Turns out Usher's still a mama's boy.
The R&B hitmaker has dumped Hollywood power broker Benny Medina and rehired mom Jonnetta Patton as his manager, E! News has exclusively learned.
“With an artist like Usher, the bar is set really high," Medina tells E! News. "Whether it was management, marketing or the music, we achieved a No. 1 single and a No. 1 album...I had a great time and we parted ways amicably.”
"Usher has dissolved his management arrangement with Benny Medina and has re-engaged Jonnetta Patton as his manager," read a statement released on his behalf late Wednesday by label Sony BMG.
The behind-the-scenes shakeup also saw the voluntary departure of publicist Patti Webster. "I was not fired," she tells E! News.
Sources say the Medina split is a direct result of disappointing record sales for the team's first and only collaboration, Here I Stand.
"The record is pretty stiff, and nowhere nearly as successful as Confessions," an insider says, referring to the singer's 2004 blockbuster.
Confessions was a worldwide sensation, selling 19 million copies under the supervision of Patton. After debuting at No. 1 in June, Here I Stand, Usher's fifth studio album, has chalked up a comparatively paltry 2 million in sales worldwide. This, despite the radio success of the single "Love in This Club (Part II)."
Adds Medina: "It is a completely new day and time in music now. 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."
In a brief joint statement released through his record label, Usher and Patton confirm the break. "Usher has dissolved his management arrangement with Benny Medina and has reengaged Jonnetta Patton as his manager," the duo said.
"This is great for me because it means I now get to have my mother strictly as my mother, with no added pressure," the one-named wonder, whose last name is Raymond, told the Associated Press in 2007, when he and Patton parted ways.
And just last month, the 29-year-old entertainer was quoted in Vibe magazine calling his mom an "aggressive person" who made his decision to part ways difficult.
"I hurt more than anything over these last two years, when I felt my mother didn't really embrace my situation," Usher told Vibe.
News of the switcheroo also comes after Usher's rep shot down rumors that he and Foster were having marital issues.
While it remains to be seen whether Patton still has the multiplatinum touch when it comes to guiding her son's career, Medina's probably not hurting too much.
(Originally published Aug. 6, 2008, at 12:40 p.m. PT.)