Justin Bieber is a Canadian pop star who was discovered via YouTube. His debut album, My World, went platinum in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.
Born on March 1, 1994, in Stratford, Ontario, Canada, Justin Bieber was raised by a single mom in the small town of Stratford. Bieber, whose debut album, My World, hit stores in November 2009, is a true overnight success, having gone from an unknown, untrained singer whose mother posted YouTube clips of her boy performing, to a budding superstar with a big-time record deal, all in just two years.
Bieber always had an interest in music. His mother gave him a drum kit for his second birthday and, as he tells it, he was “basically banging on everything I could get my hands on.”
But it was an obscure talent contest in his hometown, in which the 12-year-old Bieber finished second that put him on the road to superstardom. As a way to share his singing with family, Justin and his mom began posting clips of Bieber performing covers of Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and Ne-Yo on YouTube.
Within months, Justin was an Internet sensation, with a large following of fans, and an eager manager arranging for the teenager to fly to Atlanta to consider a record deal. There, Bieber had a chance meeting with Usher, who eventually signed the young singer to a contract.
Bieber’s first single, “One Time,” went certified platinum in his native Canada shortly after its release in May 2009. His album My World matched that success, selling more than 137,000 copies within a week of hitting stores. Bieber broke into the Billboard Top 10 in early 2010 with “Baby,” which also featured Ludcris. Bieber soon released My World 2.0 (2010), which offered his growing fan base ten new songs.
In 2011, Bieber took to the big screen in the concert documentary Never Say Never. His fans crowded movie theaters to catch him in action on stage and get a glimpse of his life behind the scenes. The movie, which eventually earned more than $73 million at the box office, also had guest appearances by Kanye West, Miley Cyrus and Bieber’s musical mentor Usher. That same year, Bieber released an album featuring his own take on such holiday classics as “All I Want For Christmas Is,” his duet with Mariah Carey.
Bieber had his biggest hit single to date in April 2012 with “Boyfriend.” The song appears on his latest album Believe released in June.
While still only in his teens, Bieber has survived his first public scandal. A woman filed suit against Bieber in 2011, claiming that he was the father of her child. But a DNA test proved that the young pop star was not the father and the woman dropped her lawsuit. Bieber sang about the scandal in the song “Maria.”
That was only the beginning of a string of scandals, bad behavior and unfavorable press for the young pop artist. In March 2013, Bieber’s neighbor accused the singer of spitting on him in addition to threatening him. Two months later, members of Bieber’s neighborhood in Calabasas, California, complained about that he was driving too fast in a residential area. The charges against Bieber in both instances were declined.
On April 15, 2013, Bieber visited a museum in Amsterdam that paid tribute to Anne Frank. Upon writing that the young journalist “would have been a Belieber,” he faced more backlash from the public. On July 9, 2013, his image was scrutinized once again after he was recorded urinating in a janitor’s bucket and yelling “F— Bill Clinton,” holding a photo of the former president. Although he later apologized, his previously squeaky clean image began to tarnish even more.
On January 14, 2014, Bieber’s home in California was searched after he was accused of egging a neighbor’s house. Nine days later, Bieber was arrested for suspicion of drag racing and driving under the influence. After a Breathalyzer test showed that Bieber wasn’t sober, he was taken into custody where he stayed until he posted bail, which was set at $2,500.
Teen idol Justin Bieber broke the hearts of many of his young female fans in 2010 when he started dating television actress and singer Selena Gomez. It hasn’t been easy for Gomez to be Bieber’s girlfriend. She has been accosted by some of his devoted followers. There were even death threats against her posted on Twitter after the pair was photographed kissing while on vacation in 2011. The couple ended their relationship in November 2012.
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