The moment Justin Bieber went off the rails

In fifteen years of career, Justin Bieber has accumulated as many moments of glory as personal difficulties. Getty Images North America

Analysis

A selfie posted on Sunday, tears as big as Sicilian lemons, a cascade of questions. Basically, what’s the problem with Justin Bieber? Between rumors of marital troubles, episodes of depression and chronic health concerns, in 15 years of career, the musician has collected as many awards as he has pots and pans. Investigation of a repentant ex-fan.

Marine

“In your opinion, Justin, when was the moment when he really went into a tailspin?”

By sending this text to Ana, in the wake of the selfie published on Sunday by my former idol, her face split by rivers of tears, my colleague seems embarrassed.

A selfie published on Sunday caused panic among the singer's fans.

A selfie published on Sunday caused panic among the singer’s fans. instagram

Although she is an eminent celebrity expert and a keen connoisseur of Justin Bieber’s career, she is hard-pressed to answer me.

Ana

Wow, you’re tackling a big piece. Where to start?

I realize the magnitude of my mission. Determine the tipping point. The moment when this musical gem with a golden voice, unearthed in the depths of an Ontario town and propelled onto the world stage at the age of 14, was broken.

A sweet obsession

During a dive into my memories and the archives, I become Marine again, 12 years old. A preteen lost in the middle of her existential questions and oversized purple sweatshirts, her complexes and the inevitable acne. The only constant in this vast physical, hormonal and emotional mess: Justin Bieber.

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 15: Justin Bieber attends KIIS FM's 2010 Wango Tango Concert at Staples Center on May 15, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)

The legendary fuse, which aroused as much adoration as murder among its detractors.Image: FilmMagic

It’s February 2010 and, like hundreds of millions of other fans, I was hit. On Youtube. Touched to the heart by this little guy with cute dimples and characteristic locks, wiggling in a bowling alley and proclaiming to a brunette prettier than me: Baby, baby, baby, baby, ooooooooh. A chorus that soon plays in a loop on my MP3, taken up in chorus by my friends in the playground, while the boys giggle or roll their eyes.

Pff, the jealous ones.

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 12: Singer Justin Bieber performs onstage during the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards at NOKIA Theater LA LIVE on September 12, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevi...

Getty Images North America

Here I am inhabited. Long-term obsessed with this fawn with the voice of a choirboy and almost painful beauty. In spring 2010, I read, I sleep, I eat, I breathe Justin Bieber. His album My World punctuate my journeys to school, sleepovers and my first romantic disappointments in sixth grade. Valentin has a new girlfriend? I collapse on That Should Be Me. Did I fall for Marc-Antoine? I hum One Love. In a dreamy mood? I hum Up.

Her sparkling hazel eyes, plump lips and haunting mop of hair are everywhere. The walls of my room, my school notebooks, my diary, my Skyblog, even my bedding set. Without forgetting my MySpace and Twitter accounts, created especially to be able to follow the adventures of my idol in real time.

And I’m not the only one.

In September 2010, Justin Bieber represented 3% of all traffic generated on the platform, now renamed X.

From the lyrics to the tiniest detail of his (brief) biography, I recite everything by heart. His childhood in a modest family in Stratford, Ontario. Ice hockey practices and Sundays at church. Self-taught drums, guitar and trumpet. And then, the stroke of genius of his mother, Pattie Mallette: posting the young prodigy’s covers on YouTube. Videos that will catch the eye of an agent looking for young talent, Scooter Braun.

Justin Bieber was only 13 years old when he became Usher’s protégé. A year later, he sang in front of Barack Obama at the White House.

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 21: Recording artist Usher (L) and musician Justin Bieber pose in the audience during the 2010 American Music Awards held at Nokia Theater LA Live on November 21, 2010 in ...

Justin and his mentor, Usher, in 2010.Getty Images North America

The beginning of decadence

A kid thrown into a global frenzy, thrilling, violent, unstoppable. A teenager like any other who, overnight, can “give her mom a house” and pay for the famous vacation to DisneyWorld that she couldn’t afford. Give in to your wildest impulses. Parading around in a bright yellow Lamborghini or adopting a pet monkey. A necessarily immature kid, for whom masses of horny teenage girls would be ready to kill. Me first.

I will never forget the feeling of this furious pit in the Hallenstadion in Zurich, this April 8, 2011. Justin Bieber’s first concert in Switzerland. Ready for anything, nudges, fangs or claws, to be able to get as close as possible to the stage. The heat is unbearable, the girls are dropping like flies, evacuated by security agents. So much the better. My chance, who knows, to catch a bottle of water thrown into the audience, a drop of sweat, a spit. Anything, as long as it’s “my” Justin’s DNA. We are in a trance. This concert will be one of the most beautiful moments of my life.

