Usher talks about getting into a ‘bidding war’ with Justin Timberlake over Justin Bieber

Usher Justin Bieber Justin Timberlake
Credits: Instagram

Usher opened up about a past showdown with Justin Timberlake over Justin Bieber in a recent interview, reminiscing about the early 2000s when both he and the *NSYNC star wanted to sign the rising pop star to a recording contract.

Reflecting on the moment, the R&B icon recalled, “When you are at the top of your game, some of the greatest things will be presented to you, and it was, I think, right after [my album] ‘Confessions’ that I was introduced to Justin Bieber and Scooter Braun.”

He continued, “I presented Scooter an offer that I felt like he couldn’t resist,” referring to Bieber’s future manager. “We built a friendship, but this would obviously create a partnership that would span us forever, and it was a bit of a bidding war between me and Justin Timberlake.”

Usher ultimately mentored Justin Bieber in the 2000s

Ultimately, it is now well-known who won the 2000’s battle. Usher secured Bieber’s signature for his and Scooter Braun’s joint record label, Raymond Braun Media Group, in 2008. “I was like, ‘I’m not certain that I could understand each and every producer that this artist could benefit from, but what I can tell you is, I’m going to give you my passion, and I’m going to give you every bit of what I have to offer,’” he explained.

Despite the rivalry, Usher emphasized that there was no hate between him and Timberlake. In fact, he expressed a desire to collaborate with Timberlake, stating, “I have reached out many times, but we’ve never managed to make it happen.” Usher also praised Timberlake, saying, “I am motivated by people like Justin. I think that he is an amazing performer, and I think that he has a legacy that should be respected and not compared to anybody else.”

Usher opens up about Bieber not performing at Super Bowl 2024

This comes after Usher’s Super Bowl 2024 halftime performance. It was expected by many fans that the ‘OMG’ hitmaker would be collaborating with Justin Bieber during the event. However, despite a star-studded lineup featuring Alicia Keys, H.E.R., Jermaine Dupri, Lil Jon, Ludacris, and, Bieber was notably absent from the stage.

As per Page Six, Bieber declined Usher’s invitation, citing that he simply “wasn’t feeling it” at the time. Usher later confirmed this during an interview with “The Breakfast Club” radio show, saying, “You know what, it didn’t work out with Justin.” Despite the setback, Usher emphasized that there are no hard feelings. He also shared that while they had a brief conversation about it, they agreed to collaborate “in the future” when the timing aligns better for Bieber. “No love lost or anything like that,” Usher added.