Usher Defends Justin Bieber's Behavior

"My Way" singer recalls coming up in the spotlight, too.

Posted: 05/30/2013 09:12 AM EDT

Justin Bieber's curious behavior as of late includes a run-in (or rather, a run from) his neighbor, Keyshawn Johnson; spitting at another neighbor; losing his capuchin monkey to the German government; bearing his chest in freezing weather; and scuffling with paparazzi. His mentor Usher says he's just being a teenager.

Chatting with talk show host and comedienne Ellen Degeneres about the 19-year-old pop star, Usher said the constant cameras on Bieber are making normal teenage antics seem magnified.

"I think all of us, in some ways, have humble beginnings that pan out to be incredible and we hope that in his transition — as friends and family who have helped him be who he is — that he will continue to just mature," he said.

"In this days' age of social media, there's no privacy, and that kind of trial-and-elimination period is kind of done in front of a camera. It's been done, and many, many other celebrities are a product of it, and some come out bad and some come out good, and I'm hoping for the best."

Usher himself was first discovered on Star Search at the tender age of 13 and reached his own level of super-celebrity just as he was entering adulthood with his sophomore album My Way. He's been mentoring the Canadian-born Bieber after discovering him on YouTube, and told Ellen that he continues to maintain contact with Scooter Braun, Bieber's manager. He said also, he reaches out to Bieber directly when he "can be of help."

But he's not worried. "I don't look at it [his behavior] as a negative ... I look at it as a teenager, a teenager having to live his life in front of a camera." 


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(Photo: Fame Pictures)

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