After years of denying and calling her his manager, Usher is finally opening up about his girlfriend Grace Miguel. In a new exclusive interview with Billboard Magazine, the singer talks about his love for her and how he has changed as a man.
Usher told Billboard,
“I have an incredible partner and manager. She has helped me through some of the hardest times in my life and my career.
She’s someone who has been able to support and understand all of who I am. Not just as a dancer or as a performer or as a singer, but as a humanitarian and a businessman and as a person. One thing that has come from having a great partner like Grace is being able to cherish the places that I’ve gone,” he says. “We see the monumental sites, go to the museums, eat in the best restaurants. I’m that guy now! In the past I’d do what I have to do and get on the bus to the next city. Life has become a vacation.”
In addition to Grace, Usher opened up about his friendship with Diddy, his relationship with Justin Bieber and the status of his album.
On His Album being pushed back —
I just ain’t ready,” he explains. “Meaning I have more that I want to say and more that I want to do. My process is pretty different. L.A. Reid will tell you, it takes two albums to make one with Usher. Marketing is more important than it has ever been, But I’m trying to tear the layers back and make it not so contrived. I think people just want entertainment. For certain artists it might be hard, but they don’t have the show.”
“Every album I’ve made represented a specific thing that was happening in my life,” he says. “And not until now did I think to look back at my life and take inspiration from my own music.”
On his friendship with Diddy & why he sees him as a mentor —
“My time with Puff, it gave me chutzpah. I got to see performers like Tupac Shakur,” he says. “Redman, Method Man, Ice Cube. I got to perform onstage with The Notorious B.I.G., be in sessions with him and Craig Mack. I got to be part of the driving force that was Bad Boy, that was Puff.”
His Tour —
“Most tours cater to the specific launch of a project — not this time,” he says emphatically. “The focus this time is the music. Going all the way back to the beginning. This will be one of my freest tours,” he says. “Shit, I’m singing love songs that went on to be baby-makers — and now the damn babies are in the audience. Talk about a family reunion.”
On Justin Bieber —
“Our relationship is more man-to-man now,” he says. “He’s making his own decisions and it’s important to show support. I can say I’m not happy with all the choices my friend has made, but I’m supportive of him. I try my hardest to give as much positive reinforcement as I can. I’ll punch him in the f—ing chest when I need to, and give him a hug and kiss when I need to. It’s more than just mentoring. I love the kid.”
On spending time with his children —
“I’m not a morning person, but I’ve become one as the result of having kids,” he says, settling down at a large round table in the crew catering room. “The morning is my private time to spend with my boys. The music industry doesn’t allow you to go to bed until five in the morning anyway. You have to just keep rolling.”
The UR tour will kick off November 1st in Montreal.