Usher: Justin Bieber Is Not a Racist

Singer stands by his young protégé following N-word video controversy.

Posted: 06/08/2014 09:29 PM EDT

Usher is the latest celebrity to stand up for Justin Bieber following the pop star's N-word controversy. Ursh took to Instagram on Saturday to post a long note in support of his protégé. "As I have watched Justin Bieber navigate difficult waters as a young man, I can tell you that he hasn't always chosen the path of his greatest potential, but he is unequivocally not a racist," he wrote.

He adds, "What he was 5 years ago was a naive child who did not understand the negative power and degradation that comes from playing with racial slurs. What he is now is a young man faced with an opportunity to become his best self, an example to the millions of kids that follow him to not make the same mistakes."

The 20-year-old star found himself in the midst of yet another controversy this week when two videos from at least five years ago leaked of him using the racial slur. Whoopi GoldbergMike Tyson, Mack MaineFloyd Mayweather and Soulja Boy have all spoken out in support of Bieber, who has formally apologized for his offensive comments.

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