For the past several years, Usher has been helping his protégé Justin Bieber become an international pop star. The pair have collaborated on songs and onstage, but now they are about to have their first battle — on the charts.
Usher’s album, Looking 4 Myself, debuted on top of the Billboard albums chart, becoming his fourth #1 album after selling 128,000 copies in its first week. But now it’s Bieber’s turn: Just one week later, Bieber will be entering the charts with his third studio album, Believe and early predictions are expecting huge album sales.
According to Billboard, Believe is on course to sell between 410,000 and 440,000 units, which would make it the year’s biggest debut to date.
Even though Bieber is on track to beat his mentor in sales, the R&B superstar isn’t concerned.
Regarding whether he and Bieber speak about topping each other on the charts, Usher told MTV News, “Actually, we have not had that conversation. We try to calculate when we release so that we support each other. It’s like a seesaw: ‘You take it this week; I’ll take it this week.’ “
Usher also said that even though he and Bieber do not appear on each other’s albums, he was still heavily involved in each song that made the cut on Believe.
“We talked about many different things when making his album. The coolest part about it is we support each other regardless if I’m on the album or he’s on my album or not,” Usher said. “Every album, it is that sit-down that we have to have, to go through this record. We talk about the audiences that are there: This song is for this audience member, this song is for this region. And that’s always very helpful.”
Bieber shared during “MTV First: Justin Bieber” that he still turns to Usher for sound advice.
“He’s just giving me the advice of: Always keep the people that were there at the beginning and keep them with you, because those are the people that really care and they want to see you succeed.”