Justin Bieber promotes his new book 'First Step 2 Forever' at Barnes & Noble, 5th Avenue in New York City. (Photo by Walter McBride/Corbis via Getty Images)

Swarms of fans in New York, waiting for JB.Image: Corbis Entertainment

And then, without warning, Justin Bieber breaks down.

Is it this overflow of affection? The dizziness of fame? The sudden incursion of the paparazzi into one’s privacy, at an age when we especially want to be left alone? The prospect of a bank account stuffed with millions, when once he had to count every cent? The return of his father, Jeremy, an ex-con with a penchant for drinking and fighting? His highly publicized breakups with Selena Gomez? His bad company? Or, as fans recently suggested, potential abuse from rapper Diddy?

Maybe all of that at once. After five years under the strict protection of his manager and his team, the “nice boy” who flew over his audience decked out in a pair of wings, takes out his horns. To become the tabloids’ favorite “bad boy”. In March 2014, the magazine Rolling Stone dedicates an article to the descent into hell of the fallen angel, who spends his nights and alcohol in the VIP room of a Miami strip club with the scent of weed. At his side, his father sips a beer while enjoying the parade of strippers hired by his 19-year-old son.

MIAMI BEACH, FL - MARCH 04: In this handout photo provided by the Miami Beach Police Department and released on March 4, 2014, singer Justin Bieber displays his tattoos for police documentation while ...

Getty Images North America

Justin Bieber then comes out of two painful years, where the tattoos followed one another to the rhythm of his escapades. Racist graffiti, vomiting on stage, peeing in a bucket while shouting “Fuck Bill Clinton”, attacks by bodyguards, throwing eggs at your neighbor’s house, arrest while driving a luxury car, mugshot. Not forgetting a happy cocktail made with cough syrup and MDMA.

In the early morning, his security guards sneak into his room to feel his pulse and make sure he is still alive.

“At 20, I made every bad decision possible. I went from being one of the most loved and adored people in the world, to the most ridiculed, judged and hated person in the world.”

Justin Bieber,
in an Instagram post.

At that time, I had already forgotten “my” Justin a little. The posters were taken down, other idols replaced him. The Patafix left stains. While the pink walls of my room give way to beige, my old baby knocks himself out with antidepressants and IVs. He was diagnosed with Lyme disease, mononucleosis. Then, more recently, Ramsay Hunt syndrome.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 06: Justin Bieber is seen on February 06, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Jackson Lee/GC Images)

Although he has calmed down from the excesses of recent years, Justin has accumulated numerous health problems. GC Images

Redemption

Remission, dip, remission, dip. Justin Bieber’s life over the past ten years has been like a roller coaster. Between a toxic love triangle and rehab, concert cancellations and chronic exhaustion, more balanced, stable, perhaps sincerely happy periods.

“I believe that at this point in my life, I am exactly where I am supposed to be, doing what I believe God wants me to do. And there is nothing more rewarding”

Justin Bieber

Ups and downs like his marriage to Hailey Bieber, a woman who, according to Justin, “takes care of him like no one ever has.” Despite persistent rumors of marital turmoil, separated homes or impending divorce, the couple will celebrate their sixth wedding anniversary this year.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 27: Justin Bieber and Hailey Bieber attend the premiere of YouTube Original's

“She is a consistent, stabilizing force in his life,” a friend tells GQ of Hailey Bieber.Getty Images North America

Deep down, I wonder. Does Justin Bieber have Really derailed?

Only he knows it. Like the reasons for this tearful selfie which, in the absence of an explanation, allowed fans to spread hypotheses. Nothing serious, assures a relative at Daily Mail: “Justin wears his emotions on his sleeve and it’s no secret that he is very religious. He is not ashamed or embarrassed, because he wants people to see his emotions. It helps him get through whatever he’s going through.”

“He thinks people should be vulnerable, and he is. He thinks it shows a certain maturity he didn’t have before. In a word, he finds it magnificent”

A relative of the singer, Daily Mail.

Gorgeous. Like the emotions and memories that this funny boy was able to give me. After years of hiatus, I surprised myself by listening to Justin Bieber again. Appreciate this musical maturity, savor this familiar timbre of voice. And perhaps better understand this complex, fragile character. Neither angel nor demon. And which undoubtedly promises us many other emotional lifts.

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