Photo: Daniel Ogren Photography / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)
Born: March 1, 1994
Age: 26 years
Born Place: St. Joseph’s Hospital, London, Canada
Spouse: Hailey Baldwin (m. 2018)
Justin Drew Bieber (born March 1, 1994) is a Canadian singer, songwriter, and actor. Discovered at 13 years old by talent manager Scooter Braun after he had watched his YouTube cover song videos, Bieber was signed to RBMG Records in 2008. With Bieber’s debut EP My World, released in late 2009, Bieber became the first artist to have seven songs from a debut record chart on the Billboard Hot 100.
Bieber released his debut studio album My World 2.0 in 2010. Containing the hit single “Baby”, the album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, making Bieber the youngest solo male act to top the chart in 47 years. Following his debut album and promotional tours, he released his 3D biopic-concert film Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, which was a box office success. In the years after the releases of the Under the Mistletoe (2011) and Believe (2012), Bieber had established himself as a teen idol, but faced several controversies, including run-ins with the law internationally before his first arrest in 2014.
Following the controversies surrounding Bieber, his sound became more mature as he transitioned into EDM and moved away from teen pop. Released in 2015, his fourth studio album Purpose became his most commercially successful album, spawning three Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles: “What Do You Mean?”, “Sorry”, and “Love Yourself”. After the release of Purpose, Bieber had featured on several successful collaborations, including “Cold Water”, “Let Me Love You”, “Despacito (Remix)”, “I’m the One”, “I Don’t Care” and “10,000 Hours”. After taking some time off to refocus on his marriage to American model Hailey Baldwin, Bieber released his fifth studio album, Changes, which became his seventh chart-topper in the US.
Bieber has sold more than 150 million records, making him one of the world’s best-selling music artists. He has won numerous awards, including a Grammy Award, 15 American Music Awards, 20 Billboard Music Awards, two Brit Awards, a Latin Grammy Award, a record 21 MTV Europe Music Awards, and three MTV Video Music Awards. Time magazine included Bieber in their 2011 edition of the 100 most influential people in the world list. He was included by Forbes list of the top ten most powerful celebrities in the world, in 2011, 2012 and 2013. In 2016, Bieber became the first artist to surpass 10 billion total video views on Vevo.
Bieber was born on March 1, 1994, in London, Ontario, at St Joseph’s Hospital, and was raised in Stratford, Ontario. He is the only child of Jeremy Jack Bieber and Pattie Mallette, who were never married. Mallette was underage when she gave birth, and her mother Diane and stepfather Bruce helped her raise her son. Bieber’s ancestry includes French-Canadian, Irish, English, Scottish, and German. He has also stated that he has some undetermined Aboriginal Canadian ancestry.
Through his father Jeremy, Bieber has three younger half-siblings. Jeremy and his ex-girlfriend Erin Wagner, who broke up in 2014 after seven years together, have two children, daughter Jazmyn and son Jaxon. Jeremy married his girlfriend Chelsey in February 2018, and they have a daughter named Bay. Bieber also has a stepsister named Allie, the daughter of his stepmother. Pattie worked a series of low-paying office jobs, raising Bieber as a single mother in low-income housing. Bieber has maintained contact with his father.
Bieber attended a French-language immersion elementary school in Stratford, the Jeanne Sauvé Catholic School. Growing up, he learned to play the piano, drums, guitar, and trumpet. He graduated from high school in Stratford, Ontario, the St. Michael Catholic Secondary School in 2012 with a 4.0 GPA. In early 2007, aged 12, Bieber sang Ne-Yo’s “So Sick” for a local singing competition in Stratford and was 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. In the same year, Bieber busked shows in front of Avon Theatre steps during tourism season.
Michael Jackson performing
Bieber’s music is mainly pop and R&B. In 2010, Jody Rosen of Rolling Stone asserted that the content of his music was “offering a gentle introduction to the mysteries and heartaches of adolescence: songs flushed with romance but notably free of sex itself”. In January 2012, Bieber told V magazine that he doesn’t want to sing about sex, drugs and swearing. He stated “I want to do it at my own pace. I don’t want to start singing about things like sex, drugs and swearing. I’m into love, and maybe I’ll get more into making love when I’m older. But I want to be someone who is respected by everybody.” But since then, Bieber gradually altered his artistry, with Peter Gicas of E! Online describing “PYD” as “sexed-up”, while In Touch Weekly magazine describing his song with Maejor Ali and Juicy J “Lolly” might make his fans a bit uncomfortable because of its lyrics. After his hit in 2015 on Jack Ü’s track “Where Are Ü Now”, Bieber released the EDM-fuelled album Purpose a collaboration with Diplo, DJ Snake and Major Lazer.
