Justin Bieber delved into the damaging, brutal world of being a young celebrity in a new Billboard cover story, telling the magazine, “I wouldn’t suggest being a child star. It’s the toughest thing in the world.”
While the profile captures Bieber in the midst of his 2015 redemption, much of it finds the pop star looking back and grappling with his stunning rise and equally fast fall. The singer was blunt about the detrimental impact the spotlight can have on young people, especially young women.
“I want people to be more kind to young celebrities,” he said. “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.”
Channeling his own experiences, Bieber added: “I hurt for some people. Everything is so [based] on people’s looks and stuff … Look at the statistics on how many child stars have crumbled and turned out to be wack jobs.”
As for his own struggles with fame, Bieber admitted the façade was often prettier than the reality. “Certain things broke my trust with people,” he said. “Situations happen that taint your mind. I started going through the motions. 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.”
Having nearly fallen off that cliff, Bieber’s apology tour — which has included a heartfelt appearance on Ellen, a brutal Comedy Central roast, a tearful VMA performance and three hit songs — has been remarkable. The pop star’s longtime manager, Scooter Braun, said he’s received praise for “orchestrating [Bieber’s] comeback,” but denied any master plan.
“I failed for a year and a half,” Braun said. “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.”
Bieber will put the finishing touches on his comeback on November 13th, when he releases his new album, and first in three years, Purpose.
Read the whole story at Billboard.