Skip To Content

    7 Lessons Celebrities Learned From Their Moms

    Queen Latifah, Alicia Keys, Rita Ora, Jaden and Willow Smith, and more came together to honor their mothers for VH1's Dear Mama.

    VH1's inaugural "Dear Mama" event was a celebration of love and gratitude as celebrities like Queen Latifah, Alicia Keys, Rita Ora, Jaden and Willow Smith honored their mothers for Mother's Day.

    Frank Micelotta

    The show airs on VH1 Sunday, May 8th, at 9pm ET.

    The announcement of Afeni Shakur's death (the “mama” behind Tupac’s legendary song title) the morning of the special’s filming, made the show’s mission of honoring mothers while they’re still here even more timely.

    Frank Micelotta

    Many gems and life lessons were shared as the stars came on stage one by one to perform their tributes. Here are a few:

    1. Queen Latifah & Rita Owens: Friendship and affection matter.

    Frank Micelotta

    "My mother particularly tuned in to who I was. I felt like she was a friend, someone I really trusted and I saw that continue for the rest of my life," said Latifah. "There was a lot kissing and hugging and of course a lot of discipline and tutelage but a lot of affection and love about life," she continued, noting that her family's level of affection always seemed higher than other families.

    2. Rita Ora & Vera: Overcoming adversity inspires.

    Frank Micelotta

    When Rita's family left Kosovo for London, her mother had to go back to school to get re-accredited for a job she was already qualified to do. "But mom you never wavered, you just rolled up your selves went to school, took an extra job to help dad and support our family all while winning your battle against breast cancer," shared Ora. "Without a doubt you are the strongest woman I know. I learned about my powers growing up on your guidance."

    3. Alicia Keys & Terria Joseph: Supporting dreams changes lives and tolerance makes for a better world.

    Frank Micelotta

    Alicia Keys' mother Terria raised her all by herself in a one-bedroom apartment in New York City and still managed to find the time to nurture her daughter's talent. "Legend has it my mom had my first piano dollied into our one bedroom apartment," said Keys. "Who would I be?" she asked with teary eyes and unable to finish her sentence. "Thank you for everything you taught me, for lifting me up... for all your encouragement, for all the songs I played for you first to get your opinion. Thank you."

    4. Willow Smith: Actions speak louder than words.

    Francois Guillot / AFP / Getty Images

    Willow recalled a time her mother told her, "your kids don't do what you say they do what you do," sharing that she agrees because her mother's actions, more than her words, have constantly served as a blueprint for her life. "Every time I have a problem I ask myself, 'What would mom do? How would she approach the situation?' By the end of her speech she had the entire audience ready to make "What would Jada do?" their new motto.

    5. Jaden Smith: Fostering individuality breeds confidence.

    Francois Guillot / AFP / Getty Images

    Jaden, who has been celebrated for his carefree attitude about gender roles, spoke about how that all comes from Jada. "You taught me that men can't be all just brute force and just male energy, they have to be sensitive and understanding," he said. "That's the biggest lesson she taught me how to be myself, how to be in touch with every part."

    6. Will Smith: It takes more than blood to define a family.

    Frank Micelotta

    Will talked about how Jada's willingness to embrace his son Tray, was something he was especially grateful for. "When we got married Jada told me, 'We don’t do step-mom and step-son, we do bonus-mom and bonus-son. That’s your son, that’s my son, we’re one family.'"

    7. Jada Pinkett-Smith: You can create the family you never had.

    Frank Micelotta

    Jada started her thank you speech by saying she was raised by a single mother so always assumed she'd be one too. But then she met and married Will, who had Trey, and they went on to have Jaden and Willow giving her what she never had – a family. "We can have everything that we thought we could have and have ourselves, too often we’re told we can only have one or the other," she said.

    Jada went on to add that mothers shouldn't let others stop them from creating the kind of family they want. "Don’t let anyone tell you how to mother. Just do whatever it takes to keep the sparkle in your child’s eyes and home."

    BuzzFeed Daily

    Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!

    Newsletter signup form