Usher covers the January 2013 issue of DuJour and shares his personal memories of his pal Whitney Houston including how they met and how he ended up singing backup for Whitney and then husband Bobby Brown on their 1992 duet Something In Common.
Usher also chatted about his new gig as a judge on The Voice – check out his promo with Adam Levine and the gang – and is already in the early stages of putting together a follow-up to his hit album Looking 4 Myself.
On how he became friends with Whitney: “I knew her through Bobby [Brown]. Not many people are aware of this, but his bodyguard, A.J. Alexander, was the guy who discovered me. I was just a little knuckleheaded kid from Georgia, trying to find my way, but whenever I was with Whitney and Bobby, they always made sure that I felt right at home.”
On working with Whitney and Bobby on Something in Common: “I’d just signed a deal with L.A. Reid and he asked me to come to the studio at his house to sing backup on Something In Common. After the choir left, Whitney called me into the booth and gave me my own moment; she kind of directed me, while I sang background on her song. [Usher ended up buying Reid’s home]. “Now, every time I’m in that studio, I think of that moment and about the rich history of that room.”
On subbing for Cee Lo Green on the 4th season of The Voice: “I’m a coach, not a judge. That’s the difference between this show and the others. I’m going to be inspiring and nurturing talent.”
On working on a follow-up to his 7th album Looking 4 Myself: “I’m still promoting this record, but I’m also in the studio, picking up my bass, sitting at the piano, working out melodies. I have so much inspiration that I have to get rid of it. Otherwise it drives me crazy.”