- (PHOTO) Instagram: @justinbieber
Justin Bieber has been the subject of negative media headlines for months and now his mentor, Usher, has come to the 19-year-old Canadian singer's defense.
Usher, the 34-year-old singer who serves as a judge on the nationally televised singing competition, "The Voice," recently spoke about his protegee, who has been the subject of media reports concerning his partying, reckless driving, alleged marijuana use and aggressive behavior.
Usher spoke about Bieber on The Ellen DeGeneres talk show recently, where he defended the young singer who he helped discover and bring to mainstream success five years ago.
"We hope that in his transition -- as friends and family who have helped him be who he is -- that he will continue to just mature. But in this day's age of social media there is no privacy. That kind of trial and elimination period is done in front of a camera," Usher said on The Ellen DeGeneres show. "It's been done and many, many other celebrities have been a product of it. Some come out bad, some come out good. I'm hoping for the best."
Instead of speaking out about Bieber's headline-making behavior, Usher chalked the teenager's antics up to his age.
"I don't look at it as a negative, though. I look at it as a teenager," Usher told talk show host DeGeneres. "He is a teenager having to live his life in front of a camera. Imagine if you had to do that as a teenager ... You go through something to get to something in life. If there were no humps in life, there'd be nothing to get over."
Bieber has received public support from a number of entertainers including Chris Brown, Miley Cyrus, Christina Aguilera, Steve Harvey and Will Smith. While each of the entertainers have offered the star advice, the 44-year-old Smith let it be known that he has a special relationship with the young singer.
"For me the most important thing was for him to know anytime he can call and I'll come whatever happens," Smith said at the recent movie premiere of the Angela Davis documentary. "At that age that's what you need to know you can do what ya gonna do, but you have somewhere you can go, where you can find safety."