Usher has come to the defense of his protege Justin Bieber, who is in hot water with his neighbors again following several months of personal turmoil.
Retired NFL star Keyshawn Johnson spotted a Ferrari racing through their gated Los Angeles-area community on Monday, while he was with his daughter and neighbors told police that Bieber, 19, was behind the wheel and driving erratically. Johnson tried to confront him but was reportedly ignored.
The pop star's rep says Bieber was not the driver. Police are investigating the incident. (Watch the news report by KABC Television, OTRC.com's parent company, by clicking above).
Bieber has not commented. The pop star recently returned to Twitter after a week-long hiatus and following months of turmoil, which has included an accusation of misdemeanor battery from another neighbor and a backstage fainting spell in London. He had said in March he may take a break. Usher talked about Bieber's troubles in an interview on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" that aired on Wednesday, May 29.
"Keyword, you started with, 'young," Usher said told the host. "I think all of us in some way have humble beginnings that pan out to be incredible and we hope in his transition -- as friends and family who have helped him be who he is -- that he'll continue to just mature."
"But I mean, in this day and age of social media, there is no privacy and that kind of trial and elimination period is kind of done in front of the camera," he added.
Bieber, a teen heartthrob and one of the most popular pop stars in the world, was pulled over for reckless driving on a Los Angeles freeway last July, while being chased by paparazzi.
Usher also told DeGeneres that he and Bieber "talk as much as possible" and that he also keeps in touch with the singer's manager, Scooter Braun. He was the person who discovered Bieber when he was a young teenage YouTube sensation and showed Usher his videos. They then signed the singer to their record label.
"I don't look at it as a negative, though. I look at it as a teenager," Usher continued, while talking about Bieber's troubles. "He's a teenager having to live his life in front of a camera. Imagine if you had to do that as a teenager? Imagine if there was a camera there when you were a teenager, would you have liked that?"
"That would've been fantastic," DeGeneres joked. "I was pretty good. I was a pretty good kid. I really was. No, I really was."
Watch Usher's interview on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" below.