Usher has some serious tough love for Justin Bieber. The "Good Kisser" singer, 36, spoke out on his protege, 20, in the new issue of Billboard magazine, voicing his opinions on Bieber's boundary-pushing behavior.
"I can say I'm not happy with all the choices my friend has made, but I'm supportive of him," Usher told the mag. "He's making his own decisions and it's important to show support."
From punching paparazzi, to dragging out a dramatic on-again, off-again relationship with Selena Gomez, to his multiple arrests, Bieber has strayed from his family-friendly, role model image that made him a star. He started his career with Usher when he was just 13 years old, auditioning for the chart-topper to score a record deal with Usher and Scooter Braun's Raymond Braun Media Group.
"Our relationship is more man-to-man now," Usher explained. "I try my hardest to give as much positive reinforcement as I can. I'll punch him in the f—ing chest when I need to, and give him a hug and kiss when I need to."
Usher previously came to Bieber's defense when a video made its way online showing the "Confident" singer using the N-word.
"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 said this past June. "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 to not make the same mistakes."
Usher has worked with Bieber on his studio albums, even lending his voice to Biebs' 2009 single "First Dance."
"It's more than just mentoring," Usher told Billboard. "I love the kid."
Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!