Usher's new album isn't the only thing giving the singer grief. Music industry insiders say he's having lady trouble as well.
The R&B star — whose "Raymond v. Raymond" has been pulled from its Dec. 21 release date and shelved indefinitely — has found new love with record exec Grace Miguel, sources say. The problem is that she most recently worked at Island Def Jam Records, a competitor of Usher's label, Jive.
"Some people see it as a conflict of interest," says a music insider. "She's still under contract with Def Jam, but Grace seems to be calling the shots behind the scenes on Usher's album."
Agrees another source: "It has complicated things tremendously. Usher has her calling the shots now. Grace has been taking calls with the big bosses at Jive regarding Usher's CD, and the label doesn't like it."
That's not all. Our insider says that Usher's mother, Jonetta Patton, and Miguel aren't exactly getting along. In fact, says the snitch, Patton is "mad that Grace is stepping on her toes and meddling in her management affairs."
This must seem like déjà vu for the crooner, whose mama and ex-wife, Tameka Foster, famously fought over control of his management. Patton was fired as Usher's manager in favor of super-agent Benny Medina in May 2007, but it was rumored that Foster was behind the dismissal. Mama Patton was reinstated in August 2008, and Usher filed for divorce from Foster last June.
Says the insider: "Jonetta sees Grace as a rival for her son's attention — just like Tameka was — and, even worse, she thinks all of Grace's meddling could affect Usher's album."
Miguel couldn't be reached for comment by deadline.
Meanwhile, a rep for Usher insisted that "there is no internal conflict. Usher's album was pushed back to give it the proper setup it deserves."
A rep for Jive agreed, saying: "This is a solid album that we believe in. We want [more time] to give it a proper launch."
They may want to throw in some hotter tunes while they're at it. The first single from the CD, "Papers," stalled at a disappointing No. 31 on the pop charts.