Usher always knew he could be as big as Bobby Brown or Michael Jackson. The "Yeah" singer - who has sold over 65 million records during his career - was convinced of his talents from an early age, and even though people didn't believe him, he knew he was going to be a star.
Speaking to Pharrell Williams for his Artist TLK show, he said, "Bobby Brown and Michael Jackson that's what I'm gonna do. People are like 'Sure kid, whatever.' And I'm like, 'No, no, no. That's what I'm gonna do.' If I had come out as a kid artist then I kinda woulda got lost in the kid thing, but you put me with Puff [Daddy, now P. Diddy, an early mentor], at the time when Puff was hot, [I] blew 'em away."
In the same interview Usher also talks about teen sensation Justin Bieber, who he signed to The Raymond Braun Media Group, which he founded with the star's manager, Scooter Braun. "Many people passed up on Justin. That was never my reaction," he added.
Justin Bieber won three prizes at last night's American Music Awards.
The 18-year-old singer - who was accompanied to the bash by his mother Pattie Mallette - was the big winner at the ceremony, taking home pop/rock male artist, pop/rock album for Believe and the evening's final accolade, the coveted artist of the year award.
Accepting pop/rock male artist, he said, "I want to say this is for all the haters who thought I was just here for one or two years. I feel like I'm going to be here for a very long time."
For his third win, Justin brought his mother on stage with him and told her, "I wanted to thank you for always believing in me... This is my mom. She's little, but she's beautiful."
The Believe star also performed twice at the ceremony, duetting with Nicki Minaj on their track "Beauty and a Beat" and a stripped-back solo acoustic performance of "As Long As You Love Me."
Nicki Minaj and Rihanna lead the nominations for the 2012 American Music Awards (AMAs).
The two singers are each in the running for four awards, with Drake, Justin Bieber, Maroon 5, One Direction and Usher following narrowly behind with three nods apiece.
Justin, Rihanna, Maroon 5, Drake and Katy Perry will battle it out for the coveted Artist of the Year prize, while J. Cole, fun., Gotye, Carly Rae Jepsen and One Direction are all up for New Artist of the Year.
Nicki's four nominations are for Favorite Female Artist - Pop/Rock, Favorite Artist - Rap/ Hip Hop, Favorite Album - Pop/Rock and Favorite Album - Rap/ Hip Hop for Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded. As well as Artist of the Year, Rihanna is also up for Favorite Female Artist - Pop/Rock, Favorite Female Artist - Soul/R&B and Favorite Album - Soul/R&B for Talk That Talk.
Usher kicked off the iTunes festival in London last night.
The "Yeah!" hitmaker got the party started on the opening night of the month-long free festival at the city's Roundhouse venue with a hit packed set and his trademark super-smooth dance moves. The muscular singer may have slipped up as he performed "You Make Me Wanna," but after a cheeky suggestion from his backing dancers, did 40 push-ups for the crowd to make up for it.
The singer's set featured hits including "Burn," "OMG," "Climax," "Scream" and his collaboration with David Guetta, "Without You."
Usher can't wait to get "up close and personal" with his fans tonight.
The "OMG" hitmaker will launch his new album Looking 4 Myself at the Hammersmith Apollo with a concert which will be streamed live around the world on his YouTube Vevo channel as part of the American Express Unstaged series and Usher is excited about the experience.
"The American Express Unstaged show is my chance to be a little bit modern and also to get up close and personal with the fans, which is something I don't get in a stadium or arena. Things are changing with the way we discover and develop talent and this is just another way to bring fans closer to the music and the artist. It's art in motion but also something that I think the fans will really get a kick out of."
The livestream from London will be directed by Hamish Hamilton and Usher is thrilled to be working with the filmmaker: "Working with Hamish has always been a pleasure, he's someone I really respect and he really gets me as an artist. Having the ability to stream my performance live allows me to be connected to the entire world, it's kind of like modern thinking but classic at the same time."
Usher forgets his own dance moves. The "OMG" hitmaker admits some of his choreography is particularly complex and he doesn't always get it right, even though he helps create his own routines.
