Pop sensation's early years of stardom
Published Saturday, January 2, 2010 7:28PM EST
Last Updated Friday, December 14, 2012 9:06AM EST
Since the first radio broadcasts there has been one constant phenomenon: the teenage pop star. Many hit the airwaves as an overnight sensation, only to disappear within a few years. In rare cases, their appeal endures: Frank Sinatra began his career as a teenage heartthrob; The Beatles attracted early attention singing simple melodies that tugged on the heartstrings of adoring young girls. But the majority of teen singers simply fade into obscurity.
Don't tell that to Justin Bieber, the 15-year-old singing sensation from Stratford, Ont. who has taken the pop music world by storm and whose career shows no signs of abating.
"Five years down the road," said Bieber, in an interview with W5, " I see myself furthering my career, maybe win a Grammy."
With Justin, there's a modern twist: He was discovered on the Internet. He posted videos of himself singing at a talent contest, when Scooter Braun, a talent-hungry record industry manager in Atlanta happened on the 12-year-old Justin.
Braun, 25, wanted to make his mark in the music business by finding the next Michael Jackson. When he clicked on Bieber's home-made video, he knew he had found something special.
"I was really impressed with you know, how young he was and how he was holding the crowd and with his guitar and you know, he was raw talent. And my gut just went off and I said, 'I need to find this kid'," said Braun.
The music manager flew Justin and his mother to Atlanta and, through Braun's connections in the music industry, soon Justin was auditioning for pop celebrities Usher and Justin Timberlake. Both immediately saw star potential and pursued the youngster to sign a record deal. In the end, Braun negotiated a deal with Usher as co-executive producer for Bieber's debut CD 'My World.'
Now, at the ripe old age of 15, Justin Bieber is the It-Boy of the moment. 'My World' immediately became the top-ranked album in Canada when it was released in November. In the U.S., 'My World' was hit the Billboard charts with four songs on the Top 20. His video, "One Time", has been viewed more than 100 million times on the Internet.
Young tween girls can't seem to get enough of Justin and sometimes it gets out of hand. Last fall, Justin was schedule to sign autographs at a Long Island, New York mall. Three thousand screaming girls almost caused a riot and four people were taken to hospital.
But, according to some music industry experts, whether Justin Bieber is just another poster boy-child for young girls or a real talent who has staying-power remains to be seen. According to Jake Gold, a veteran music executive and former judge on Canadian Idol, it'll take five years before Bieber really establishes himself as a credible artist.
"There's only so much marketing and PR you can do, " said Gold. "Ultimately, he's going to have to stand on his own talent, if he truly is talented."
Gold told W5 that will only happen when the hype dies down and Justin gets down to the real business of music: singing, playing and writing music. But in the meantime, Justin Bieber is happy to bask in the glorious glow of stardom.
"I love being on stage. I love to be able to perform for my fans," said Bieber. "I like to get to see their smile and being able to hear their screaming because I'm doing something that they want. I really love to perform."