NEW YORK – Usher's mother is back as his manager following a much publicized split.
The 29-year-old superstar announced Thursday that he has ended his partnership with celebrity manager Benny Medina, whose clients include Mariah Carey, and has rehired Jonnetta Patton.
Patton had managed her son's career since he was a teen star. But the multiplatinum performer broke with his mother in 2007, saying he just wanted her to focus on being his mom.
While there were reports of friction between Patton and her son, Usher had said the relationship was great and had improved since their professional union ended.
"I have just chosen to take the reins of my career," he told The Associated Press in an interview earlier this year. "We have a different view and mind-set. I'm doing it and I'm handling it and very happy, very happy with it."
Although Usher's new album, "Here I Stand," debuted at the top of the charts when it was released in May and has resulted in a No. 1 smash with "Love in This Club," it has yet to pass the 1 million mark in sales (it has sold about 948,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.) In comparison, his last album, "Confessions," sold 1.1 million copies in its first week when it was released in 2004 on its way to more than 8 million copies sold in the United States alone.
The new album is a more mature CD that reflects his recent marriage and birth of his son, with few club anthems and more ballads about relationships and commitment.
In a statement, Medina celebrated the success of "Here I Stand," while noting that the industry climate has changed since "Confessions" was released. Successes like "Confessions" are even more rare today; last year's best-selling album, Josh Groban's "Noel," sold 3.7 million copies.
"It is a completely new day and time in music now," he said.
"In four years, his audience, demographic and musical direction has changed. Records like Lil Wayne's 'Lollipop' are the type of phenomena that 'Yeah' was in 2004," Medina said, referring to the rapper's No. 1 smash this year and Usher's chart-topping hit four years ago.
Lil Wayne was the only artist to reach 1 million in first-week sales this year with the release of "Tha Carter III," so far the year's best-selling album with 2 million copies sold.
"I had a great time and we parted ways amicably," Medina said.