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Friday 23 March 2018

Usher: Music kept me out of trouble

Usher says working with younger stars like Justin Bieber is 'heart work, not hard work'
Usher says working with younger stars like Justin Bieber is 'heart work, not hard work'

Usher has revealed he used his music to keep himself out of trouble when he was growing up.

The 33-year-old Grammy-award winning singer spoke to aspiring young musicians at Radio 1 and 1Xtra's Academy in Hackney and told them how he faced the temptation of crime when he was younger, but focused on his dream of becoming a musician, the Daily Star reported.

Usher said: "Growing it up I could easily have joined a gang, got involved in crime or got a girl pregnant. But I didn't. I replaced the negative people around me with those who could help me achieve my goals.

"While all my friends were playing Nintendo or relaxing outside I was in rehearsals making a plan for my life. But I needed the support of my friends and family who could see what I was trying to achieve."

The Looking 4 Myself singer was discovered when he was a boy, singing in his church choir.

He said: "At some point in all our lives there was an influence where someone engaged us. Something happened, then you began to put in motion what you felt. Whether it was reading a book, watching televison...

"Strivers achieve what dreamers believe is the best piece of advice I've been given. My mother gave me that as a child. You keep dreaming and moving forward."

Usher has been a mentor to 18-year-old teenage heartthrob Justin Bieber.

He said: "Mentoring in this way is heart work for me - not hard work. The fact we're able to take this time as entertainers to invest and engage with young people means the smallest little thing could make a difference."

Usher added: "No-one is perfect and that's the greatest challenge. There's a sense of expectation which comes with being successful. You can't do everything right, but you do your best."

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