I think I was about 8 or 9 when I saw Purple Rain. I was interested in music and trying to find a model. It was Michael, or it was Prince. He had an attitude, a rawness that Michael didn't have. He was not urban, but he was our version of what cool could be. You look at an icon like James Dean or Steve McQueen they represent a certain energy, a certain poise. That's what Prince has.
Young kids are getting into Prince now, and it's because he was ahead of his time. He's timeless. He hasn't aged a bit. My second hit, "Nice and Slow," was inspired by Prince. He's had his ups and downs, but he's used his career to change the way artists are treated. Being in his presence is surreal. His energy is just so fly. He is so poised. He is the s___. He is what he called a "Sexy M.F."
Usher's latest album is Raymond v. Raymond