He’s given the world Bieberlicious and Beliebers, and, like Hanson (them of the Mmm-Bop song), he did all this before his voice broke. He was big on YouTube before Psy and Die Antwoord, and he blazed his Internet trail after OK Go did their cutesy treadmill video that broke through all the clutter and got them noticed on the cyber box, with its highly appropriate ‘broadcast yourself’ pay-off line/slogan.
Born in Canada (like so many other musicians and actors, including Celine Dion, Shania Twain, Avril Lavigne, Michael Bublé, Nickelback, Michael J Fox and Dan Aykroyd), the story goes that it was his mom who filmed his musical exploits on camera, and then uploaded them to YouTube, where they became popular viewing. Then it was Usher who summoned him down to Atlanta for a chat, and signed him as an artist. It was instant success with the hair and the ‘boy next door’ look, and it wasn’t long before girls aged 8 to 18 were having Beatle-esque fits of uncontrolled hysteria as they swooned when JB blew into town (not unlike One Direction). His Baby YouTube video was the most watched of all time at that point, with some 800 million views, before it got knocked for six by Psy’s Gangnam Style that hit the billion mark. Boys wanted to be him (have you seen the story of the young man who had plastic surgery to look more Bieber?), girls wanted to be with him (and probably still do).
But they say that there is always a price to pay for fame and having the world at your feet: while a drunken spree with friends would reward someone with a hangover and a fun-filled memory, perhaps, in JB’s case it will probably make headlines on 6 continents. That’s a lot of pressure for such young shoulders.
What of the future? Well, as with Miley, the jury is still out. Maybe like Elton John he will find his mojo and his flow over time. The young man certainly doesn’t ever need to work again.