The singer's new album, "Purpose," is out Friday
The star has been everywhere promoting it
His world tour begins March 9
Justin Bieber is being pretty overt with his repentance.
The singer’s new album, which drops Friday, is titled “Purpose”; one of the hit singles is “Sorry”; and Bieber has been talking plenty about how, at the age of 21, he’s putting his shenanigans behind him and focusing on his career.
He also announced a world tour for the album, which will start March 9 in Seattle.
“Purpose” is poised to be one of the biggest albums of the year, and much is being made of “Bieber’s comeback.” But should fans “belieb” that the former bad boy has turned over a new leaf?
“I wouldn’t suggest being a child star,” the singer recently told Billboard magazine. “It’s the toughest thing in the world.”
For Bieber, that’s been a bit of an understatement.
After storming the music industry in 2008 with some hit YouTube videos, Bieber went from teen phenom to alleged delinquent. The claims against him included a DUI in Miami Beach and the vandalism of a neighbor’s house with eggs (he agreed to a plea deal the DUI case and reportedly paid restitution for the egg-throwing incident).
His behavior was a thing of tabloid dreams, enough to earn him a Comedy Central roast. And now, after taking a year off, the Biebs is back.
Bieber recently told TV host Jimmy Fallon that “I just had a bunch of knuckleheads around me, and that’s never good.”
“I just went through a place of just trying to figure it out,” he said. “You have to figure out what you are OK with and what you’re not OK with, but you have to test the waters. I just happened to be … in the spotlight in front of cameras all the time.”
His single “What Do You Mean” went to No. 1 on iTunes in less than five minutes. The New York Times dissected the song in an article and a video, exploring the new partnership between Bieber and electronic dance music impresarios Diplo and Skrillex.
Along the way, Bieber did what he does best: kept the faithful amped for the album’s release by directing them to his new videos and sharing the types of Instagrams that keep Beliebers around the world enthralled.
His Instagram account is so massive, with more than 43.5 million followers, that the company told Wired it had to figure out a new system for how to handle the overabundance of “likes.”
Pal and early fan Ellen DeGeneres helped with the effort, declaring “Bieber week” on her show ahead of his album release and surprising some superfans with the chance to meet him and receive tickets to a concert.
“I’m real. You can touch me,” he told one sobbing fan as he hugged her.
Though it’s not that there haven’t been some missteps lately with his image.
In October, he was criticized for stopping a concert and leaving the stage in Spain after overzealous fans refused to let him clean up a spill. The same week, he left in the middle of an interview at a Spanish radio station. He later apologized via social media.
Around the same time, he released another single, “I’ll Show You.” The lyrics seemed a message to his critics:
“My life is a movie and everyone’s watching
So let’s get to the good part and past all the nonsense
Sometimes it’s hard to do the right thing
When the pressure’s coming down like lightning
It’s like they want me to be perfect
When they don’t even know that I’m hurting
This life’s not easy, I’m not made out of steel
Don’t forget that I’m human, don’t forget that I’m real”