*Usher, who began mentoring Justin Bieber when he was just 13, says he’s tried his best to help the kid navigate through the ups and downs of success.
“I gave every bit of advice and always told him it was up to him if he really wanted this. Now that he has it, as an adult, it’s his to manage,” Ursh tells the magazine Nylon Guys in its June/July cover story. “Do I turn my head in shame based off of what I see, what I know? Nah, I don’t because it’s all part of life’s process. Am I in it with him? Yeah.”
Usher, who moved to N.Y.C. at the age of 15 to work with Sean “Diddy” Combs, says that mentoring young artists is important to him. “Artistic development made me who I am,” he says. “Somebody took the time to help me find what it is that works for me as an entertainer and who I am as a music maker.”
But while he’s helped to guide the 20-year-old to record sales in excess of 12 million, he’s been less successful keeping the singer and dancer out of trouble when he’s not on stage.
Over the course of this year, Bieber has been arrested for assault and DUI, been accused of vandalism and attempted robbery and this week popped up in old video clips making racist jokes.
“It’s unfortunate,” Usher, 35, says of the laundry list of incidents. “I hate some of the things I hear. Is it all true? I don’t know. But I will tell you this: Success comes with a price. Every person that has grown up, grows up with something. It ain’t just perfect from the beginning.”