Bieber has cited Michael Jackson, The Beatles, Boyz II Men, Mariah Carey, Justin Timberlake, Stevie Wonder, Tupac, and Usher as his musical inspirations. Believe was influenced by Timberlake, for which Bieber was trying to “create a new sound that people aren’t really used to hearing … like when [Timberlake] did FutureSex/LoveSounds: It was a new sound… acoustic guitar over hard drums.”
Bieber initially sang with a boy soprano voice, before his voice broke, as was evidenced during the debut performance of “Pray” at the 2010 American Music Awards. Sean Michaels of The Guardian described puberty as “the biggest threat to his career” at the time. Jody Rosen commented that Bieber sings with “swing and rhythmic dexterity” on his debut album, noting his tone to be “nasal”.
Bieber started to receive voice coaching from Jan Smith in 2008.
As an adult singer, Bieber’s voice type is tenor, with a vocal range spanning from the baritone A (A2) to the high tenor F (F5). In a review of his Purpose album, Neil McCormick of The Daily Telegraph complimented his “soft, supple and seductive singing.” Caroline Sullivan of The Guardian also praised Bieber’s “affectedly breathy voice”, noting that “the voice soon palls, but the songs are often interesting.”
As Bieber resides in the United States, he is reported to possess an O-1 visa for temporary resident status, based on “extraordinary ability or achievement” in a field. Bieber has said he is not interested in obtaining US citizenship, and has praised Canada as being “the best country in the world”, citing its mostly government-funded health care system as a model example. However, in September 2018, TMZ reported that Bieber had begun the process of becoming an American citizen, following his marriage to Hailey Baldwin.
Bieber’s father, Jeremy Bieber, is a former carpenter and pro-am mixed martial artist. In March 2014, Rolling Stone characterized Jeremy as having “split with Justin’s mom when Justin was a toddler, and wasn’t always around afterward. But he has, as of late, accepted a place of honor in his superstar son’s entourage”.
In December 2010, Bieber began dating Selena Gomez. After initially splitting in November 2012, they had an on-again, off-again relationship until March 2018. On an interview during The Ellen Show, Bieber stated that hit songs including “Sorry”, “Mark My Words”, and “What Do You Mean?” are about his relationship with Gomez.
Bieber became engaged to Hailey Baldwin on July 7, 2018. They had briefly dated from December 2015 to January 2016 before splitting, then reconciled in May 2018. Bieber and Baldwin reportedly obtained a marriage license in September 2018, leading to reports that they had a civil marriage. On September 14, 2018, Baldwin stated on Twitter that she and Bieber had not yet married, but deleted the tweet afterward. On November 23, 2018, Bieber stated he was married to Baldwin. Bieber and Baldwin had an official ceremony in Bluffton, South Carolina on September 30, 2019.
Bieber has described himself as a faithful adherent of Christianity, said he communicates with God via prayer, and that “He’s the reason I’m here”. He reflected his faith in a music video with Brandon Burke, titled “#iPledge”, in which he talks about God’s forgiveness. Bieber was baptized on January 9, 2014 by Pentecostal pastor Carl Lentz of Hillsong Church, New York, after a born again experience. He has described Lentz as a good friend. When asked how he wants to raise his children, Bieber said, “I’m a Jesus follower. When you accept Jesus, you walk with the holy spirit. I just want to be led by the holy spirit.” Many of Bieber’s tattoos have religious significance including the medium-sized cross on his chest and a tiny cross under his eye. Bieber also covered up the “Son of God” text tattooed on his abdomen with a large design that features two angels, gothic arches, a skeleton and a serpent.
Regarding sexual abstinence, Bieber told music magazine Rolling Stone in 2011, “I don’t think you should have sex with anyone unless you love them.” He added that he does not “believe in abortion”, and that it is “like killing a baby”. When asked about the case of abortion with regard to rape, however, he said, “I guess I haven’t been in that position, so I wouldn’t be able to judge that.” His view on sexual orientation is quoted as “everyone’s own decision”, and he has contributed to the It Gets Better Project, a non-profit group aiming to prevent suicide among LGBT youth.
