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Usher: Music kept me out of trouble
Usher has revealed he used his music to keep himself out of trouble when he was growing up.
The 33-year-old Grammy-award winning singer spoke to aspiring young musicians at Radio 1 and 1Xtra's Academy in Hackney and told them how he faced the temptation of crime when he was younger, but focused on his dream of becoming a musician, the Daily Star reported.
Usher said: "Growing it up I could easily have joined a gang, got involved in crime or got a girl pregnant. But I didn't. I replaced the negative people around me with those who could help me achieve my goals.
"While all my friends were playing Nintendo or relaxing outside I was in rehearsals making a plan for my life. But I needed the support of my friends and family who could see what I was trying to achieve."
The Looking 4 Myself singer was discovered when he was a boy, singing in his church choir.
He said: "At some point in all our lives there was an influence where someone engaged us. Something happened, then you began to put in motion what you felt. Whether it was reading a book, watching televison...
"Strivers achieve what dreamers believe is the best piece of advice I've been given. My mother gave me that as a child. You keep dreaming and moving forward."
Usher has been a mentor to 18-year-old teenage heartthrob Justin Bieber.
He said: "Mentoring in this way is heart work for me - not hard work. The fact we're able to take this time as entertainers to invest and engage with young people means the smallest little thing could make a difference."
Usher added: "No-one is perfect and that's the greatest challenge. There's a sense of expectation which comes with being successful. You can't do everything right, but you do your best."