Grammy Awards: Happy Valentine's Day! The bromance between Usher and Justin Bieber
The brotherly love between Usher and Justin Bieber made for great backstage fodder at the 53rd Grammy Awards on Sunday night.
When the two hit the stage earlier in evening, they treated the audience to "vintage" video (circa 2007, when Bieber was a freshly minted teen) performing for the first time for his soon-to-be mentor. Bieber serenaded the R&B superstar with his own hit, “U Got It Bad,” before the camera switched to the two having a conversation on stage about that fateful meeting. After they each sang a mini solo set, the pair performed Usher’s megahit “OMG.”
The lovefest continued when Usher shared his feelings about his protege with reporters.
Although he won two pre-telecast awards (best male R&B vocal performance and best contemporary R&B album), most of the questions the seasoned performer fielded were regarding the teen sensation.
“Obviously I would have preferred Justin to have won, but I’ve been here before and haven’t won,” he said before the young star came running to the podium and did a Superman leap from the top step onto the back of his mentor.
“Sorry, I’d rather do this with him,” he said to the reporters who collectively shifted their attention — and questions — to Bieber.
Though he went home empty-handed, Bieber didn’t feel like a loser: How could he with a hit movie ("Never Say Never") and more fans than he can count and already a hot touring act?
“I had a great night. I got to perform with my mentor,” he said, clad in an all-white suit and white high tops as Usher stood overshadowed but beaming like a proud papa. “I first sang for him three years [ago]; it’s gotten so crazy. He gave me dance steps to look at.”
Before Usher left the room, Bieber — as giddy as ever — held a conversation with his mentor through the backstage microphone, where the two solidified plans for quality time overseas (Usher is headed to Paris; Bieber to London).
“I love you, man,” Bieber said, breaking into a wide smile before facing reporters by himself.
— Gerrick D. Kennedy
Photo: Usher (R) and Justin Bieber perform at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards show at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on February 13, 2011. Credit: Mark Ralston /AFP /Getty Images.