It was a great night to celebrate music as the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) held its Rhythm & Soul Music Celebration highlighting some of today’s biggest stars.

One of the honorees was Usher, whose resurgence has been refreshing to see. The BET Lifetime Achievement Award recipient received the Voice of the Culture Award, given to ASCAP members who “have had a major influence on music and culture.” Previous recipients include Swizz Beatz, D-Nice, and Timbaland, who all received the award in 2021.

During his 12-minute speech, the “Good Kisser” singer thanked friends, family, and mentors for his incredible career. “I have a lot of people that I want to thank, but I did want to say something that I felt would be meaningful, and that is the importance of collaboration,” he began. “No one man is an island. We have to work with each other. Sometimes, the vision that we have can be carried all the way across to its full potential if you’re able to share.”

Victoria Monét also received an award that evening, presented with the ASCAP Vanguard Award, which highlights members for their innovative work shaping the future of music. “Although I do view myself as a leader, my brilliant team stands right beside me, never behind me,” she said during her speech. “We all have been on the very frontlines together on this road to success, meticulously converting every non-believer into a believer with hard work and consistency. We shoot, not eye level, but for the stars — and it truly takes a strong team to go from underdog to vanguard.”

REVOLT caught up with some of the stars on the red carpet. Jermaine Dupri spoke about his relationship with Ari Lennox, as they were spotted again in the studio with fellow artist Jai’Len Josey. “’Pressure’ was such a big record for her, so it's important for us to get back in there and cook something up,” he explained, adding that he and Lennox have a “great connection” whenever they are in the studio.

Melanie Fiona, looking stunning in her silky green ensemble, shared a moment where she had to bite her tongue in her career and the lesson she learned. “Taking the risk to creatively and professionally unlearn some of the things I thought I had to be committed to in versions of myself. It involved losing people, hard endings of relationships, and I had to bite the bullet to be able to live in a space of creative freedom,” she shared. Fiona then opened up about having longevity, calling it “a blessing,” and thanking the 2012 version of herself for making records that stand the test of time. She also revealed she’s gearing up to drop new music later this year, aiming for a fall release and describing the records as “classic.”

T.I. revealed in 2021 that he will be releasing his final album, Kill the King, soon and took a moment away from the ceremony to talk to REVOLT about what inspired this decision.

“I see the business is changing for better and for worse – when you find yourself in the midst of change like that, you can either change with it or remove yourself from it. So there’s some things I don’t intend to change about the way I conduct myself in the business so I’m going to say what I need to say on this album and go on about my business,” he expressed.

It’s no secret the 43-year-old has also entered the comedy circuit, with the actor telling REVOLT the differences he’s found in storytelling in that realm and music.

“There’s three different versions of ourselves – how we see ourselves, how the world sees us, and who we really are. In music, we talk about how we see ourselves – in comedy, we need to tap into how the world views us. Ultimately, they both arrive at who we really are,” T.I. concluded.