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Usher, the singer who signed Justin Bieber and helped him progress from tween Canadian YouTube favorite to international pop star, is still standing behind his protégé — even after videos of him making racist jokes from 2009 and 2008 surfaced. The Voice coach took to Instagram Saturday to stick up for the beleaguered Bieber: “As I have watched Justin Bieber navigate difficult waters as a young man, I can tell you that he hasn’t always chosen the path of his greatest potential, but he is unequivocally not a racist. What he was 5 years ago was a naive child who did not understand the negative power and degradation that comes from playing with racial slurs.”

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