In my book, I am the woman I am today because of the love poured into me by mother and my father. While Father's Day isn't the only time of year to celebrate the power and the presence of black fathers and father figures in our lives, it is a beautiful reminder to honor the men we hold near and dear to us. At xoNecole, we are all about giving credit where credit is due and in honor of today and every day, we wanted to showcase a roundup of black celebrity dads actively showcasing why representation of black fatherhood matters.
Both sons and daughters need their fathers, and these black celebrity dads serve as proof of that truth.
Usher and His Kids
Usher Raymond is a singer, actor, songwriter extraordanaire whose career spans across decades. Despite his distant relationship with his now-deceased father, Usher was intentional about playing an active role in the lives of his children. The R&B singer married his personal stylist of several years Tameka Foster-Raymond in 2007. After their union, he became a stepfather to her three sons from past relationships. Shortly thereafter, they had their child together, Usher "Cinco" Raymond V in November 2007. Regarding his decision to pass his multi-generational namesake down to his son, he explained:
"I never hated my father. I would have named my child Usher regardless. I never hated myself because I carried his name, because I made it mean what I wanted it to mean."
A little over a year later, he and Foster welcomed their second child together, another son named Nayvid Ely Raymond. Although he and Foster's marriage would eventually fizzle a short two years later, Usher was able to obtain primary custody of his sons.
In September 2020, Usher experienced fatherhood all over again with his newest addition, his daughter Sovereign Bo Raymond. She is the twice-divorced artist's first daughter and his first child with his new love, music exec Jenn Goicoechea. He shared the meaning behind her unique name in an interview with PEOPLE:
"Sovereign, man, is such a beautiful word and name to me, you know, a supreme ruler is obviously the defined name. She's definitely ruling the household, but Sovereign Bo — Bo is at the end of it, so [she's] my little 'reign-bo.'"
At 42, the "Bad Habits" singer recently revealed that he and his girlfriend are expecting their second child together and Usher's fourth overall.
Iman Shumpert and His Kids
Iman Shumpert's love for being a father probably rivals his love for the queen of his heart, his wife Teyana Taylor. The long-time couple welcomed their first child together famously in the bathroom of their home. Their eldest daughter, Iman Tayla Shumpert Jr. (nicknamed Junie), was born in December 2015.
In regards to getting some skin in the game about being a first-time father, in 2017, Iman tweeted, "This father stuff will turn you soft man, really soft." And nothing was the same. The girl-dad is now proud papa to not one but two daughters. After announcing that they were expecting their second child last June, Teyana gave birth via a home delivery in September 2020, Rue Rose Shumpert.
John Legend and His Kids
R&B crooner and The Voice judge John Legend is creating his own legacy as the proud father of two kids with wife and long-time love Chrissy Teigen. After being together for nearly a decade, the pair who met on the set of one of his music videos, had their first child, daughter Luna Simone Stephens in April 2016. The "All of Me" singer had this to say about holding Luna for the first time:
"It's beautiful, it's very emotional, and it brings you and your wife closer together. It's a very powerful feeling to see the product of your love right there in front of you."
As a couple, John and Chrissy have been super vocal about their pregnancy journey and even admitted to using IVF to conceive Luna, as well as their second child years later. Their son, Miles Theodore Stephens, was born in May 2018. John later touched on the transition of growing from a family of three to a family of four:
"It's a thing, you know. In some ways it's easier because we have perspective and we're not like, afraid. I wouldn't say we were afraid the first time, but we definitely didn't know what we were doing and leaned on our professional help a lot more. I think now we understand our style as parents and understand how to interact with each other and with the kids. The experience really helps you with the second kid."
In August 2020, the Stephens announced they were growing their family again with the reveal that Chrissy was pregnant with the couple's third child. However, a month later, the couple shared with the world that they suffered a miscarriage, a son whom they had been calling "Jack" since finding out about the pregnancy. Chrissy opened up about her experience in a personal essay.
