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Usher defends Justin Bieber on 'Ellen'

Usher arrives at "The Voice" season 4 red

Usher arrives at "The Voice" season 4 red carpet event at the House of Blues in Los Angeles. (May 8, 2013) Credit: AP

R&B singer Usher, a longtime mentor to teen pop star Justin Bieber, defended his friend and protege Wednesday following a string of much-publicized issues including two recent police investigations for reckless driving.

Host Ellen DeGeneres on her talk show broached the topic, saying of Bieber, "He seems to be... he's young."

Usher replied, "Key word, you started with 'young.'" He said that "friends and family who have helped him be who he is" hope that in his transition to adulthood "he'll continue to just mature."

Usher, 34, the father of 4- and 5-year-old sons, added that, "In this day and age of social media, there is no privacy, and that kind of trial and [error] period is kind of done in front of a camera. It's been done, and many, many other celebrities are products of it, and some come out bad and some come out good. I'm hoping for the best," he said of the 19-year-old Bieber. "I don't look at it as a negative, though. I look at it as [being] 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."

Usher assured DeGeneres that he and Bieber's manager, Scooter Braun, are constantly in touch with the young star. "We talk as much as possible," he said. "I mean, me and Scooter, we stay in contact. And obviously when I can be of help I do so -- reach out and stay connected."

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