Jesse McCartney turns 21 today, and finds his newfound freedom to be bittersweet.

“I live on my own now, and leaving the nest was difficult for me and my family,” he tells me. “We just love each other so much that it was difficult for all of us. It got to a point where I now live by myself. I have my own place. It was hard. It was tough to jump over that hurdle. I’m the oldest, too, so with the mom… it was one of those things.”

He’s still getting used to his new digs. “My TV is still being hung at my new place,” he says.

The singer, whose new album Departure is out May 20, says his biggest highlight so far is “right now.”

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