Bow Wow and His Kids
For most of us, Bow Wow was an important fixture of our childhoods. The rapper and actor has been in the limelight since before he could drive. Bow Wow, who also goes by his real name Shad Moss, revealed back in 2011 that he had had a child with model Joie Chavis. He credits the birth of his daughter for saving his life. In a letter posted to his personal website, he also opened up about his battle with suicidal thoughts for years before the birth of his daughter, Shai Moss.
"For the past 3 years I [been] battling life. Even thought about taking my own. I felt like as a kid i did everything and saw everything too fast which spoiled my adult years. i felt as is I had no purpose to live (Thinking selfishly) until god gave me the illest gift of my life."
In 2018, he admitted in a conversation with The Grio that becoming a father himself helped him learn how to forgive his own father:
"I just wanted him to know I don't hate him. I outgrew that part. Once I had a kid and I've experienced some things with me and my daughter's mom and how we rock, I kinda understood why might have he ran out or why he wasn't around or why he left. There are reasons. My father was an alcoholic. Heavy. I didn't want to be around him when I was young and of course my career took me to other places."
In 2020, Bow Wow confirmed he became a father again, this time to a son with model Olivia Sky. Earlier this year, he finally told the world his son's name, Stone Moss.
Dwyane Wade and His Kids
Former NBA player Dwyane Wade is known for the accolades and legacy he created on the court over the span of his 16-year career. However, in his personal life, the icon has also made some incredible moves as well -- especially in regards to his family life. Although his first marriage to his high school girlfriend didn't work out, the pair's split resulted in him obtaining sole custody of the former couple's two kids, Zaya Wade (formerly Zion) and Zaire Blessing Dwyane Wade. He also raises his nephew.
Although he eventually became romantically involved with actress Gabrielle Union in 2008, the pair split in 2013. At some point during this break, Dwyane fathered a child with Aja Metoyer, a son named Xavier Zechariah Wade. Gabrielle and Dwyane later reconciled and would eventually marry in 2014. He later acknowledged having to admit that he had a child with someone else as one of the hardest things he ever had to tell Gabrielle.
"When you hold something in that you know is going to come out and you have this information and you know it's gonna f**k somebody's life up, that you care about, that you love, if it don't hurt you, then you're not human. Me and Gab just went through something that you never want to go through and we still came out of it."
Though Zaya came out as transgender in 2020, Dwyane acknowledged in an interview with Michelle Obama that he and Gabrielle started having conversations about "possibilities" when she was three. Since being a support system for Zaya and her gender transition journey, Dwyane and Gabrielle have both become more impassioned about LGBTQ+ rights and activism. In a recent interview, he shared how raising Zaya has made him a better parent:
"I didn't know anything, really wasn't knowledgeable about the LGBTQ+ community. What it has done is it opened my eyes and my ears to something greater and bigger than I, and my daughter has allowed us gracefully to be her support system."
Bryson Tiller and His Kids
Throughout his career, Bryson Tiller has been able to maintain his self-imposed "shadowy" image as a public figure, preferring not to give video interviews to do just that. Despite not wanting to be too on the scene, the mega-successful trap-soul artist shares a lot about his daddy duties to his daughters on social media.
His oldest daughter, Harley Loraine, is from a previous relationship and was born in 2013. While his youngest daughter, Kelly Jade Tiller, was born in 2019 and his first child with current girlfriend, model Kendra Bailey.
Omarion and His Kids
Omarion is quite possibly the manifestation of unbothered energy, but his children know him affectionately as "Dad." The "Touch" singer, who recently made an appearance in the hit Fox reality TV competition The Masked Singer, has been pulling daddy duty as a father since 2014. And though his tumultous relationship with ex-girlfriend Apryl Jones has made headlines for a plethora of reasons, Omarion has always made it clear that he is all about the kids.
"When I became a father, I think that my understanding of what love was and my connection to that emotion shifted. I saw my children being born and recognizing what they call a miracle."
