2013 could be called the year of Miley Cyrus, but throughout the calendar, Justin Bieber came a close second in the news; now, with 2014 scarcely a month old, it is Justin Bieber vs Miley Cyrus, who has more press now? From the outset, it looks as though 2014 may be the year of Bieber.
At the age of 20, Cyrus catapulted to the front pages of the world’s papers and Internet publications after her sexually charged performance on the August MTV VMA’s. Just prior to her controversial live show, where she twerked her nether regions into singer Robin Thicke’s crotch, the former Hannah Montana had released her newest single We Can’t Stop in June. The single contained lyrics that included references to drugs; “dancing with Molly” (MDMA) and trying to get a “line” in the bathroom.
The music video was a prelude to her antics at the MTV Video Music Awards with a lot of sexual imagery as well as obvious references to drug use. After Cyrus shocked her former fans, she followed up her August controversy with another song that featured a naked Miley riding a wrecking ball, which was the title of the song. Not content to rest on her laurels, Cyrus then released the music video Adore You in December where she showed off her erect nipples and appeared to masturbate in the video.
2013 was definitely the year of Miley Cyrus, where her sexualized image change managed to make her the topic of much discussion, derision, and damnation; from her ex Hannah Montana fans who were outraged at the direction her career was taking. At the same time, The 19 year-old Canadian pop star was coming in a close second in terms of publicity. That was last year. This year it looks like Justin Bieber vs Miley Cyrus in who has the most press now with Bieber taking the lead.
While Miley was busy shocking those fans who preferred her old Disney days, Justin was busily creating a bad boy image that had nothing to do with his stage presence. Cyrus’s career redirection was clearly all about changing her performance direction; becoming more controversial and, in her mind, more adult; more sexual. Bieber was, in the meantime, working on behaving inappropriately in public and in private.
On stage, Bieber still professed to be a good Christian boy who spoke lovingly of God and preached acceptance to his legion of “Beliebers.” Cyrus’ time in the spotlight was all about proving that she was no longer that ersatz “Miss Goody-Two-Shoes” on a Disney TV channel. Bieber was proving that he was not about to obey rules or attempt to get along with anyone who did not kiss the ground he walked on.
Speeding through the streets of the Calabasas, California gated community where he lives; tagging walls over the world while on tour; visiting brothels in Brazil; accused of assault and of throwing all-night parties at his Calabasas house. The singer had more than his fair share of brushes with the law over the year and not once did he get charged with anything. The problem with Bieber’s antics were, and are, that they deal primarily with his off-stage persona.
Justin Bieber vs Miley Cyrus in the “Who has more press now” contest has him winning at the start of 2014, but, his publicity is of a different sort. Breaking laws and, allegedly, endangering lives by his most recent actions have netted the boy singer the worst sort of press. While Bieber continues to lie to his fans about what he is really all about, the performer continues to make headlines for his unacceptable behavior. With allegations of drug abuse; underage drinking; and his preoccupation with sex workers, can Justin really maintain the facade of misunderstood innocence while winning the controversy contest against Miley Cyrus?
By Michael Smith