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.