Usher, Sugar Ray Leonard, Jimmy Jam raise over $1M for diabetes research

Usher, Sugar Ray Leonard, Brec Bassinger, Hailee Steinfeld and James “Jimmy Jam” Harris were among the celebs who came out Saturday for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund’s Imagine Gala in Beverly Hills.

The event raised over $1 million in support of the research JDRF funds to find a cure for type 1 diabetes (T1D), according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Usher spoke at the event about how Jimmy Jam reached out to him to perform at the gala, which took place at the Beverly Hilton. The singer-songwriter said he felt compelled to do more than just sing, since his son was diagnosed at the age of 5 with T1D.

“I now live with that reality — the agony of what I have to deal with alone. I feel like I’m a disappointment to my child,” said Usher. “If he’s too high, is it something that I did? Is it something I could have done better?”

Jimmy Jam’s son Max was honored at the event as someone who motivates other kids and teens with the disease to live their lives as normal as possible. He continues to be active by playing sports, despite having been diagnosed with T1D at the age of 2. Now 17, Max serves as an inspiration to anyone who feels that they are limited due to diabetes.

Later in the evening, guests were invited to participate in a live auction, which included tickets to basketball games, visits to movie sets and even a Chihuahua. Usher and Leonard split the $50,000 for the puppy, but ultimately gave it to the guests who bid against them.

Leonard has his own foundation that raises funds and builds awareness for both type 1 and 2 diabetes research. “We all need to come together collectively. Because one day I would love to hear that it’s no more — that it’s been knocked out,” the boxing great said.

Andra Day gave the night’s opening performance, and Steinfield closed out the night with a few songs, including her hit, “I Love Me.”