On Monday (May 6), VH1 celebrated Mother’s Day in a major way with their third annual Dear Mama special.
The special that was all about honoring mothers brought out a myriad of R&B and hip-hop stars with their moms in tow. Dear Mama had several special performances by artists like Ashanti, H.E.R., Monica, Luke James, and Shai.
Ashanti’s mother was brought to tears while Ashanti’s younger sister Shia joined the “Foolish” singer on stage to perform her 2008 song “Mother” from Ashanti’s album The Declaration. Anthony Anderson did more than just host the show alongside LaLa Anthony. He rapped the late Notorious B.I.G.’s verse in Ashanti’s “Unfoolish” during her performance of the song, hyping up the crowd.
Monica sang her hit song “Angel of Mine” and then went into a cover of Anita Baker’s “Angel.” During the end of her performance, Monica’s daughter Laiyah gifted Monica’s mother a bouquet of roses.
R&B newcomer H.E.R. had a performance that surprisingly led into Shai’s performance of “If I Ever Fall in Love.” She started off by singing Leon Russell’s “A Song For You,” while playing the piano. Shai then graced the stage and shouted out H.E.R.’s mother before performing their nostalgic hit. After Shai performed, R&B veterans SWV graced the stage performing their single “I’m So Into You” and “Right Here.”
Luke James performed a cover of “Reasons” by “Earth, Wind & Fire and their hit song “Shining Star.” Prior to singing “Shining Star” he demanded that his mother get up out of her seat and dance. She smiled and obliged while James continued to serenade her from the stage.
Ciara didn’t perform, but she took the stage to honor her mother Jackie and her grandmother Gladys. After a short speech recognizing her mom and grandmother, she went out into the audience and gave them both a bouquet of flowers before recognizing a few other mothers in the audience.
Check out photos from Dear Mama, from the red carpet to the show below.
Glennisha Morgan is a Detroit-bred multimedia journalist and writer. She writes about intersectionality, hip-hop, pop culture, queer issues, race, feminism, and her truth. Follow her on Twitter.