The breaking news over the weekend that had journalists and bloggers going into a frenzy was the cancellation of R&B superstar Usher's wedding to fiancee/manager Tameka Foster. For months Tameka has been the target of personal attacks by the media and even from people within Usher's camp. Eyebrows were raised when Usher abruptly fired his mother and longtime manager Johnetta Patton and replaced her with "Maneka" as she is jokingly called, around the same time the pair also announced that they were expecting their first child together in the fall.
Usher's publicist failed to give a reason why the wedding was called off but pleaded with the public to respect their privacy. I love it when mega stars like Usher expect to have privacy, that's the first thing you're required to give up when you reach superstar status.
I'm sure people will be specualting for weeks as to why Usher decided to cancel his nuptials on the day of the ceremony . But as I thought about Usher and Tameka's situation my mind kept gravitating towards a few other celebrities that have found themselves in similar situations. Singer Brandy Norwood and ex-husband Robert Smith and Solange Knowles and ex-husband Daniel Smith. What's the one thing that all of these couples have in common? All of the brides were pregnant before they decided to walk down the aisle.
Who could forget the big fuss Brandy made about her pregnancy and secret marriage to producer Robert Smith on MTV in 2002 with the reality show "Special Delivery", only to reveal that the couple had never been married but lied to perserve Brandy's wholesome image. Solange Knowles, sister of overexposed singer Beyonce Knowles also marched down the aisle at 17, gave birth to a baby boy and saw her marriage end in divorce shortly thereafter. Why does it seem in 2007 people still buy into the idea that if you're pregnant you have to get married? As if that's the answer to lifelong happiness and stability for those involved. Marriages based on lies do not last and actually the same can be said for couples who genuinely love each other if you believe the statistics.
There is no doubt these couples received pressure from family to tie the knot and was most likely influenced by their religious beliefs. How many times have you heard that a child must be raised by a mother and a father or else he will be tramautized and become a threat to society? Ok, I may be stretching that just a little bit, but that's what some people would like for you to believe. There are plenty of kids that were raised by single parents and even gay parents that are outstanding law abiding individuals. I'm not knocking two parent households because I'm a product of one, but I refuse to believe that two people who get married for the children or to protect their image is doing what's best for anyone involved, nor do I think it should be encouraged by family. Are we so caught up in tradition that we will condemn or stop buying the music of any artist that engages in pre-marital sex? Please... R. Kelly still went platinum.
I swear it's so easy for straight folk to get married that they totally take it for granted, but that's another post. If anyone is walking down the aisle based on anything other than mutual love, respect, and compatibility then they might as well start looking for a good divorce lawyer along with the caterer because they'll eventually need one. Just ask Usher, Brandy, and Solange.