British music mogul Simon Cowell deems Usher a better performer than JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE - because the 'N Sync frontman tries too hard to "make himself black".

The heart-throb singers have been longtime chart rivals, prompting fierce debate among their respective fans, but Cowell believes Usher is the better of the two.

He says, "If I had to have one of the two, I would take Usher any day. The interesting thing about Justin is, he is a white boy who has tried hard to make himself black over the years. So you get the impression sometimes that he wants to be something he's not."

But Cowell is quick to shoot down any talk that Usher is the new MICHAEL JACKSON.

He adds, "I don't think he's as good as Michael Jackson at his peak, because you're not going to be listening to the Usher records in 10 years in the same way we listen to THRILLER and BILLE JEAN, because they still sound amazing.

"But he's at the top of his game at the moment."

07/02/2005 09:06