Courtesy of Lou Stejskal via Flickr under CC-BY-2.0

The name “Justin Bieber” carries weight among different generations, whether young or old. Bieber began his life with humble beginnings, hailing from Stratford, Canada, raised by a single mother. As a child, Bieber was fairly normal, playing games and sports with his friends. However, his talent for music set him apart from his peers. He played music on the streets of Stratford, sitting on the steps at the local mall and singing to anyone walking by who was willing to listen. Bieber also uploaded videos of him performing covers of famous songs on YouTube, and that’s when he found fame. Music manager Scooter Braun happened to stumble upon Bieber’s videos and proceeded to immediately fly him and his mother out to Atlanta to sign him to a record deal. At the tender age of twelve, Bieber was catapulted into the spotlight, and the craziness of superstardom soon followed his every move.  

His first release, “One Time,” was a huge hit, and soon, Justin Bieber became a household name. Almost immediately after the song was released, Bieber followed up with another mega-hit, “Baby,” featuring Ludacris. As of today, the music video has surpassed 2.5 billion views on YouTube, with “One Time” following with an impressive 700 million views.  

In the subsequent years of 2009-2014, Bieber has released five more albums, gone on several world tours and has been interviewed countless times by the media, which all contributed to the beginning of his downfall. At such a young age, Bieber was placed in front of a never-ending spotlight that added an unimaginable amount of pressure on his shoulders, and Bieber, like other successful child stars, began to crack. Constantly on the road and always away from his loved ones, Bieber dealt with anxiety and depression, which he displayed through various outbursts in front of the media. To cope with everything going on in his life, Bieber partied intensely and abused drugs, seemingly without a care in the world. The constant attention from paparazzi and flashes of the camera saw Bieber taking aggressive action with fans, often yelling profane things to them or even assaulting them in some instances.  

In 2015, Bieber became completely fed up with the world and decided to cancel his ongoing “Purpose” tour after a grueling 150 shows in 16 months. Bieber claimed that he was burnt out, saying he needed to take a step back and work on his mental health. Though this seemed like the end of the “Justin Bieber era,” this was actually the beginning as Bieber was able to live life away from everyone’s focus and find himself as a person.  

For the next five years, Bieber was essentially a ghost on social media as he stepped out of the spotlight completely, withholding his music and presence in the music community. Throughout this period, Bieber was still able to occasionally satiate his fans by featuring on a few songs, but it was not the same as a full album that all the fans were craving to hear. In 2019, fans’ fears were put to rest as Bieber returned to the world with an Instagram post, stating how the spotlight sometimes changes people. 

Fast forward to the current day, Bieber has managed to put his demons to rest and has now released two chart-topping albums. On top of this, Bieber also finds himself attempting to be a role model for the youth by using his religion as a way to help those who also feel lost. Bieber credits his faith as the reason that his life was saved, and he makes it clear by attempting to help out his church in any way possible. Most recently, he performed at “The Freedom Experience,” an event put on by Pastor Judah Smith, a very close associate of his. He performed music catered toward a religious audience to show the effects of his renewed faith. 

Currently on Spotify, Bieber is listed as the most listened to artist at No. 1, a title he has now held for almost over a year. Bieber has now re-established himself as the pop-king of this generation, and his future looks bright. Just like he always says, anyone feeling lost or out-of-touch should feel hopeful because there is always a better life waiting at the end of the tunnel. Bieber has truly risen from the ashes. Still young at only 27 years old, Bieber has plenty of time to keep breaking records and further solidify himself as a leading musical voice of our generation.