Return of the Biebs


Image © Joe Termini/Billboard

At the beginning of the month, Justin Bieber released his newest album, Changes. The album is currently expected to become his seventh number one album on the Billboard 200 chart, but critics are calling the album a “snooze fest” with “subpar lyrics.” In fact, one fan tweeted about her disappointment over the new album, promptly earning herself a direct message by Bieber himself simply stating, “Too bad.” 

The album was released after a strange campaign led by Bieber to stream his music, most notably his single, “Yummy.” Considering he is one of the world’s best-selling music artists, he seemed almost desperate, which could have possibly been off-putting to some fans. However, his long-time fans are still giving their unbridled support.

Bieber has come a long way since being discovered by Scooter Braun via YouTube at 13 years old. After being discovered, he signed a record deal with Raymond Braun Media Group, ran by Usher and Braun. He soon skyrocketed into fame. Bieber’s first single, “One Time,” went platinum in Canada not long after its release, and we all know his smash hit that followed, “Baby,” which became Bieber’s highest-charting single at the time. The music video for “Baby” also became YouTube’s most disliked video of all time, maintaining that title until 2018. It seemed as though people loved to hate Bieber. Since he was only a young teen, why was he so widely disliked?

Back in the day, it seemed as though there were only two vastly different types of people—people who adored Bieber and people who could not stand him. It was hard to tell who was more vocal about their stance—the Bieber-lovers, or “Beliebers” or the Bieber-haters. 

At the time, he had genuinely done nothing worthy of the hate he received. He was merely a confident teenager with newfound stardom and a rabid following of fangirls. This may have changed in 2012 when he was accused of driving recklessly in his neighborhood. He was also charged in Brazil in 2013 for vandalism and was accused of throwing eggs at his neighbor’s house in Calabasas. In 2014, Bieber was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, driving with an expired license and resisting arrest. He was also arrested in his home country of Canada that same year and was charged with assault and dangerous driving. 

Arguably, Bieber’s position in the spotlight had taken a toll on him. In spite of this, Bieber’s diehard fans supported him and he went on to obtain more success in the music industry. His treatment from critics, beginning at a young age, has undoubtedly caused negative long-term effects.

During an interview with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe following the release of Changes, Bieber got emotional discussing young pop star Billie Eilish. Bieber said that he feels protective of her and that he wants to be there for her because he does not want her to go through anything he went through.  He affirmed that he would have her back and he would always be just a call away. 

Bieber revealed more personal information in his new YouTube docu-series, Justin Bieber: Seasons. He admitted to issues with drug addiction and said that he decided to get sober when he felt like he was dying.

Bieber married Hailey Baldwin in 2018 in a rushed courthouse wedding. In his docu-series, Bieber says they got married so that they could live together—something they did not believe in doing before marriage. About one year later, they had a bigger ceremony with friends and family in South Carolina.

Bieber has obviously grown since his debut at age 14. Will his new endeavors be as successful as his old? Doubtful. However, Bieber has adopted a new image, ditching his teen idol hoopla of the past. 

Bieber surely has what it takes to be as successful as he once was commercially, it will just be in a slightly different manner. It will not be largely based on the hype generated by young teens. 

Sure, some people may still love to hate Bieber, but he certainly has the talent and star power necessary to be the sensation he once was.