Being the world’s most beloved wild child is no easy task, but if there is one person who could do it, it would be Justin Bieber. However, it is not just the on-stage antics that make Bieber the world’s most adored wild child—he carries an aura that has gone far beyond anything a media machine can manufacture. Somewhere amid the allegations of drug possession—later denied by the police—and the $75,000 Bieber is said to have spent on strippers, there is still a nineteen-year-old trying to live under the world’s merciless spotlight. Being the world’s second-most-followed pop star online (yes, Katy Perry still rules the roost here, but not by much), everyone is going to have an opinion about what happens on stage. That opinion is magnified when it comes to what happens off stage.
This is not the first time a teenager has peed in the big wide open while out snowboarding on the slopes; and yet, when Justin Bieber is that teenager, social networks come close to going supernova. Any other teenager who is accused of vandalizing a neighbor’s property may at the most make it to the evening news. If Bieber so much as causes a scratch on a neighbor’s car, you can be sure of a primetime entertainment slot. When he targeted his neighbor’s house in the dark of night and threw eggs at it, it was broadcast around the world, many times over. Such is the price of being the world’s most celebrated male pop star. A quick review of the Bieber Instagram will show that amid the adulatory comments by obsessed fans there always lurks many a derogatory quip and even quite a few stinging barbs. Of course, the outpouring of adoration too has to be seen to be believed. Vincent Herbert, the producer who discovered Lady Gaga, placed Bieber’s antics in perspective when he said, “there’s time for music and time to be kids.” He also said, “no one is a machine – we are all human,” indicating that the intense media pressure on the star may lead to some controversial behavior. There’s no denying Justin Bieber’s wild child label—a factor that makes him one of the most beloved and vilified artists in the world.
Bieber has come a long way since being spotted by an American talent scout on YouTube. His debut album, the seven-track My World, was released in November, 2009 when he was just 15 years old. The album went Platinum in the US. Five of his albums have hit the number one spot on the Billboard 200 charts. This has given him a number one album for four consecutive years, an achievement he shares with only nine stars in the over fifty decade history of the Billboard 200. Bieber’s success is not limited to writing, singing and acting on stage. He has also launched a highly successful 3D movie about his life and made savvy business deals involving even nail polish, dolls and fragrances. With millions of fans both in the real and virtual world (he has 52 million followers on Facebook and 36 million followers on Twitter), Justin Bieber continues his reign as a dazzlingly successful pop artist, actor, heart-throb and surely is also the world’s currently most beloved wild child.
Editorial by Grace Stephen