Justin Drew Bieber (born March 1, 1994) is a Canadian pop/R&B singer, songwriter and actor. Bieber was discovered in 2008 by Scooter Braun, who came across Bieber's videos on YouTube and later became his manager. Braun arranged for him to meet with Usher in Atlanta, Georgia, and Bieber was soon signed to Raymond Braun Media Group (RBMG), a joint venture between Braun and Usher, and then to a recording contract with Island Records offered by L.A. Reid. Bieber's debut single, "One Time", was released in 2009 and peaked in the top ten in Canada and charted in the top thirty in several international markets. His debut album, My World, followed in November 2009, and was later certified platinum in the United States. He became the first artist to have seven songs from a debut album chart on the Billboard Hot 100.
Bieber's first full studio release, My World 2.0, was released in March 2010 and debuted at number one and within the top ten of several countries, and was certified platinum in the United States. It was preceded by the worldwide top-ten single, "Baby". The music video of "Baby" is currently ranked as the most viewed and most discussed YouTube video. Bieber followed-up the release of his debut album with his first headlining tour, the My World Tour, the remix albums My Worlds Acoustic and Never Say Never - The Remixes, and the 3D biopic-concert film Justin Bieber: Never Say Never - which had an opening weekend gross that nearly matched the record for the biggest opening weekend for a concert-film. Bieber released his second studio album, Under the Mistletoe in November 2011, which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. Bieber has received numerous awards, including Artist of the Year at the 2010 American Music Awards - and has been nominated for numerous awards, including Best New Artist and Best Pop Vocal Album at the 53rd Grammy Awards.
Life and career
1994-2007: Childhood and youth
Bieber was born on March 1, 1994, in London, Ontario, and was raised in Stratford, Ontario. Bieber's mother, Patricia Lynn "Pattie" Mallette, was 18 years old when she became pregnant with her son. Mallette, originally from Stratford, raised her son with the help of her parents, Bruce and Diane. Mallette worked a series of low-paying office jobs, raising Bieber as a single mother in low-income housing. Bieber has maintained contact with his father, Jeremy Jack Bieber, who married another woman and had two children. Bieber's paternal great-grandfather was a German immigrant to Canada. His mother's ancestry is French Canadian. Bieber attended French immersion school at Stratford school Jean Sauve.
During his childhood, Bieber was interested in hockey, soccer, and chess; he often kept his musical aspirations to himself. As he grew up, Bieber taught himself to play the piano, drums, guitar, and trumpet. In early 2007, when he was twelve, Bieber sang Ne-Yo's "So Sick" for a local singing competition in Stratford and placed second. Mallette posted a video of the performance on YouTube for their family and friends to see. She continued to upload videos of Bieber singing covers of various R&B songs, and Bieber's popularity on the site grew. Chris Hicks, Bieber's A&R at Island/Def Jam, explained the young artist's huge online following to HitQuarters by saying: "He was doing something different. He was an attractive white kid singing very soulful R&B hits. That set him apart immediately from anyone in his range because no one was covering or singing these kind of records. But equally important was that you believed in these songs – it was real. And you wanted to hear more."
2008–10: Discovery, My Worlds, and subsequent releases
While searching for videos of a different singer, Scooter Braun, a former marketing executive of So So Def, clicked on one of Bieber's 2007 videos by accident. Impressed, Braun tracked down the theater Bieber was performing in, located Bieber's school, and finally contacted Mallette. Mallette was reluctant because of Braun's Jewish religion; she remembered praying, "God, I gave him to you. You could send me a Christian man, a Christian label! ... you don’t want this Jewish kid to be Justin’s man, do you?" However, after praying with her church elders and receiving their encouragement, she permitted Braun to fly Bieber, then to Atlanta, Georgia, to record demo tapes. A week after arriving, Bieber sang for R&B singer/songwriter Usher. Bieber was soon signed to Raymond Braun Media Group (RBMG), a joint venture between Braun and Usher. Justin Timberlake was also reportedly in the running to sign Bieber, but lost the bidding war to Usher. Usher then sought assistance in finding a label home for the artist from then manager Chris Hicks, who helped engineer an audition with his contact Antonio L.A. Reid of Island Def Jam Music Group. Reid signed Bieber to Island Records in October 2008 (resulting in a joint venture between RBMG and Island Records) and appointed Hicks as executive Vice-President of Def Jam where he would be able manage Bieber's career at the label. At that point, Bieber and his mother moved to Atlanta temporarily, also the home of Usher and Braun, to record and get counseling from Braun. Braun became Bieber's manager.
