Picks and Pans Review: Sounds Off

updated 02/07/2005 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/07/2005 AT 01:00 AM EST

Mario: R&B heartthrob Mario (full name: Mario Barrett) recently hit No. 1 with his single "Let Me Love You," off the 18-year-old Baltimore native's sophomore CD, Turning Point.

ON BEING COMPARED TO USHER It is a great compliment because he's led the way for artists like myself. I can remember when I was 11 or 12, listening to him and watching his videos and thinking, "Wow, I wish I had that."

ON HIS VOICE CHANGING That is the reason that we didn't do a lot of songs we had planned for this new album. It was scary. I thought I was losing my voice.

ON CUTTING OFF HIS BRAIDS It was hard, but it was a part of me growing up. I sacrificed my hair. Actually, I saved all my hair in a little Ziploc bag.

ON HIS FEMALE FANS

The No. 1 question [I get asked] is, "Do you have a girlfriend?" And then, "Can you take me to the prom?" I am single right now. I've dated fans—I love my fans. I took one girl to her prom.

ON LINDSAY LOHAN VS. HILARY DUFF Lindsay Lohan. I love her eyes and those freckles. I just want to grab her little cheeks and kiss them.

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