“I grew up in a really small town with not a lot of money, and I liked singing, but it was just something that was a hobby…”
The day is March 1st, 1994. Location, London, Ontario. Unbeknown to the world, a future super-star has just been born. A true childhood success story, Justin Bieber’s fame wasn’t always on the cards. Raised by single mother Patricia ‘Pattie’ Mallette at the tender age of 18, Justin had a relatively normal, but sometimes difficult life. Staying in close contact with his father, Jeremy, he and Pattie did all they could to give Justin a good upbringing.
From the age of three, it was clear to all that the young star had a passion for music. Laying his hands on anything that could make sound, such as banging on pots and pans, mother Pattie soon realised he had a real talent. Aside from various instruments, including the drums, piano and guitar, which he later mastered in his early teens, Justin had exceptional vocal abilities, too. To give him a shot at doing something he loves, Pattie got Justin, now aged 12, a place on local talent competition, the ‘Stratford Star.’ Geared up to try and win, Justin came a commemorable 2nd place; “You did great, Justin. I wish everyone could have been there – the whole family and all our friends at Church. But I got some great videos. I’m going to put them up on YouTube so everyone can see how amazing you did… ”
870.8 miles, a whole 13 hours, 15 minutes’ drive south from Stratford, Canada, to Atlanta, America, was Scooter Braun. Talent manager and business-man, owning two record labels, Scooter was on the lookout for upcoming talent. By pure luck, Justin’s videos were spotted, and by his own admission, Scooter knew he had found something extraordinary. With this in mind, Scooter took serious steps to contact Justin, initially rejected by his mother, her reservations based on her worries it would have a negative effect on Justin. Soon after, however, she relented, thus opening up a world of opportunities, sharing him with the world to make him one of the greatest musicians in recent history.
His first songs ‘One Time’ and ‘One Less Lonely Girl’ soon became hit singles, along with his subsequent debut album ‘My World.’ To fit into an article, the extent and the magnitude to which he became famous, and recognised, would be impossible. Breaking many, many records, astounding those in the music industry, and building up a considerable fan-base, Justin was certainly on his way, if not already, in Stardom.
Now aged just 22, it would not be a lie or exaggeration to say he is one of the most influential celebrities in the world. As a record breaker, making his permanent mark in history, let’s take a look at some of his achievements and reasons we love him so much.
The fact that Justin remains humble throughout his extraordinary success, shows us his commendable personality, and his ‘down-to-earth’ attitudes (see his song ‘down-to-earth.’) “Everyday we wake up is another blessing. Follow your dreams and don’t let anyone stop you.” To say Justin has had an immense influence, and been a huge inspiration to many, would be an understatement. As farcical as it may sound to certain narrowminded people, there are many accounts by fans that say Justin’s songs have helped them through extremely hard times in their lives. The achievement of being able to produce music, and be there as a person for people to look to as an idol, is truly amazing.
Looking at Justin’s musical achievements, there are quite literally too many to name. Over his musical career, this far, Justin has accomplished so much. Constantly breaking record after record after record, with each year, numerous more accolades are achieved. As mentioned, it is quite simply impossible to name all-the extent of his success is so profound, but here are a few:
For all the top awards an artist could get, he has been nominated two hundred and sixty six times, winning one hundred and forty of those (including the infamous Grammy.) He has made six studio albums which were highly successful, Believe and My World went double platinum, he has sold almost 76 million albums in the US alone, a rising number making him one of the worlds best selling music artists. He has had two movies of which Never Say Never was the highest grossing documentary of all time. Forbes magazine named him the third most powerful celebrity in the world just within three years of his career. That is clearly not all, his achievements are overwhelming and to put them into an article, to try and even put Justin’s story into words is the most difficult thing. Taking the world by storm, every day one of his songs reaches a new level of achievement, you simply can’t write anything without it soon becoming outdated as his achievements are yet again upgraded to the next thing. There are too many ‘first to ever…’s’ and ‘the only singer to ever…’, to even try and understand the magnitude of his success, visit Wikipedias ‘List of awards and nominations received by Justin Bieber’… the extent of the lists you will find are truly inspiring in the most emotional sense. From a ‘small town kid’, just look at him now.
Aside from musical achievements, Justin Bieber has achieved the greatest thing of all; the achievement of ‘giving back.’ Inspiring his followers on Twitter to also ‘#giveback’, Justin is continuously helping charities and those less fortunate. Again, just like his musical achievements, there are many, many stories of Justin doing good for charities, too many to name. A lot of the stories we may not even know about because it’s not like he publicly announces it every time he does something. This notion is brought real when in 2011, Justin made an appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres show, where Scooter made public the fact that Justin was the first ever person to make 250 Make-A-Wish dreams come true; an act that was not public knowledge until this moment. Picking another example from the hundreds to choose from, on October 27th, then 19 years old, Justin travelled to a remote village in Guatemala with Pencils of Promise, a charity that he has long been supporting, that builds primary schools in developing countries for the young children. When there, he helped lay the cinder blocks, sift concrete and spent his time playing with the children; ‘He developed a genuine connection with the kids there’ said Adam Braun, founder of the charity and brother of Scooter Braun. When visiting Cannes, Justin attended a Gala where a man pledged $545,000 to help fight AIDS, and Justin matched it. After the typhoon Haiyan disaster, Justin launched a Twitter campaign; ‘#GiveBackPhilippines’ to which a massive $3 million was raised to help the cause. Understandably, it is impossible to note everything, or even start to get a feel for the extent of his good work, in this article. As he comes from a poor background, where times were tough, Justin understands the importance it is to help others in anyway possible-just one more reason why he is a true inspiration.
Despite Justin’s good nature, talents and kind heart, there are still many people who use small incidents unworthy of a news report to build hate-fuelled arguments saying he is a bad person (as generally portrayed by the media most of the time.) Whilst not wanting to dampen the mood and spirit of the article, it is still necessary to acknowledge. No one is saying that he is perfect, yes of course sometimes he makes mistakes, but he is only human. Justin’s life is under a microscope, every action is scrutinised sparking hurtful rumours and mindless gossip that are seriously uncalled-for and down-right mean. It is inevitable that there will be moments throughout his life that wouldn’t make him proud, but they could never compare to the good; the good outweighs the bad by far, every time-even the greatest fall, but entering the new ‘Purpose era’ it is clear Justin’s musical comeback marks the start of a new chapter of success and happiness. To end on a positive note; ‘Before you criticise someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way you’re a mile away and you have their shoes’ – wise words, Justin.
So all in all, whether you are a fan or a critic, there is no denying Justin Bieber’s success. A teenage super-star, he is now one of the worlds best and most recognised performers, with a huge fandom who follow his lead and truly loves him and his art. Truly amazing how something so little as a YouTube video could create this.