He is the darling of social media. His song entitled “Baby” is both one of the most viewed and most disliked video on YouTube ever. He has 34.4 million followers on Twitter as of February 2013, making him the most popular celebrity account. He actually acquires one new follower every other second. Three percent of all Twitter traffic are related to him, which is why the company has set up racks of servers specially dedicated to him. He is Justin Bieber, the pop sensation from Ontario in Canada.
Bieber’s mother bore him when she was just 17 years old. His parents never got married, though they have remained good friends and are in constant communication regarding their son.
Despite what the people around her was suggesting, Bieber’s mom refused to have an abortion. After giving birth to Justin, she worked a series of low paying jobs just to support her child. They stayed in a low-income housing, while her mother and stepfather helped out from time to time.
Like many other Canadian boys, Bieber was interested in hockey. He also dabbled in chess and soccer. People though his interest was in sports, not in music. But during his spare time, he taught himself to play various kinds of musical instruments. Eventually, he became adept playing the drums, guitar, keyboards and even the trumpet.
When he was 12 years old, he joined a local competition for aspiring singers. His performance of “So Sick” by Ne-Yo garnered for him a second place award. His mother uploaded it on YouTube. She then started videotaping her son singing other R&B songs. Bieber’s popularity on the site slowly and steadily grew.
A Star is Born
In 2007, Scooter Braun was browsing through the Internet looking for videos of a different singer. He chanced upon Bieber’s site and was impressed enough to fly to Ontario to track down the boy and his family. After seeing him perform live, Braun asked permission from his mother to fly Bieber down to Georgia to make a record demo.
Within a week after arriving, Bieber found himself the subject of a bidding war between Usher and Justin Timberlake. Usher eventually won out and signed Bieber to a contract with the Raymond Braun Media Group, a management company jointly owned by Braun and Usher. The Biebers moved to Atlanta and Braun became his manager.
In November 2009, Bieber released his first record entitled “My World,” an extended debut play that featured seven tracks. The record proved to be a hit, as it was certified platinum in the United States while peaking at number five. The album also reached double platinum status in the United Kingdom and Canada. It topped the albums chart in Canada on its first week of release.
What is more amazing is that all seven tracks charted in the Billboard Hot 100, making him the first artist to achieve the feat in just a debut record. The album featured songs that were co-written by Frank Ocean and Usher. Usher was also a featured artist in one of the songs, entitled “First Dance.”
This was followed up by the release of his first full-length studio album called “My World 2.0.” There was already significant buzz before the album was even released as the record company preceded the album with the single entitled “Baby.” The song featured Ludacris and was a worldwide chart topper and it became one of the most viewed videos on YouTube.
The album itself got a lot of positive reviews. It debuted at number one, making Bieber the youngest solo male artist to do so since Stevie Wonder did the trick in 1963. He was also the first artist to occupy two of the top five spots since 2004. He also matched a record set by The Beatles in which the album debuted at number one and sold even more the following week. For Bieber’s name to be mentioned in the same breath as Stevie Wonder and The Beatles is such a fantastic achievement already for the young artist.
He then held concerts around the world in his “My World Tour.” Two more number one records followed up the success of the first two albums, namely the Christmas album called “Under the Mistletoe” and “Believe.”
He has gotten recognition and nominations along the way, including best new artist and best pop vocal album nominations from the Grammy Awards. From his humble beginnings, Bieber has now earned more than $55 million. He is listed as the third most powerful celebrity in the world.
Handling Success and Criticism
With all the success he has attained, it is just natural that Bieber will also have his share of critics and haters. His androgynous appearance has been frequently noted in the media, with some even speculating that it was one of the reasons that led to his breakup with his girlfriend, Selena Gomez. Critics have also zeroed in on his teen-pop music and on the way he looks and sounds, with some suggesting that it may be time for the young artist to grow up and sing more mature songs with a more mature sound.
The success may also be coming in too much too quickly. Bieber has been constantly seen flipping the bird to the paparazzi. He was also charged with careless and reckless driving after being spotted going over 100 miles per hour in a 65 miles per hour zone. Bieber defended himself by saying that he was just running away from a paparazzi who had been harassing him.
Usher has tried to help out as he can imagine what Bieber is going through. Though he started at the same age, Usher’s success came more slowly, allowing him to ramp up all the attention and wealth. He has been constantly advising Bieber on how to handle the fame and fortune. He has also appointed a former assistant to be Bieber’s road manager and stylist. This has gotten Bieber some more criticism, however, as he has been observed to be imitating his favorite rappers in clothes and speech.
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