Usher and Justin Timberlake went to “war” over who would sign Justin Bieber.

The rapper, 45, who is riding high after his Super Bowl half-time performance, says he and Justin, 43, both wanted to do a deal with Internet viral sensation singer Justin, 29, in the early-2000s.

Usher told People: “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 [who became Justin’s manager].

“I presented Scooter an offer that I felt like he couldn’t resist. 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 went on to sign Justin to his and 42-year-old Scooter’s record label Raymond Braun Media Group in 2008.

He added: “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.’”

Usher also implied there is no bitterness between him and Justin, saying he has “always wanted to do a record” with the former *NSYNC singer.

He added: “I have reached out many times, but we’ve never managed to make it happen.

“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.”

Many fans were left disappointed Justin Bieber did not join Usher for his Super Bowl 2024 halftime show last weekend, which saw the R&B-pop phenomenon perform inside the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, with guests including Alicia Keys, H.E.R., Jermaine Dupri, Lil Jon, Ludacris and

Usher, who married Jennifer Goicoechea, 40, in Las Vegas following his big moment at the Super Bowl, has said it “didn’t work out with Justin," admitting they had “a brief conversation” but ultimately decided to collaborate “in the future” instead of at the big game.

He added: “No love lost or anything like that.”

Justin and his wife Hailey Bieber, 27, instead watched Usher’s performance in Fanatics co-owner Michael Rubin’s $2.5 million suite in Las Vegas, where they were seen nodding along to the performance.

Justin has kept a relatively a low profile since he canceled the remaining dates of his Justice Tour in 2022 in the wake of him being diagnosed with Ramsay Hunt syndrome, which left part of his face temporarily paralyzed.

Celebrities at the 2024 Super Bowl

See stars such as Paul Rudd, Post Malone and more in attendance at Super Bowl 58 on Feb. 11, 2024.

Gallery Credit: Jacklyn Krol

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