Usher has hinted his career played a part in his marriage breakdown.

The R&B star wed Tameka Foster in 2007 but he filed for divorce two years later, insisting they had been living separately for 12 months.

The pair have sons Usher V, four, and three-year-old Naviyd together and are currently in the throes of a bitter custody battle.

While promoting his latest record Looking 4 Myself, Usher spoke of how important his career is to him.

“I lost an incredible relationship because I had a passion and it was music,” he said, when asked about a track he’s written about the separation.

On a happier note, the 33-year-old discussed his love for his fans. He enjoys seeing their reactions to his music and even places microphones in the audience when he performs so he can hear their comments.

He also laughingly agreed when quizzed on whether his music has helped some couples conceive.

“I've heard that a couple of times,” he told BBC, “and I certainly know of one... my son.”

Another of the new record’s tracks is called Numb and is about Usher’s desperate efforts to help someone close to him change their life. It still upsets him to think about that period.

“I almost killed myself trying to help this person,” he explained. “In the end, I went, 'Man I don't care any more, I'm letting it go.’ As a result I felt free for the first time.”