So says Bieber's longtime mentor Usher
, opening up to Billboard
about the pop star's highly publicized troubles
"He's making his own decisions and it’s important to show support," Usher says. "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**king chest when I need to, and give him a hug and a kiss when I need to. It’s more than just mentoring. I love the kid."
Usher has been by Bieber's side since the singer was just 13 years old. Now, Usher says, their relationship is more "man-to-man."
Being a mentor comes naturally to Usher – perhaps that’s why a coaching gig on The Voice was so appealing. "My mom always says, 'you talk to everybody like they're your kids,'" he told the mag. "I'm like, 'I'm sorry, I was born to be a dad.'"
Usher has two sons with ex-wife Tameka Foster. In his Billboard
cover story, the superstar talks being a single parent and why he's "not ready" for a new album
. Read here
"As I have watched Justin Bieber navigate difficult waters as a young man, I can tell you that he hasn't always chosen the path of his greatest potential, but he is unequivocally not a racist," Usher wrote. "What he was 5 years ago was a naïve child who did not understand the negative power and degradation that comes from playing with racial slurs. What he is now is a young man faced with an opportunity to become his best self, an example to the millions of kids that follow him not to make the same mistakes."
Usher isn't the only one punching the Biebs these days– who could forget his famous Ibiza scuffle with Orlando Bloom? Granted, this altercation was far from friendly.