Russell Wilson and His Kids
If there's one thing for certain and two things for sure, we love us some Ciara and Russell Wilson over here on xoNecole. Something about a man whose actions align with their words is awe-inspiring and aww-inducing. In regards to Russell, what won many of us over was how he regarded Ciara as a partner and her son from a previous relationship as the father he always deserved.
From the very beginning, the Seattle Seahawks quarterback embraced and continues to embrace Future Zahir as his own and it is truly blended family goals. The two made their family of three official in July 2016 when they married in England. And in April 2017, they welcomed their second child and Russell's first, a daughter named Sienna Princess Wilson. In a 2017 interview, he revealed:
"I think more than anything when you see family, have your own family and it continues to grow, you know it's a special thing. I don't just play for my family I've had before, but also my new family. Just playing for the little ones, playing for Ciara too and just playing for my teammates and trying to do everything I can to be the very best I can possibly be. I'm just truly grateful every day to get to come home and it puts a smile on my face every time."
On July 23, 2020, Russell and Ciara welcomed a son (and his mini-me), baby Win Wilson.
P. Diddy and His Kids
P. Diddy might be a bad boy for life, but the title has nothing on his status as a father of six. Also known as Sean Love Combs and Sean John Combs, Diddy is the man worth $740 million with a decades-spanning career that speaks for itself. He is also just as passionate about family life. He had his first child in 1993, a son, Justin Combs, with designer Misa Hylton-Brim.
During his relationship with the late Kim Porter, he adopted Kim's son, Quincy, from a previous relationship with singer Al B. Sure! Together, the on-and-off couple of 13 years had a son, Christian Combs in 1998, as well as twin girls, D'Lila Star Combs and Jessie James Combs in 2006. Months before the twins were born, Diddy welcomed another daughter with a different partner, Sarah Chapman, named Chance Combs. Kim passed away suddenly after complications with pneumonia in 2018.
The multi-hyphenate touched on her passing and his shift in fatherhood in a 2020 conversation with Naomi Campbell:
"Losing Kim [Porter] and now being a single father-of-six, my thinking had to change. I had to really get focused on their futures, 'cause I know how rough it is out there."
Steph Curry and His Kids
Look up the phrase "family man" in the dictionary and we're sure you'll see Stephen "Steph" Curry pop up with his characteristic pretty blues. The legendary athlete has always upheld his Christian faith and family as his foundations. He married his long-time love Ayesha Curry in 2011. On July 19, 2012, they welcomed their oldest daughter Riley Elizabeth Curry. On becoming a parent, Steph had this to say:
"You learn something from them every single day. They give you a reason to wake up in the morning, regardless of whether work is going well or not. Your biggest responsibility, obviously, is being a parent, and it's just so much fun every single day when they change so fast and you're trying to keep up. You get to share so many experiences with them and I'm enjoying every minute of it."
Three years later, they had their second child, another daughter, Ryan Carson Curry. Most recently, they had their third child together, a son named Canon W. Jack Curry on July 4, 2018. In regards to raising a son, he shared:
"Earlier this summer, a few weeks after the season ended, Ayesha and I were blessed with the birth of our third child, Canon ― our first son. And one of the things that has been most on my mind, since then, is the idea of what it means now to raise a boy in this world. I already know, just based on his gender alone, that Canon will probably have advantages in life that his sisters can only dream of. How do you make honest sense of that as a parent? What are the values, in this moment, to instill in a son? It's a lot to think about.
"But in the end ... I think the answer is pretty simple. I think you tell him the same thing that we told those girls last week at our camp: Be yourself. Be good, and try to be great ― but always be yourself. I think you teach him to always stay listening to women, to always stay believing in women, and — when it comes to anyone's expectations for women ― to always stay challenging the idea of what's right. And I think you let him know that, for his generation, to be a true supporter of women's equality ― it's not enough anymore to be learning about it. You have to be doing it."
Featured image by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy