Go Easy on Justin Bieber, Usher Says

Teen singer's wild 2013 due to 'More money, more problems'

December 20, 2013 10:30 AM ET
Justin Bieber Usher
Justin Bieber and Usher
Christopher Polk/Billboards2012/Getty Images for ABC

R&B singer Usher – who was 15 when he released his debut, Usher, in 1994 –defended Justin Bieber's erratic behavior of late in an interview with The Associated Press Wednesday. Speaking to the news service at the L.A. premiere of the movie Justin Bieber's Believe, he said that it's all just part of growing up.

See the Evolution of Justin Bieber in Photos

"I mean more money, more problems," Usher said of the 19-year-old pop star, with whom he recorded "Somebody to Love" in 2010. "The beautiful part about it is that those that are invested in a long term story you understand that there are peaks and valleys in every person's life some. Unfortunately the reality is he has to live with a camera in front of him, but what he chooses to do on or off camera is analyzed or scrutinized in some off way."

Over the past year, Bieber has given the world plenty to scrutinize. He began 2013 trying to shrug off picture of him in which he appeared to be smoking pot. In March, he fainted at a show in London, where he also threatened a photographer. Skipping over Bieber's quarantined monkey and unfortunate Anne Frank comment, he had to apologize to Bill Clinton for spraying liquid at and cursing out a picture of the president in a New York City restaurant. Most recently, his South American tour was especially controversial: He was charged with graffiti in Brazil, he appeared in a questionable video of him sleeping and he left the stage early in Argentina, where he also had to apologize for kicking the country's flag.

Bieber's manager Scooter Braun commented on the singer's wild year at the film premiere. "Pandora's box was opened," he told AP. "I mean he got a little bit into trouble."

The pop star's family was also present to comment on Bieber's merry maladies and, of course, to root for him. "I don't know it's tough because the whole world is a critic," Bieber's mother Pattie Mallette said. "I think sometimes people dehumanize celebrities and I think what's so great about this movie is that you get to see his humanity." Meanwhile, the young Canadian's grandmother, Diane Dale, commented, "I think the media has been terrible on him. There are so many lies going around. A little bit is true but most of it is lies. It's terrible."

The movie Justin Bieber's Believe will hit theaters Christmas Day and promises an inside look at the pop singer. Recently, the singer has also issued the compilation Journals, which collects all of the songs he released in his "Music Mondays" series, as well as five previously unreleased tracks, two videos and the trailer for Justin Bieber's Believe. And in brighter Bieber news, the singer joined in Philippine relief efforts earlier this month, encouraging fans to donate money to charity.

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