Usher Talks His Girlfriend, ‘UR Experience’ Tour & Justin Bieber In ‘Billboard’

Serving as Billboard’s latest cover star, Usher opens up about his 20-year career, Grace Miguel. Catching up with the singer as he prepares for his upcoming UR Experience tour, the cover story finds Ursh reflective, content, creative and seeing the world through “rose-colored glasses.”

Peep some highlights from Usher’s sit-down below:

On pushing back his UR album:
“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.”

On his upcoming “UR Experience” 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.”

On fatherhood:
“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.”

On Justin Bieber:
“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 Diddy and the Bad Boy family:
“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.”

On his girlfriend, Grace Miguel:
“She’s someone who has been able to support and understand all of who I am,” he stresses. “Not just as a dancer or as a performer or as a singer, but as a humanitarian and a businessman and as a person.”

Read Usher’s full interview with Billboard here.