“I want fans to know that I’m not going to be able to solve their problems… I’m not that higher power”
When his singles hit Number One, Two and Three in the same week, Justin Bieber made music history.
Just days later he won his first Grammy and tonight the 21-year-old’s performance is set to be the highlight of the Brit Awards with one of the biggest productions the show has ever seen.
Yet only 18-months-ago, Bieber was reeling from a very public fall from grace.
In January 2014, a smugly grinning police mug shot went global after he was arrested for drink driving and illegal drag racing.
It was just the latest in a Justin Bieber litany of embarrassing, childish and, yes, brattish behaviour.
He was convicted of egging his neighbours’ house, embroiled in drink and drugs, urinated in a bucket before swearing at a picture of Bill Clinton, allegedly visited a Brazilian brothel and abandoned his monkey in Germany.
In the end a petition with 262,817 signatures made its way to the White House asking for the young Canadian to be deported back north of the border. Now, having grown up in public, in an exclusive interview with the Mirror, Justin says: “I was rebelling against the world. I started to believe the hype and was acting a certain way. I was just being a jerk.
“I got so involved in ‘me me me’. You’re young, people are telling you you’re great all the time and you start believing it. It became Justin Bieber, reality star, rather than the musician.
“I just found myself in a place I didn’t want to be.”
But in an incredible reversal of his fortunes, Justin has not only put his brushes with the law firmly in the past he’s taken a giant leap forward in music credibility.
Transition from spoiled child star singing bubble gum pop to the coolest artist on the planet is complete.
So how on earth has he achieved what only month ago seemed impossible?
Firstly, living up to his hit Sorry, he publicly apologised for his misdemeanours on live TV.
Actions like asking his fans to buy the NHS choir charity single instead of his own music, also endeared him to the wider world. He also reaffirmed his belief in God claiming he would be a “terrible, terrible person” without his faith. And the cleverest move was teamed up with super-producers Skrillex and Diplo. The result…his comeback track Where Are You Now went platinum around the world.
Music boss Professor Jonathan Shalit, CEO of ROAR Global, explains: “Ultimately it is the music. His music evolved, he teamed up with new people, and he has grown up and matured.
“A lot of teen stars haven’t progressed to being adult stars and Justin should be applauded for what he has done.
“He is out of a bad patch. It was clearly people around him guiding him in the right way, but also he wanted to change. You only change as a person if you really want too.”
But Justin admits he is still a work in progress. He says: “There’s so much I need to work on. And I’m still getting days where I’m depressed and upset. But I know that I’m not where I used to be. So that really keeps me motivated. I’m not where I wanna be. That’s kind of a cool little slogan I’ve been living by.”
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