Scooter Braun came across an earthbound angel on YouTube in 2008. His name was Justin Drew Bieber, and he was a Canadian street performer with the voice of a cherub and the face of a cherub on a diet. With Braun, an American talent manager, at his side, 14-year-old Bieber proceeded to ride the wave of his adorable pre-pubescence all the way to a recording contract. Beginning in 2009, the Biebs rocked the Billboard charts with #1 single after #1 single. In 2012 Forbes named him the third most powerful celebrity in the world, estimating that he had earned over $55 million in the last 12 months.
With his monetary success and critical acclaim(ish), Bieber also commands an army of diehard fans, from adolescents discovering their sexuality to mothers and middle-aged women who are rediscovering their own. Beliebers make Twihards’ love of Edward Cullen seem casual, and render Lady Gaga’s monsters as unintimidating as a book club of baby bunnies. Needless to say, these fervent Bieber worshippers were taken aback this year by Justin’s scandalous and unruly behavior. From pot smoking to assault, Bieber’s 2013 was racked with controversy, causing the star to fall from grace like a leather jogging pant-clad, tattooed Lucifer. These scandals pose a particular problem for Bieber, whose image as a squeaky-clean gentleman is integral to wooing his ardent fans.
Bieber’s big blow-up year began on January 5, when pictures surfaced of the rapper making out with a series of blunts (do you kiss Selena Gomez with that mouth?!). Following the leak, Bieber made a pledge to fans to “be better” in the future.
On March 26, Bieber debuted one of the greatest hits on his scandal reel. According to Bieber’s Calabasas neighbors, Justin woke up one early morning and decided to greet the day as all young millionaires must: with a joy ride in his newly-fixed Ferrari. Unsurprisingly, the young star proceeded to drive dangerously quickly, endangering nearby children and pets. At this point, one neighbor stormed over to the artist’s property and screamed at him to be more cautious and respectful in the future. The man reported that Bieber replied by spitting in his face, telling him to “get the fuck out of here” before adding “I’m gonna fucking kill you.” Bieber’s neighbor proceeded to file assault charges against the underage artist. This altercation was followed by a series of lesser incidents in which police were notified of Bieber’s reckless driving in and around his gated community.
After the blatant marijuana usage and charge of assault and battery, Bieber’s handlers probably thought a quiet trip to Amsterdam’s Anne Frank house would be a relative breeze. Those most likely ex-handlers clearly underestimated the damage Justin Bieber can do with a guest book. Bieber signed the museum’s guestbook “Truly inspiring to be able to come here, Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would’ve been a belieber.” Oh Justin, you really shouldn’t have.
From Anne Frank to anger management: in June TMZ obtained audio of an altercation between Bieber and a photographer. In the tape Bieber curses off the reporter, steals his SIM card, and cruelly laughs at his earnest pleas to have his property returned to him. This altercation occurred only a few days after members of Bieber’s security team were charged with assault allegations for choking a different paparazzo.
Unlike most teens, Justin Bieber’s every move is watched and scrutinized. And unlike most teens, Bieber seems to have a unique penchant for getting wasted, peeing in inappropriate places, and even engaging in some light presidential bashing. A video released in early July showed the young star exiting a New York City nightclub through the kitchen. In the short video, Bieber manages to pee in a mop bucket and then spray a cleaning product on a photo of Bill Clinton, all the while cursing off the ex- President.
Then there was that time in October he was carried up the Great Wall of China. How do we know this? Because there was an Instagram photo of him being carried up the Great Wall of China.
Not content to be known as an overly aggressive pothead, in November Bieber added John to his list of descriptors. The 19-year-old and a friend spent more than three hours inside a notorious brothel in Rio de Janeiro before leaving with two women. Bieber tried to sneak out of the house, covering himself in a sheet, but vigilant photographers caught him in the act. On the very same trip to Brazil, a young model and bodybuilder named Tati Neves released footage of Justin Bieber sleeping in her bed. According to Neves, “He’s well endowed, and very good in bed.” TMI, TMZ.
In addition to these unsavory incidents, Bieber’s 2013 has also been categorized by drug raids on his tour bus, photographic evidence of underage drinking, bar/club fights, and multiple cheating and relationship scandals. While the charges that Bieber’s neighbor filed against him didn’t ultimately stick, we’re guessing that Justin’s current path will lead him back to the courtroom, or at the very least rehab.
Bieber will begin to face the daunting task of winning back the trust and admiration of his fan base in 2014. Of course, this challenge is the equivalent of trying to apologize to a million jilted girlfriends, who each genuinely believed that Bieber would make her “one less lonely girl.” We think Bieber should start by wooing each fan with a heartfelt mea culpa and a kick-ass mix tape, and then work his way up to dinner and a movie (don’t worry, he’ll pay). Good luck Justin, and we’d love to take a look at your New Year’s resolutions.