Justin Bieber says being a child star is the ‘toughest thing in the world’
IN AN interview with Billboard magazine, Justin Bieber has spoken out about how he struggled with the fame that comes with being a child star, and admits that it nearly destroyed him.
The 21-year-old pop superstar, who first broke onto the music scene in 2009 at the age of 15, said that growing up in the public eye wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.
“It might seem awesome from the outside, but I’m struggling,” he says in themagazine’s cover story.
“I felt like people were judging me all the time. I came out alive. I came out swinging. But I was close to letting [fame] completely destroy me.”
“I wouldn’t suggest being a child star,” he is reported as saying. “It’s the toughest thing in the world.”
He then points to friend Kylie Jenner as an example and asks for people to be a little more sympathetic.
“I want people to be more kind to young celebrities,” he says. “Like Kylie [Jenner]. Look at her world: She has been living on TV since she was a kid. Every time she’s looking around she sees a camera, and that’s affecting how she’s thinking and how she’s perceiving people and why she has to do certain things ... Situations that happen taint your mind, especially in this industry.
“Look at the statistics on how many child stars have crumbled and turned out to be whack jobs. It’s because — it’s f---ed, bro, this lifestyle.”
Over the past few years, Bieber went from a squeaky clean image to a tattooed troublemaker. He has had several run-ins with the law, including arrests for reckless driving, vandalism, assault and driving under the influence. He has admitted to police to consuming alcohol and using drugs — both marijuana and prescription.
As a result, Bieber has fallen out of favour with the public, with 270,000 people signing a petition asking the White House to have the Canadian-born singer deported from the United States.
His relationship with his mother has also become strained, and Bieber says he became distant because he was ashamed. “I never wanted my mom to be disappointed in me and I knew she was,” Bieber tells Billboard.
Behind the scenes
Over time, though, he has become closer with his father — even if Bieber Senior may not always know how to handle the fame machine either (he recently stirred up trouble with his comments after nude images of his son were leaked online).
Of the incident Bieber says: “I do feel the photo was an invasion of my privacy. I felt super violated. My dad made light of it, but I don’t think that’s sick and twisted. It was funny. Dads are going to be dads.”
New purpose ... Justin Bieber performs on stage in Madrid, Spain. Picture: Pablo Cuadra/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
Changed man ... Justin Bieber performs during the MTV EMA awards 2015. Picture: REUTERS/Stefano RellandiniSource:Reuters
Meanwhile, his longtime manager Scooter Braun admits he didn’t know how to handle his out-of-control charge, and credits the “Baby” singer for turning his own life around.
“I’ll be frank,” Braun tells Billboard. “I failed for a year and a half. He shut himself off and went into a dark place. Every single day I tried to help him turn it around, and every single day I failed. And I tried desperately. The only person who deserves credit for this is Justin.”
It seems even Bieber was getting sick of Bieber’s bad behaviour.
“Enough with the Justin Bieber Show,” Bieber says. “I want to veer away from the self-centred attitude,” he says.
And to prove that he’s a changed man, Bieber has been busy recording his latest album, Purpose — his first in three years. Though it’s set to be released November 13, the album and Bieber are already receiving praise.
Where it all started ... A young Justin Bieber visits the Nintendo World Store in 2009 in New York City. Picture: Bryan Bedder/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
However, it seems he still has a way to go in the behaviour department. Just a few days ago, Bieber told off fans for clapping out of time during his performance on a Spanish TV show, and prior to that walked off stage and refused to perform in Norway when a fan spilt something on the stage.
Bieber took to Instagram to explain himself, saying that he’d had a rough week with “long days, no sleep”.
“I don’t always handle things the right way but I’m human and I’m working on getting better at responding not reacting,” he wrote.
Perhaps his new single, “Sorry”, says it best. Bieber is at least trying to make amends.