April 29, 2009

Usher, Washington star in Boys Club ads

Usher is joining Denzel Washington and other prominent alumni in a Boys & Girls Clubs of America advocacy campaign, the group announced Wednesday.

Usher unveiled a new billboard featuring his childhood picture and his personal call-to-action -- Be iconic.

The Be great advocacy campaign is intended to help increase public awareness and understanding about the positive impact of Boys & Girls Clubs.

Growing up in the club, I had the chance to experience a lot of positive things; it helped reinforce the values I learned at home including good character, leadership and giving back to my community, my country and my world, Usher said in a statement. It's where I developed my love of singing and performing, received help with my homework, and it's where I found a safe place to go after school.

Other club alumni joining Usher in the Be great campaign include Washington, Muhammad Ali, Ashanti, Swin Cash, Gen. Wesley Clark, Bill Clinton, Bill Cosby, Cuba Gooding Jr., Michael Jordan, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Queen Latifah, Mario Lopez, John Mellencamp, Edward James Olmos, Shaquille O'Neal, Smokey Robinson, Martin Sheen, John Singleton, Ruben Studdard, Courtney B. Vance, Mark Wahlberg and Kerry Washington.

Usher is to be inducted into BGCA's Alumni Hall of Fame at the organization's 103rd National Conference in Atlanta May 14.

We are very excited about Usher joining our 'Be Great' campaign and the awareness he will bring to the effectiveness of our generation-changing programs, added BGCA President and Chief Executive Officer Roxanne Spillett. He is a shining example of the impact of clubs, and we are so proud of the great things he has gone on to accomplish.