Justin Bieber added an electronic glow to “Lonely,” his stripped-down collaboration with Benny Blanco, during Spotify’s virtual Stream On event. The singer also played his other recent singles “Holy” and “Anyone” for the three-song set, which premiered Monday.
“I want to thank my friends at Spotify for asking me to perform exclusively at Stream On,” Bieber said in a statement. “This event is a first, so I wanted to do something I hadn’t done before with this special version of Lonely. I’m always inspired by creativity, and Spotify Stream On shared some incredible conversations on the vision for the future.”
The performance opened with “Holy,” Bieber crooning over his band’s fingerpicked acoustic guitars and live drums in a shadowy, candle-lit space. From there, a digital backdrop transported the singer to a desert road, where he belted “Lonely” over dewy electric piano, vocal samples and bright electronics. He closed with with the retro power ballad “Anyone,” the musicians perched atop platforms amid the clouds.
In other Spotify news, former President Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen announced a podcast that partners the streaming service with Barack and Michelle Obama’s production company Higher Ground. The eight-episode series, Renegades: Born in the USA, will explore topics like race, fatherhood, marriage, role models, modern masculinity and the state of America. The first two episodes are now available exclusively to Spotify users.
Introducing the first installment, Obama stated, “How did we get here? How could we find our way back to a more unifying American story? That topic came to dominate so many of my conversations last year — with Michelle, with my daughters, and with friends. And one of the friends just happened to be Mr. Bruce Springsteen.”