Bieber's first single, "One Time", was released to radio while Bieber was still recording his debut album. The song reached number 12 on the Canadian Hot 100 during its first week of release in July 2009, and later peaked at number 17 on the Billboard Hot 100. During fall 2009 it had success in international markets. The song was certified Platinum in Canada and the US and Gold in Australia and New Zealand. Bieber's first release, an extended play entitled My World, was released on November 17, 2009. The album's second single, "One Less Lonely Girl", and two promo singles, "Love Me", and "Favorite Girl", were released exclusively on the iTunes store and charted within the top forty of the Billboard Hot 100. "One Less Lonely Girl" was later also released to radio and peaked within the top fifteen in Canada and the US, being certified Gold in the latter. My World was eventually certified Platinum in the US and Double Platinum in both Canada and the UK. To promote the album, Bieber performed on several live shows such as mtvU's VMA 09 Tour, European program The Dome, YTV's The Next Star, The Today Show, The Wendy Williams Show, Lopez Tonight, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, It's On with Alexa Chung, Good Morning America, Chelsea Lately, and BET's 106 & Park with Rihanna. Bieber also guest starred in an episode of True Jackson, VP in late 2009.
Bieber performed Stevie Wonder's "Someday at Christmas" for U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama at the White House for Christmas in Washington, which was broadcast on December 20, 2009, on U.S. television broadcaster TNT. Bieber was also one of the performers at Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest on December 31, 2009. Bieber was a presenter at the 52nd Grammy Awards on January 31, 2010. He was invited to be a vocalist for the remake of We Are The World (a song written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie) for its 25th anniversary to benefit Haiti after the earthquake. Bieber sings the opening line, which was sung by Lionel Richie in the original version. On March 12, 2010, a version of K'naan's "Wavin' Flag" recorded by a collective of Canadian musicians known as Young Artists for Haiti was released. Bieber is featured in the song, performing the closing lines.
"Baby", the lead single from his debut album, My World 2.0, which features Ludacris, was released in January 2010 and became his biggest hit thus far, charting at number five in the U.S. and reaching the top ten in seven other countries. Two promo singles "Never Let You Go", and "U Smile" were top thirty hits on the U.S. Hot 100, and top twenty hits in Canada. According to review aggregator Metacritic, the album has received "generally favorable reviews". It debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200, making Bieber the youngest solo male act to top the chart since Stevie Wonder in 1963. My World 2.0 also debuted at number one on the Canadian Albums Chart, Irish Albums Chart, and Australian Albums Chart, and the New Zealand Albums Chart and reached the top ten of fifteen other countries. To promote the album, Bieber appeared on several live programs including The View, the 2010 Kids Choice Awards, Nightline, The Late Show with David Letterman, The Dome and 106 and Park. Bieber collaborated with Sean Kingston on his single "Eenie Meenie" which also appeared on Bieber's debut album. The song reached the top ten in the United Kingdom and Australia, and the top-twenty of most other markets.
On April 10, 2010, Bieber was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live. On July 4, 2010, Bieber performed at the Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular in New York City. The second single from My World 2.0, "Somebody to Love", was released in April 2010, and a remix was released featuring Bieber's mentor Usher. The single reached number ten in Canada, number fifteen in the United States, and the top twenty in multiple international countries.
On June 23, 2010, Bieber went on his first official headlining tour, the My World Tour, starting in Hartford, Connecticut, to promote My World and My World 2.0. In July 2010, it was reported that Bieber was the most searched for celebrity on the Internet. That same month his music video, "Baby", surpassed Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" to become the most viewed, and most disliked YouTube video ever. In September 2010, it was reported that Bieber accounted for three percent of all traffic on Twitter, according to an employee of the social-networking site.
Bieber began recording his second album in July 2010 in New York City. At this point, because of puberty, his voice was deeper than it was when he recorded his first album. In April 2010, the singer discussing his vocals remarked, "It cracks. Like every teenage boy, I'm dealing with it and I have the best vocal coach in the world... Some of the notes I hit on "Baby" I can't hit anymore. We have to lower the key when I sing live." British singer/songwriter Taio Cruz confirmed in July 2010 that he is writing songs for Bieber's next album. Hip hop producer Dr. Dre produced two songs with Bieber in July 2010 but it is unknown if they were made for the album, which is currently due for a 2011 release.
Bieber guest-starred in the season premiere of the CBS crime drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, aired on September 23, 2010. He played a "troubled teen who is faced with a difficult decision regarding his only brother". Bieber was also in a subsequent episode which aired on February 17, 2011, in which his character is killed. Bieber performed a medley of "U Smile", "Baby", and "Somebody to Love" and briefly played the drums at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards on September 12, 2010. Bieber announced in October 2010 that he would release an acoustic album, called My Worlds Acoustic. It was released on Black Friday in the United States and featured acoustic versions of songs from his previous albums, and accompanied the release of a completely new song titled "Pray"
2011 - present: Never Say Never film, Under the Mistletoe and Believe
A 3-D part-biopic, part-concert film starring Bieber entitled Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, was released February 11, 2011, directed by Step Up 3D director Jon Chu. It topped the box office with an estimated grossing of $12.4 million on its opening day from 3,105 theaters. It grossed $30.3 million for the weekend and was narrowly beaten by the romantic comedy Just Go With It, which grossed $31 million. Never Say Never is said to have exceeded industry expectations, nearly matching the $31.1 million grossed by Miley Cyrus's 2008 3-D concert film, Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert, which holds the record for the top debut for a music-documentary. The film is accompanied by his second remix album, Never Say Never – The Remixes, released February 14, 2011, and features remixes of songs from his debut album, with guest appearances from Miley Cyrus, Chris Brown, and Kanye West, among others.