Bieber supports Pencils of Promise, a charity founded by Adam Braun, the younger brother of Bieber’s manager. The organization builds schools in developing countries, and Bieber became manager for the organization’s campaign in Guatemala. He serves as a celebrity spokesman for the organization by running ads for the charity and its campaign “Schools4All”. He promises to visit schools that donate the most funds to the organization. He takes part in the charity’s fund-raising galas and donates parts of the proceeds from his concerts and Someday line of fragrances, and various merchandising to the charity. He also appears in an animal welfare PSA for PETA encouraging people to volunteer at and adopt from animal shelters instead of buying pets from breeders or pet stores. In 2013, Bieber launched his online #GiveBackPhilippines campaign for helping the victims of Typhoon Haiyan and travelled to the Philippines after raising $3 million. His work in the country earned him a star on the Philippine Walk of Fame. He also supports Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and Alzheimer’s Association.
Bieber and Ariana Grande collaborated on the single “Stuck With U”, released in May 2020 as the first of series of singles coordinated by entertainment executive Scooter Braun, who is also Bieber’s manager, to support the COVID-19 pandemic. All net proceeds from the song went to the First Responders Children’s Foundation to fund grants and scholarships for children of first responders and health care workers who worked on the front lines during the pandemic.
Bieber has struggled with mental health issues, particularly depression and anxiety, at various points during his career. He has generally been open about these issues.
On January 8, 2020, on his Instagram, Bieber announced that he was diagnosed with Lyme disease, saying that speculation by other people that he looked like he was on drugs was false. He also revealed that he has infectious mononucleosis, which affected his neurological and overall health.
Throughout his career, Bieber has sold an estimated 150 million records as of 2019 and is one of the best-selling music artists globally. In 2011, Bieber was honoured with a star in front of Avon Theater in Stratford, Ontario, Canada, where he used to busk when he was younger. On November 23, 2012, Bieber was presented with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal by the Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper. He was one of 60,000 Canadians to receive the Diamond Jubilee medal that year. In 2013, Bieber received a Diamond award from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) to recognize his single “Baby” as the highest-certified digital song of all time (record later broken by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito”). Bieber has earned ten Grammy nominations (including one win), two Brit awards, six NRJ Music Award nominations (Bieber won four awards out of six nominations, but he has six awards because he was honoured twice with special awards), nineteen Billboard Music Awards, and numerous fan voted accolades which include fifteen American Music Awards and twenty three Teen Choice Awards. He also has won twenty one MTV Europe Music Awards (one is a special award), which is the most awards received by a single artist to date.
On November 13, 2015, the release of Purpose marked his sixth album to debut at number one. He also became the first artist, since Elvis Presley in 2005, to replace his own song as number one on the UK Singles Chart. As of 2016, Bieber has received fourteen titles in the Guinness World Records, which include eight that were achieved from the success of his album Purpose and was featured in the 2017 Edition. These records included the most streamed track on Spotify in one week, the most streamed album on Spotify in one week, the most simultaneous tracks and most simultaneous new entries on the US Billboard Hot 100 by a solo artist, the first act to occupy all top three positions simultaneously on the UK Singles Chart, the most followers on Twitter by a male, the most viewed music channel on YouTube by an individual, and the most subscribers on YouTube for a musician by a male.
Bieber was included among the top ten in The Highest-Paid Celebrities Under 30 annual list in the world by Forbes magazine. He has been listed six times in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017.
“Steps to Stardom”, an exhibit on Bieber’s early career, opened in his hometown of Stratford, Ontario in February 2018 at the Stratford Perth Museum, offering a collection of mementoes from his formative years and rise to international stardom. The items on display include a professional drum kit he owned as a younger child, his Grammy Award, microphones, his Stratford Warriors hockey jacket, and personal letters, including one from Michelle Obama. Bieber made a number of visits to the museum. “Steps to Stardom” was originally scheduled to close in October 2018 but board of the museum extended its stay for at least another year after the exhibit broke attendance records set by its Anne Frank House exhibit in 2015.
- My World 2.0 (2010)
- Under the Mistletoe (2011)
- Believe (2012)
- Purpose (2015)
- Changes (2020)
- Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (2011)
- Men in Black 3 (2012)
- Katy Perry: Part of Me (2012)
- Zendaya: Behind the Scenes (2012)
- Justin Bieber’s Believe (2013)
- Behaving Badly (2014)
- Lip Sync Battle (2015)
- Zoolander 2 (2016)
- Killing Hasselhoff (2017)
- Justin Bieber: Seasons (2020)