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Usher Shares His Wish for His Sons

04/29/2009 at 01:55 PM EDT

Usher Shares His Wish for His Sons
Usher's new ad for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America

Usher

Usher

At just 17-months-old, Usher Raymond V already has a lot in common with his dad. "He's got my name and it seems to me he has my personality," Usher tells PEOPLE.

So does that mean the singer, 30, wants his son to grow up to be a Grammy-winning R&B star? Not necessarily: "I hope whatever he chooses to do in his life, he goes after it with passion and dedication."

That's the same message Usher (who welcomed second son Naveid last December) is spreading to help increase awareness of the benefits of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. A childhood photo of the singer is featured on a new billboard for the "Be Great" campaign, with the tagline "Be Iconic."

For Usher, the message of the Boys & Girls Club hits close to home. "'Be Great' starts when you're an infant," he says. "It's what every parent wants of their child. It's what my mom wanted of me, and what I want for my kids.

"It's those around us who motivate us to be iconic. Places like the Boys & Girls Club helped me be that icon I am today. 'Be Iconic' is not just about status, it's about what you choose to care about. What you give your time, attention and focus to."

For Usher, being a dad is a top priority – and something he looks forward to celebrating on Father's Day. "I wish it was celebrated like Mother's Day. I mean, really ... who's opening doors for me?" he jokes. "But I will be spending it with my kids and being around them always makes me happy."

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