On February 27, 2011, Bieber attended the 2011 Vanity Fair Oscar Party with American actress and singer Selena Gomez, confirming several months of media speculation about a romantic relationship between the pair. The relationship has since continued to garner significant media attention.
In June 2011, Bieber was ranked number 2 on the Forbes list of Best-Paid Celebrities under 30. He is the youngest star and 1 of 7 musicians on the list raking in with $53 million earned in a 12 month period. On November 1, 2011, Bieber released Under the Mistletoe, his second studio album. It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, selling 210,000 copies in its first week of release. Bieber is currently recording his third studio album entitled Believe. Kanye West and Drake are confirmed to be featured on the album.
The Observer newspaper in the UK published a report indicating that Justin Bieber is more influential in the social networking sphere than Barack Obama or The Dalai Lama. According to Jan Hoffman of The New York Times, part of Bieber's appeal stems from his YouTube channel. Long before he released his EP, My World, in mid-November, the YouTube videos attracted millions of views. Braun recognized the appeal. Prior to flying him to Atlanta, Braun wanted to "build him up more on YouTube first" and had Bieber record more home videos for the channel. "I said: 'Justin, sing like there’s no one in the room. But let's not use expensive cameras.' We'll give it to kids, let them do the work, so that they feel like it's theirs", recalled Braun. Bieber continues to upload videos to the same channel and has opened a Twitter account, from which he interacts with fans regularly; his account was reported in November 2010 to have over 6 million followers. Since then he has been consistently gaining followers at an average of 24,000 per day. The accounts also serve marketing purposes; for example, Bieber's music video for "One Time" only began selling quickly after it was uploaded to YouTube.
Usher comments that while he and Bieber were both signed at the same age, "I had the chance to ramp up my success, where this has happened to Bieber abruptly." As a result, Usher, Braun, Bieber's bodyguard Kenny, and other adults surrounding Bieber constantly coach him on handling fame and his public image. After signing Bieber, Usher appointed one of his former assistants, Ryan Good, to be Bieber's road manager and stylist. Good, once nicknamed Bieber's "swagger coach", created a "streetwise look" for the singer which consisted of baseball caps, hoodies, dog chains and flashy sneakers. Amy Kaufman of The Los Angeles Times comments, "Though a product of a middle-class suburban upbringing in Stratford, Ontario, Bieber's manner of dress and speech ("Wassup man, how you doin'?" or "It's like, you know, whateva' ") suggest he's mimicking his favorite rappers."
Bieber is often featured in teen magazines such as Tiger Beat, and has been labeled as a "teen hearthrob". Bieber has released a collection of nail varnishes to raise awareness for charity. Wax statues of Bieber are on display at Madame Tussauds wax museums in New York, Amsterdam and London. His change of hairstyle in 2010, and the consequent alterations to Bieber products, led to it being called 'the most expensive musical haircut of all time; one company spent $100,000 to fix its dolls for the 2011 Christmas season.
Bieber is a Christian, and said he has a relationship with Jesus, talks to him and that "he's the reason I'm here".
Bieber's comments in a February 2011 profile in Rolling Stone sparked controversy. Asked whether a person should wait until marriage to have sex, Bieber responded, "I don't think you should have sex with anyone unless you love them." Asked about his opinion on abortion, Bieber said he does not "believe in abortion" and that it is "like killing a baby". When asked about abortion in cases of rape, he said, "Well, I think that's really sad, but everything happens for a reason. I don't know how that would be a reason. I guess I haven't been in that position, so I wouldn't be able to judge that." In the same interview, Bieber talked about homosexuality, stating that "It's everyone's own decision to do that. It doesn’t affect me and shouldn't affect anyone else", and Rolling Stone commented, "It is not clear whether he intended to label homosexuality as a lifestyle choice." However, Bieber has also contributed to the It Gets Better Project, a project started in response to the suicide of Billy Lucas, a teenager who was the target of anti-gay bullying.
Bieber has said he is not interested in obtaining United States citizenship, praising Canada as being "the best country in the world", citing its health care system as an example.
Bieber has been criticized for looking and sounding younger than his age, his teen-pop music, image, and frequent media attention. He has been a frequent target of Internet bloggers and message board posters, notably by users of Internet message board 4chan and users of YouTube. Nick Collins of The Daily Telegraph speculated that "Bieber's character also appears to strike a particularly sour note with his Internet critics, with many remarks commenting on his youthful appearance, his teen-pop songs, his image as a heart-throb to young teenage girls and his manner of speech".
- from Wikipedia.org
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