Born in Canada on March 1, 1994, Justin Drew Bieber was a natural at playing the piano, drums, and guitar.
At age 12 entered a local music contest singing Ne Yo's "So Sick". Although he placed second, Justin's mom Pattie proudly posted the videotaped performance on YouTube.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
From left to right: Justin Bieber with his mom, Pattie, at the start of his career, and later
evolving into a pop teen sensation and, finally, as the crown prince of swag.
Bieber's mom continued to post her son's video performances online when, a short year later, talent manager Scooter Braun accidentally discovered them ...and signed him. Soon the buzz throughout the music industry was loud and clear: Bieber Fever was about spread like wildfire.
Usher was an early supporter. Scooter Braun introduced them in Atlanta before they signed Bieber to a contract with Raymond Braun Media Group (RBMG), a joint venture between Braun and Usher. That was in 2008. Now that sweet Bieber face continues to make girls swoon in every corner of the globe.
An explosion of Bieber Fever
A year later, Bieber signed on with Island Records and in 2009 they released Bieber's debut single, One Time. The new YouTube star peaked in the top twenty in Canada and charted in the top thirty in several international markets with his first song.
It took all of 22 minutes to sell out Madison
Square Garden in New York City in 2010.
In November, the eagerly awaited seven-track EP My World was released. That one quickly went platinum in the United States with seven songs charting on the Billboard Hot 100 -- a first for any artist. A star was born.
Bieber kept working hard and put out the top 10 single and music video, Baby. It ranked as the most viewed and most discussed YouTube video for several months. In March 2010, the Biebs released his first full-length studio album, My World 2.0, and again... sales soared. It was number one -- or within the top ten -- in several countries and was certified platinum in the United States.
Now it was time for him to get out and mix with the fans. He followed-up the release of his debut album with the My World Tour -- his first headlining tour. Tickets were sold out in minutes. The remix albums My Worlds Acoustic, Never Say Never – The Remixes and the 3D biopic-concert film Justin Bieber: Never Say Never flowed out in a steady stream. Busy Bieber released his second studio album, Under the Mistletoe in November 2011. Again the album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200.
The following year, Bieber Fever re-ignited with the release of his new album "Believe", together with another wildly popular music video, a worldwide Believe Tour, and a growing "Beliebers" fan base.
From boy next door to "bad boy"
left: Justin Bieber on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine, March 2014
and right: his mugshot following his DUI arrest in Miami in January.
As the teen sensation's popularity began to peak, it wasn't all rosy for the fresh-faced kid from Canada.
His romantic relationship with singer Selena Gomez ended in 2013, the same year that Bieber appeared in his second concert film, Justin Bieber's Believe, which underwhelmed fans with it's heavy Hollywood gloss. It spent a month in movie theaters before shutting down due to poor box office.
Meanwhile, Bieber was quickly veering from teen pop music to a strong influence from hip-hop culture. Critics praised his courageous attempt at to mix it up and change his baby-face image, but others accused him of being a poser. And more trouble was brewing offstage.
With his personal life and career spinning out of control, the question arose over whether Bieber could survive his own fame.
By the end of 2013 -- after having gotten through puberty, a five-year music career and mega-stardom -- Bieber announced his "retirement" from the public eye. The announcement came from his Twitter account on Christmas Eve, with a simple "my beloved beliebers I'm officially retiring." He was all of 19.
More bad news was on the way in January 2014, when in response to his latest DUI arrest in Miami, a petition to deport Bieber back to Canada was posted on the WhiteHouse.org site. More than 200,000 signatures of outraged Americans were added to the petition to protest "the dangerous, reckless, destructive, and drug abusing, Justin Bieber."
On the comeback trail
Hitting bottom in 2014, Bieber had nowhere to go but up.
In an effort to reclaim his reputation, in 2015 Bieber allowed himself to be skewered in a Comedy Central Roast in which comedians let loose with a barrage of insults. It allowed Bieber to publicly acknowledge his bad behavior, and to critics it was marked the beginning of the "Justin Bieber Apology Tour."
So far, he has announced that he is back in the studio making new music and preparing to shoot a video for his Skrillex/Diplo collaboration "Where Are U Now".