Just as the world was learning who [artist id="3187077"]Justin Bieber[/artist] was, MTV News caught up with the shaggy-haired singer in September 2009. He was gearing up to release his debut album, My World, and plotting his pop-world domination. In the year and a half since that interview, Bieber has done the nearly impossible, launching himself into the pop mega-sphere.
In the chat, Bieber recalled how he and his manager, Scooter Braun, met and eventually got big names interested in signing the teen.
“My manager found me on YouTube. He flew me out to Atlanta for the first time — I’d never actually been on a plane before. He flew me to Atlanta where i was going to the studio to meet some people,” he recalled.
“And Usher happened to roll up in his Range Rover. I ran up to him, and I was like, ‘Usher, I love your songs. Want me to sing you one?’ The politest possible way he could say no, he did. … I took the hint. I didn’t get to sing for him: He had to run into a studio session.”
But later, Usher was beckoning the teen back to the ATL. “He actually watched my videos — after my manager got to talking to him — and was like, ‘I should have let this kid sing,’ and flew me back to Atlanta where I got to sing for him in a proper setting. A week later, I had a meeting with Justin Timberlake, who also wanted to sign me, so they both kind of wanted me.”
As the story goes, Bieber went with Usher, and the two never looked back.
“As far as Usher being my mentor, he’s definitely given me words of wisdom. I hear it from everybody, but definitely to hear it from Usher is great, just to stay humble and grounded is very important,” he explained.
“There’s a lot of people, especially young stars, that have gone down the wrong path, and I definitely plan to stay humble and stay grounded and keep my family first, because that stuff really is important in life.”
On Friday, Justin Bieber’s 3-D documentary, “Never Say Never,” opens. The film takes a look at how the teen star worked to hit it big. MTV News has been chatting with him along the way, from the time he first burst on the scene in 2009 until now, as he embarks on a huge 2011 that will include a tour and more new music.