Usher has spoken out in support of his musical protege Justin Bieber as the teen singer's increasingly bizarre behaviour continues to attract negative attention.
The Baby hitmaker's antics have made him a regular in the headlines over the last few months, and he most recently came under fire for allegedly racing his Ferrari sports car around his California gated community at high speed.
Bieber's actions have sparked concerns that the 19-year-old singer is spiralling out of control, but Usher, who helped the teenager land a record deal, insists growing up in the spotlight is hard.
In an interview with talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, Usher says, "I think all of us in some way have humble beginnings that pan out to be incredible and we hope that in his transition, as friends and family who has helped him be who he is, that he'll continue to just mature. But you know in this days (sic) age of social media, there is no privacy and that kind of trial and elimination period is kind of done in front of a camera.
"It's been done (before and) many, many other celebrities are (the) product of it and some come out bad and some come out good. I am hoping for the best. I don't look at as a negative though. I look at it as a teenager. He's a teenager having to live his life in front of a camera. Imagine if you had to do that as a teenager."
Bieber is facing a police investigation over the driving accusations, while has also been accused of battery for allegedly threatening and spitting at a neighbour who asked him to stop speeding.