Usher opens up to ET about his children and his "incredible" wife, Grace Miguel, while promoting his new film, Hands of Stone
The R&B star portrays Sugar Ray Leonard in the boxing flick, which hits theaters on Friday, and just as Leonard once leaned on the support of ex-wife and high school sweetheart, Juanita Wilkinson, Usher can relate to having a strong woman in his corner.
"I am just really happy to have found an incredible mate, a partner who understands my growth and I understand hers," Usher gushes to ET’s Deidre Behar about Miguel, his manager and wife of a year.
Even with Miguel by his side, the father of two admits that being a working dad doesn’t come without a little guilt.
"I think that I am a little bit heavy on myself because I have to work, but what was beautiful is my oldest son, Usher, his birthday happened while we were filming, so I brought him over. We had a bowling party for him," the singer recalls.
Despite visiting the set with Dad, Usher’s eldest son and namesake, won’t be following in his footsteps. Between his two children, 7-year-old Naviyd is the one most likely to be an actor. "He's super dramatic," says the proud dad, noting that his 8-year-old son is more into sports.
"He spent the summer at Jordan’s camp," says Usher, explaining that the youngster was "put on the spot" in front of 3,000 kids at camp. "He missed his shot. He was so embarrassed when he came home and said, ‘Dad, I missed,’ and I was like, 'You have to go back in, man. It's about how you get up.'"
That fatherly advice of getting back up when you’re knocked down definitely applies to Usher’s role as Leonard, which involved taking some serious punches.
In the film, Edgar Ramirez plays Leonard’s boxing rival, Roberto Duran, but in real life, he and Usher forged a close bond and are mutual fans of each other.
"I actually had posters of him on my walls," Usher jokes.
Not be outdone, Rodriguez quips that Usher is his "guy crush," naming "Love in the Club" as his favorite song from the multi-GRAMMY winner.
The duo underwent an intense regimen for the film, which included training for several hours a day.
"All of that struggle that we both went through informed the movie and the characters," explains Ramirez. "You cannot understand the state of mind of a boxer if you don't come as close as possible to the deprive and to the pressure."