Usher: What Michael Jackson Means to Me

In anticipation of his new studio album, "Raymond v. Raymond," five-time Grammy winner Usher sat down with "Nightline" to share personal reminiscences and talk about musical influences.

And for the first time, Usher opened up about how hard it was emotionally to sing at Michael Jackson's funeral.

Usher will perform in front of a live audience on "Good Morning America" on Tuesday, March 30, the same day his new album is released. CLICK HERE to find out how you can attend!

Nightline Playlist: Usher

Here are some thoughts he had about his life.

Watch the full story tonight on "Nightline" at 11:35 p.m. ET

'We Made It'

"I think some of my early musical memories would have to be in the church. 'We Made It,' that was a song that my mother would always sing on Sundays, every other Sunday she would perform. I'd watch her sing in the choir, and eventually I decided to join her youth choir.

"I'd sing in the choir, understanding how working with other singers would work from unison to drop notes, and understanding sustained notes and understanding harmonies. I'd have solo moments within songs because I would choose to, because I choose to just kinda run."

Al Green, 'Love and Happiness'

"L.A. Reid definitely wanted the world to know who I was, and wanted me to work with the best. He sent me to NYC and I moved there for a year. Having been around that lifestyle of hip-hop and that energy, it just gave me a different understanding of music.

"I'd hear songs from Al Green like 'Love and Happiness.' Some of the most incredible moments of my life were in those clubs, believe it or not. Here I am 15 years old in nightclubs and having that experience, and that's just a different movement and different energy. I was like 'Wow, I can barely even have parties at my house and I'm now at a nightclub?!'"

Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, 'Before I Let Go'

"I had Maze featuring Frankie Beverly perform at my mother's birthday celebration. "Before I Let Go" is by far one of the most invigorating songs in history. When you hear that song, no matter what your song it puts a smile on your face. No matter what age you are.

"And him as a performer, Frankie Beverly is right now probably somewhere in some incredible weather or cold weather making everybody feel super warm with you know happy feelings. These are incredible songs. I can remember hearing them as a kid. I play them for my children. And I try to do that I try to give them and instill true classic music into them as they are little so they have an alternate set of values."

Prince, 'Adore'

"You had artists like Prince who kind of created the standard for what R&B slow classics was, and there were songs like 'Adore You,' that was a staple. And even to this day, every album, I always create a record just like that, because that, to me, represents R&B history.

"He exemplifies the true sense of R&B, not only in the way he sings but also in the emotion. There's something about the falsetto that I think women go crazy over. If you're able to hit that high, high note, they go crazy."

Michael Jackson

"'I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus' -- that was the first time I had heard Michael Jackson's voice. That's when I began to study and inquire about Michael. I began to know the type of performer he was, and there were programs I had seen, and just the fanfare on television -- you admired him.

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