Usher, Justin Bieber
Credit: Michael Caulfield/

Justin Bieber and Usher teamed up for an irresistibly sweet Grammy performance, starting with the little Biebs’ 2007 audition for his mentor on video — singing “U Got It Bad.” Their banter onstage was pretty eye-rollingly sentimental: “Now it’s your time,” Usher told Bieber as he left the coiffed teen idol to perform an acoustic version of his massive hit “Baby.” What no mention of his origin-story documentary, Never Say Never 3D, in theaters now? Biebs has been promoting that thing everywhere — even the freaking Daily Show! — so I was a little shocked to see him actually singing again.

Fact was, though, he sounded great, especially on the stripped down “Baby.” His movie theme song, “Never Say Never,” was up next, and while it’s just not as beautifully pure a pop song as “Baby,” the Ninja drum corps/gymnasts really spiced it up nicely. We were also treated to yet another omnipresent tiny entity, Jaden Smith, of the Will and Jada and Willow Smiths, rapping. (And, man, were his parents proud during those reaction shots!)

Usher had to follow all of that up with his performance of his own hit “Oh My Gosh,” which was, well, pure Usher: Great dancing, rousing beats, and a nice dance bit at the end with Justin. Count this as one more way pop culture is beating every last one of us into submission: We will like Justin Bieber. Oh yes we will.

What did you think, PopWatchers? What was the best part of the Bieber-Usher performance? Bieber? Usher? The tiny Smith? Or the Ninja drummers?

Image Credit: Michael Caulfield/

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