this year, when speaking with People magazine, Foster said that things between her and the superstar were great.

“We’re friends and the kids are at an age now where they can kind of say where they want to be as far as, ‘Hey I want to be at Dad’s. I want to go to Mom’s,’” she told the outlet. “We have a very open door policy with the boys. We let ’em go where they want to go. Everything is going pretty smoothly.”

Foster also attended the Super Bowl, where Usher performed at the halftime show. After the big game, he and his longtime girlfriend wed in a Vegas ceremony.

When asked her thoughts about the nuptials, she told TMZ that she thought the pair was already hitched. “I don’t even keep up with his person. But he’s a good dad. That’s what I care about,” said Foster.

While social media is buzzing with reactions to Usher’s BET Awards speech, she has not provided her personal take on the matter.

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