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Justin Drew Bieber (pronounced /ˈbiːbər/, BEE-bər; born March 1, 1994) is a Canadian pop-R&B singer. Bieber was discovered in 2008 by Scooter Braun, who happened to come across Bieber’s videos on YouTube and later became his manager. Braun arranged for him to meet with Usher in Atlanta, Georgia, and Bieber was soon signed to Raymond Braun Media Group (RBMG), a joint venture between Braun and Usher, and then to a recording contract with Island Records offered by L.A. Reid.
His debut single, “One Time”, was released worldwide during 2009, and charted within the top 30 in over ten countries. It was followed by his debut release, My World, on November 17, 2009, which was certified platinum in the United States, making him the first artist to have seven songs from a debut album chart on the Billboard Hot 100. His first full studio release, My World 2.0, was released on March 23, 2010 and has since received similar success; it debuted at number one and within the top ten of several countries and was certified platinum in the United States. It was preceded by the worldwide top-ten single, “Baby,” in January 2010. Bieber is considered a teen idol.
Bieber was born on March 1, 1994, in London, Ontario and was raised in Stratford, Ontario. Bieber’s mother, Pattie Mallette, was 18 years old when she became pregnant with her son. Mallette, who worked a series of low-paying office jobs, raised Bieber as a single mother. However, Bieber maintains contact with his father, Jeremy Bieber. As he grew, Bieber taught himself to play the piano, drums, guitar, and trumpet. In early 2007, when he was twelve, Bieber sang Ne-Yo’s “So Sick” for a local singing competition in Stratford and placed second. Mallette posted a video of the performance on YouTube for their family and friends to see. She continued to upload videos of Bieber singing covers of various R&B songs, and Bieber’s popularity on the site grew
While searching for videos of a different singer, Scooter Braun, a former marketing executive of So So Def, clicked on one of Bieber’s 2007 videos by accident. Impressed, Braun tracked down the theater Bieber was performing in, located Bieber’s school, and finally contacted Mallette. Mallette was reluctant; she remembered praying, “God, I gave him to you. You could send me a Christian man, a Christian label!” However, after praying with her church elders and receiving their encouragement, she permitted Braun to fly Bieber, then 13, to Atlanta, Georgia, to record demo tapes. A week after arriving, Bieber sang for R&B singer/songwriter Usher. Bieber was soon signed to Raymond Braun Media Group (RBMG), a joint venture between Braun and Usher. Justin Timberlake was also reportedly in the running to sign Bieber, but lost the bidding war to Usher. Usher then arranged an audition with Antonio L.A. Reid of Island Def Jam Music Group, who signed Bieber to Island Records in October 2008 (resulting in a joint venture between RBMG and Island Records). At that point, Bieber and his mother moved to Atlanta, also the home of Usher and Braun, to base his career. Braun became Bieber’s manager
2009–2010: My World and My World 2.0
Bieber’s first single, “One Time”, was released to radio while Bieber was still recording his debut album. The song reached number 12 on the Canadian Hot 100 during its first week of release in July 2009, and later peaked at number 17 on the Billboard Hot 100. During fall 2009 it had success in international markets. The song was certified Platinum in Canada and the U.S. and Gold in Australia and New Zealand. Bieber’s first album My World, was released on November 17, 2009. Three consecutive singles, “One Less Lonely Girl”, “Love Me”, and “Favorite Girl”, were released exclusively on the iTunes store and charted within the top forty of the Billboard Hot 100. “One Less Lonely Girl” was later also released to radio and peaked within the top fifteen in Canada and the U.S., being certified Gold in the latter. My World was eventually certified Platinum in the U.S. and Canada and Silver in the UK. To promote the album, Bieber performed in several live shows such as mtvU’s VMA 09 Tour, European program The Dome, YTV’s The Next Star, The Today Show, The Wendy Williams Show, Lopez Tonight, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, It’s On with Alexa Chung, Good Morning America, Chelsea Lately, and BET’s 106 & Park with Rihanna. Bieber also guest starred in an episode of True Jackson, VP in late 2009.
Bieber performed Stevie Wonder’s “Someday at Christmas” for U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama at the White House for Christmas in Washington, which was broadcast on December 20, 2009, on U.S. television broadcaster TNT. Bieber was also one of the performers at Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest on December 31, 2009. Bieber was a presenter at the 52nd Grammy Awards on January 31, 2010. He was invited to be a vocalist for the remake of We Are The World for its 25th anniversary to benefit Haiti after the earthquake. Bieber sings the opening line, which was sung by Lionel Richie in the original version. On March 12, 2010, a version of K’naan’s “Wavin’ Flag” recorded by a collective of Canadian musicians known as Young Artists for Haiti was released. Bieber is featured in the song, performing the closing lines.
“Baby”, the lead single from the second half of his debut album, which features Ludacris, was released in January 2010 and became his biggest hit thus far, charting at number five in the U.S. and reaching the top ten in seven other countries. Two digital singles, “Never Let You Go”, and “U Smile” were top thirty hits on the U.S. Hot 100, and top twenty hits in Canada. According to review aggregator Metacritic, the album has received “generally favorable reviews”. It debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200, making Bieber the youngest solo male act to top the chart since Stevie Wonder in 1963. My World 2.0 also debuted at number one on the Canadian Albums Chart, Irish Albums Chart, and Australian Albums Chart, and the New Zealand Albums Chart and reached the top ten of fifteen other countries. To promote the album, Bieber appeared on several live programs including The View, the 2010 Kids Choice Awards, Nightline, The Late Show with David Letterman, The Dome and 106 and Park. On April 10, 2010, Bieber was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live. On July 4, 2010, Bieber performed at the Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular in New York City. The second single from My World 2.0, “Somebody to Love”, was released in April 2010, and a remix was released featuring Bieber’s mentor Usher. In June 2010, it reached 15 on the Billboard Hot 100
2010–present: My World Tour and work on second album
On June 23, 2010, Bieber went on his first official headlining tour, starting in Hartford, Connecticut, to promote My World and My World 2.0. The tour is called My World Tour and it will be concluding in December 2010. In July 2010, it was reported that Bieber was the most searched for celebrity on the Internet. That same month his music video, “Baby”, surpassed Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” to become the most viewed YouTube video ever. In September 2010, it was reported that Bieber accounted for three percent of all traffic on Twitter, according to an employee of the social-networking site.
Bieber began recording his second album in July 2010 in New York City. At this point, because of puberty, his voice was deeper than it was when he recorded his first album. In April 2010, the singer discussing his vocals remarked, “It cracks. Like every teenage boy, I’m dealing with it and I have the best vocal coach in the world. […] Some of the notes I hit on “Baby” I can’t hit anymore. We have to lower the key when I sing live.” British singer/songwriter Taio Cruz confirmed in July 2010 that he is writing songs for Bieber’s next album. Hip hop producer Dr. Dre produced two songs with Bieber in July 2010 but it is unknown if they were made for the album, which is currently due for a 2011 release.
Bieber guest-starred in the season premiere of the CBS crime drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, aired on September 23, 2010. He played a “troubled teen who is faced with a difficult decision regarding his only brother.” Bieber will continue to appear in later episodes of the season as his character’s story progresses. Bieber will also star in a 3-D film about himself directed by Step Up 3D director Jon Chu and scheduled for a February 2011 release.
Bieber performed a medley of “U Smile”, “Baby,” and “Somebody to Love” and briefly played the drums at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards on September 12, 2010.