Usher was in tears after losing two awards at the American Music Awards to Justin Bieber, including favorite entertainer of the year, the top AMA honor.
But Usher wasn’t upset about his loss — far from it. Instead, he was welling with pride over the success of his young protege, Justin Bieber, who was the night’s biggest winner with four awards and the youngest performer ever to capture the entertainer award.
“To see Justin take the award — having received that award before — it was like an out of body experience, you understand?” Usher said backstage. “It was emotional. I don’t cry that often, but I did. Hopefully it gives an indication of how hard we worked to build a career that hopefully will flourish and blossom over the years.”
Bieber, who is signed to Usher’s label, had a perfect debut at the American Music Awards, winning all four awards he was nominated for: entertainer of the year, breakthrough artist of the year, favorite pop/rock male and favorite pop/rock album for “My World 2.0.”
Bieber’s debut album is one of the year’s top-sellers, with almost two million sold, and he’s got a new CD, “My Worlds Acoustic,” out this week at Walmart. His ascension marks a phenomenal rise since first garnering attention via homemade videos on YouTube about three years ago.
“This means the world to me,” said Bieber after winning breakthrough artist. “I come from the smallest town in the world, of like 30,000 people; I never thought this was possible.”
Bieber bested mentor Usher and Eminem for two of his wins. Eminem, whose “Recovery” was a critical and commercial triumph, was nominated for five awards on the evening, tying him with Lady Antebellum, who also had a breakthrough year with their near triple-platinum album “Need You Now.”