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The Hollywood Reporter has a cover story on Justin Bieber, the team behind them and how they are working to ensure he maintains his success for the long haul.

L.A. Reid, the chairman of Island Def Jam Music Group, who signed Beiber to a 360 deal in 2008, shared an interesting story about Usher and how, when his voice changed due to puberty, he wanted to drop the singer. But, someone convinced him not to. Diddy.

Reid says he doesn’t live with regret, but dig a little deeper, and it becomes clear that one major hurdle from Reid’s past is coming into play with Bieber. Weeks from turning 17 on March 1, Bieber and his $100 million voice are changing. When this natural process of human development occurred with Usher, Reid, by his own admission, “lost it.” He recounts those trying months back in 1994: “I wasn’t there for Usher. I heard him at a showcase, and he couldn’t sing. I was embarrassed. It was like: ‘Damn, where’s the voice? What happened to his tone? Where’s the power and the range?’ It was all gone. I wanted to drop him. I wanted to be out of business with him. I broke his heart. I broke his mother’s heart. It was a very tough period in both our lives. Then someone said to me: ‘Don’t be a fool. Don’t sell your stock in Usher. He’s still going to be a star. He’s everything you thought he was the day you signed him.’ And that person was Puffy.” Says Usher: “No man is perfect and no executive knows how to make all the right decisions. I was shielded from a lot of it. My mother felt it more than anything. But losing my voice f---ed me up. I had to figure it out.”

It should be no surprise, then, to learn that the person hired to help Bieber navigate the tricky world of puberty is vocal coach Jan Smith, who got Usher through his early performances. “She has me doing vocal conditioning exercises regularly,” Bieber explains. Today Reid, a father of five, says he’s better prepared to handle Bieber’s maturation. “I know how to be encouraging now,” he says. “I wasn’t that way to Usher. I didn’t give him the same kind of love and support at the time. But Puffy was right.”