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City of Chattanooga honors Usher by giving him key to the city

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (NBC, KYMA/KECY) - Usher spent his elementary and middle school days in Chattanooga, Tennessee before moving to Atlanta to further his music career, but on Saturday, he was honored by the city.

3,500 tickets were available, including 450 front row seats for Hamilton County students.

The Chattanooga native received the key to the city and a proclamation from state and local government.

Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly, Hamilton County Mayor Weston Wamp, Chattanooga Business Elite representatives, and Tennessee State Representative Yusuf Hakeem honored Usher.

"We have the best day in a city, in my opinion, that you can have. When you have one of us come back home, and let us know that he hasn't forgotten where he has come from," Hakeem expressed.

The state proclamation thanked Usher for his hard work and appreciation to his hometown of Chattanooga. The county declared April 20th as Usher Raymond Day.

Local students performed for the celebrity and crowd.

Usher Raymond gave a timely speech to the people packing the stadium, motivating children to follow their dreams alongside recognizing the racial history of the south and how he hopes the future will look for others.

"With this key, I hope that I can unlock something that I think needs to be heard. That needs to be seen. Needs to be recognized, because I feel like I represent the other side of the incredible history Chattanooga offers."

Usher, singer

The celebration ended with a tribute band.

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