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Sunday, 28 October 2012

'If I hadn't found music my life would have been bad': £70 million and not yet 18, how Justin Bieber became the new king of pop

By LOUISE GANNON
'I never stop working. In what I wanted to do in music I've never had any fear. But now I'm at the top there's nowhere to go but down; for me it's about staying standing at the top,' said Justin Bieber Q: How did this baby-faced Canadian teenager take over the world? A: With a little help from 47 million Facebook fans, 29 million Twitter followers and 3 billion hits on YouTube The world’s richest self-made teenager is sitting in his vast dressing room just hours before he goes on stage at the Tacoma Dome, 30 miles south of Seattle. With pale features, an Elvis-style quiff and a whippet-thin body, Justin Bieber looks younger than his 18 years.
'I'm not a kid any more - I'm an adult, I'm making the decisions,' said Justin Don’t be fooled, Simon Cowell warned me during an earlier interview. ‘The genius of Justin Bieber is he used the power of social media like no other artist – and he doesn’t stop.’ As the world’s first social-media superstar, Bieber built up a fan base of millions before he’d even signed a record deal.
'My music is never going to have swear words in it. Never,' said Justin Now he has 47 million Facebook fans, 29 million Twitter followers and three billion YouTube hits – a world record that puts him ahead of Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Eminem. ‘Only a fool would underestimate him,’ added Cowell. ‘I’ve met him a few times. He’s bright. The kid is more in charge than people think. I know this industry, I know what it takes, and he will be around for a very long time.’ With a fortune estimated at £70 million – which is set to double in the next two years on the back of a world tour, a movie and the returns from numerous investments – Bieber is part teenage heart-throb, part superstar businessman.
Justin on stage in California earlier this month. 'I'm a musician; I play instruments, I write songs. I'm a businessman; I want to create an empire,' he said His latest album, Believe, topped the charts in the UK, the U.S. and throughout Europe, and his tour is sold out. This amazing success has brought him a £4 million, 10,000sq ft house north of LA, a Disney-princess girlfriend, Selena Gomez, and a £500,000 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van customised with three high-definition TVs and a recording studio. About the only thing lacking in his fairy-tale world is a private jet. Bieber fiddles momentarily with the diamond-encrusted whistle that hangs from his neck and then looks up.
Justin on stage at the Canadian MuchMusic Video Awards. 'My family are all poor, so the cycle would have continued. My kids would have been poor, and their kids would have been too. I feel I broke the cycle,' he said ‘No way,’ he says emphatically. ‘It’s a total waste of money. You buy the plane, then you have to pay for storage, and on top of that you have to think about the fuel, the cost of the fuel – that’s maybe $4,000. 'Even hiring a private plane is like 50 or 60K. Once you get into that it becomes a habit – a bad habit. 'I’ll get one when I need it – if I have to go somewhere instantly – but you don’t want to buy a plane; it’s definitely not worth it.’
Justin with girlfriend Selena Gomez. Their first kiss was 'the best of my life' What makes this exchange truly surreal isn’t the fact that Bieber barely even shaves yet – but that he’s only out by $100 on the cost of a tank of jet fuel. Cowell was right to say he shouldn’t be underestimated. ‘I never stop working,’ says Bieber. ‘In what I wanted to do in music I’ve never had any fear. But now I’m at the top there’s nowhere to go but down; for me it’s about staying standing at the top. 'I’m not a kid any more – I’m an adult, I’m making the decisions and I want to keep on growing, and I believe I can.’
A Mercedes Sprinter van customised by Becker. Pictured left and right - two of the company's optional interiors With Believe marking a departure from the swooshy fringe and ‘baby, baby, baby’ lyrics of his initial incarnation, the pressure is now on for Bieber to make the transition from boy star to adult performer. It’s a challenge, however, that leaves him unfazed. ‘I look at Justin Timberlake and Usher and see how they crossed over really successfully, and I’ve seen people go off at the deep end, get full of themselves, think they’re the best and end up not being anything. I’ve worked way too hard for that.
Touring musicians have been known to use their vans as mobile homes ‘I definitely don’t want to be just another teen heart-throb. But there are different ways of growing. I want to be loved like Michael Jackson was, from the four-year-olds to the 80-year-olds. 'I am going to change and grow through my music and doing films. This album was different. My next album will be even edgier.’ Edgy enough to merit an explicit-lyrics warning, I ask? He shakes his head. source: dailymail

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