By now the story of how Justin Bieber came to be is the stuff of legend. In an age where fame is only a viral video away, Bieber’s meteoric ascension to pop super stardom is still an exception, not yet a rule. Born in Stratford, Ontario
, to a single, teenage mother, Bieber grew up playing sports, while secretly teaching himself how to play the piano, drums, guitar, and trumpet.
It wasn’t until he was 12, that Bieber was ready to show the world what he could do. After placing second in a local singing competition, his mother posted a video of his performance on YouTube for friends and family that weren’t able to attend. The video went viral, and Bieber’s mother continued uploading videos of Bieber covering a string of syrupy hits by the likes of Usher, Justin Timberlake and other future colleagues.
Justin Bieber Impresses Usher
When the former marketing executive of So So Def, Scooter Braun, accidentally stumbled upon Justin Bieber’s YouTube channel (he was actually trying to track down a different singer) he knew he had found a star. Braun literally hunted Bieber down — tracking down former teachers, school board members and even unearthing footage of Bieber busking in front of a theater.
Though Bieber’s mother originally envisioned her son serving God through his music, she gave in to Braun’s aggressive advances. After continuing to build his profile on YouTube, Braun arranged a meeting between his keen protege and R’n’B impresario Usher. Bieber’s natural charisma and talent immediately impressed Usher — who had once been in Bieber’s shoes — who signed him to Raymond Braun Media Group. Just like that, the prepubescent tween from Stratford, Ontario, had a record deal with Island Records, and a new home in Atlanta, where his path toward super-stardom began.
Justin Bieber Releases My World
By the time Justin Bieber released his debut EP My World in 2009, he already had the luxury of a mass following shrewdly constructed by his management team on YouTube. In short, there was no way this thing would fail. Couple Bieber’s arsenal of syrupy confection of R’n’B pop, with his newly polished urban teenybopper aesthetic (thanks in large to his Usher-appointed swagger coach Ryan Good) and tween girls everywhere had found their ultimate crush. The record debuted at No. 6 on the Billboard charts with four singles landing safely in the Top 100. It wasn’t long before Bieber-mania was as ubiquitous as text messaging, with the mop-topped one performing for everyone from Ellen DeGeneres to Mr. and Mrs. Obama.
Justin Bieber Releases My World 2.0
When Justin Bieber released “Baby,” the infectious lead single off his follow-up disc My World 2.0, he had become one of the music industry’s foremost saviors — a camera-ready Messiah in purple sneakers and a straight-brimmed cap. The single propelled My World 2.0 to No. 1 on the Billboard charts, making Bieber the youngest male solo act to top the chart since Stevie Wonder did it in 1963. But by now, Justin Bieber had become more than just a best-selling pop star — the pint-sized pipsqueak from Stratford, Ontario had become a genuine cultural phenomenon. Gigs onSaturday Night Live, The View and The Late Show meant that in 2010, there was no escaping Justin Bieber.
Can Justin Bieber Escape The Backlash?
Justin Bieber’s omnipresence in the media, and his lightning-quick rise to fame were sure to inspire backlash, especially in the quick-to-hate blogosphere. Bieber’s shrewd embracing of social media (the boy tweets!), and his easy-to-pick-on effeminacy (lesbians who look like Justin Bieber has become its own meme) made him an easy target for both critics and creeps.
Internet trolls have perpetuated a string of maliciously preposterous rumors about the Biebster; no he does not have syphilis, no he has not joined a cult, and as far as we know he’s not dead. But despite his many critics, Bieber has been embraced by the cred-solidifying hip-hop community; he pals around with Drake, Ludacris appears on his album; and Kanye West’s admitted fandom led to a much-tweeted about remix of Bieber’s “Runaway Love” featuring none other than Wu-Tang’s street disciple Raekwon.
Love Him Or Hate Him, Justin Bieber Isn’t Going Anywhere
If Justin Bieber was the prince of 2010, he may just end up being the king of 2011. So for all the haters out there, a warning: Justin Bieber is here to stay. With his best-selling tour wrapping up in December, Bieber has spent the last year dominating the internet (he was the most searched celebrity in July), inspiring riots and hysterics everywhere he went (remember the riot in Long Island?) and performing in some of the most revered venues in the world. Bieber’s recent gig at Madison Square Garden was filmed for his upcoming 3-D biopic due next winter, and his new album will feature at least two songs produced by Dr. Dre. Yes, Dr. Dre — he of gun-toting NWA fame — is producing two songs for the grinning charmer with pearly whites from Stratford, Ontario. Is it the end of the world as we know it?