Speaking about the routines he has created for Kinect for Xbox 360's forthcoming game Dance Central 3 - which features his tracks "OMG" and "Scream," he exclusively told BANG Showbiz, "Of course I get my moves wrong. In the process of making it, you know I had to create moves that were harder, so those moves were a little bit more complicated, and the combination of all of them together sometimes does get a little bit hard."
Despite admitting the routines are difficult, Usher thinks working on the game has been a "really great" way to work with his fans - particularly as it means they can do so without having to be "embarrassed" by doing so in public.
Usher will launch his latest album by streaming a concert live from London.
The Grammy award winning artist will perform songs from his seventh album Looking 4 Myself at the Hammersmith Apollo on June 11, which will be directed by Hamish Hamilton and shown live around the world on his YouTube Vevo channel as part of American Express Unstaged. This will be the ninth installment within the music series and its first performance in the UK.
"I am excited to introduce my new album Looking 4 Myself with a worldwide performance in such an innovative way. It's very exciting to interact with my fans from a global stage through American Express Unstaged's live stream. Be there on June 11," he said.
Tickets for Usher's concert are now available for Amex cardmembers at www.ticketmaster.co.uk/amex and it will also be livestreamed at 9pm (GMT) on Monday, June 11 at www.youtube.com/UsherVEVO.
Kanye West leads nominations at the BET Awards with seven.
The "Stronger" rapper's Watch the Throne project with Jay-Z dominated nominations, earning nods in the Best Group, Collaboration, and Viewer's Choice categories, while its videos to "N****s in Paris" and "Otis" both got nods for Video of the Year.
Following Kanye is Jay-Z's wife, Beyonce Knowles, who is up for six trophies including Best Female R&B Artist, Best Collaboration for "Party" with J. Cole and two Video of the Year nods for her songs "Countdown" and "Love on Top" from her 4 album.
Rapper Big Sean was excited to learn he is up for three awards, including Best Male Hip Hop Artist. He told "It's perfect. My grandma gonna be watching, my mom, my family, the whole city. It's just tight that I can represent those people, everybody who had that dream, everybody who used to ride to school listening to their idols, now I'm with them. It's just tight that I can show people that it's possible," he told MTV.
Justin Bieber's rise to fame reminds Usher of his own career.
The "Climax" singer is a mentor to the "Baby" hitmaker and revealed he loves being involved in 18-year-old Justin's career because it brings back memories of when he was first starting out.
"I relive every bit of it, from the screaming fans and the first reactions, shutting down the malls. The first reaction is like no other. To be able to be there, to be there with him and go through those emotions and see that shock for the first time [is exciting]," he told MTV.
Usher also explained he isn't worried about Justin going off the rails because he has good friends and supporters around him: "Cool part about it is, he's really able to live a dream that I think most teenagers would want to. To be able to have friends like [boxer Floyd] Mayweather. They are actual friends, hang out, talk. It's really cool to be able to have friends all around the world and people that can relate to your reality. I don't think Michael [Jackson] had people like that. I didn't have a ton of people like that. I had Puff [P. Diddy]. I had JD [producer Jermaine Dupri] ... but to be able to have friends all around the world that keep you, it's cool."
David Guetta is working on a "really big" song with Usher.
The French DJ - who is renowned for his collaborations with the likes of Nicki Minaj, Jennifer Hudson and Flo Rida - has confirmed the pair are already planning to work together again after their success with "Without You."
"These are really big records we are working on right now. It's really crazy," he told The Hollywood Reporter. Although he would not give any more details, he added the song was "something really, really, really crazy."
Discussing the future direction of his work, David revealed it was likely he would do something with a bit more of an "underground" sound to it: "Lately I've been focusing more on making straight club beats, a little more underground. I'm gonna start meeting artists because me being in Los Angeles, there's a lot of talent here. There's always something happening. Every time I come to Los Angeles it's so tempting. You go into a studio and it's like, 'Oh, you're here?' and you meet so many people."
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