Usher splits with manager, publicist

Thu Aug 7, 2008 11:13am EDT
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By Gail Mitchell

LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - Amid disappointing sales for his new album, R&B singer Usher has cleaned house, parting ways with his manager and publicist.

In a short statement issued by his LaFace/Zomba label Wednesday, it was announced that the artist "has dissolved his management arrangement with Benny Medina and has re-engaged (his mother) Jonnetta Patton as his manager."

Meanwhile, sources tell Billboard the singer and W&W Public Relations have also ceased working together. W&W's other clients include Janet Jackson, Alicia Keys and Ludacris.

Patton managed her son until May 2007. He then hired Medina, who also manages Mariah Carey. The industry veteran was integral in the launch of Usher's album, "Here I Stand." In 10 weeks, it has sold 948,000 units in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It's the No. 8 best-selling album of 2008 so far.

However, it hasn't come close to matching the gaudy numbers of its predecessor, 2004's "Confessions," which sold 3.77 million copies in its first 10 weeks and is at 9.6 million to date.


<p>Usher appears on the BET Awards nominations during BET's "106 &amp; Park" show in New York May 15, 2008. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid</p>