Teen idol Beiber gets schooled in cool
If the high-profile mentors, millions of YouTube views anduncontrollable female fans aren’t enough, pop-soul singer Justin Bieberhas another enviable asset to facilitate his ascent to superstardom.
If the high-profile mentors, millions of YouTube views and uncontrollable female fans aren’t enough, pop-soul singer Justin Bieber has another enviable asset to facilitate his ascent to superstardom.
"I have a swagger coach that helps me and teaches me different swaggerific things to do," revealed the 15-year-old Stratford native, making history as the first solo artist to have four songs from a debut album, My World, in Billboard’s Hot 100 prior to its release today.
In a business that’s as much about image as sound, Bieber’s co-manager, R&B star Usher, 31, hand-picked a wardrobe consultant/Man Friday for the youth.
"He has helped me with my style and just putting different pieces together and being able to layer and stuff like that," said Bieber of the ministrations of Ryan Good, 24, whose official title is road manager.
"Usher called me and said he thought Justin would benefit from being around a cool white boy," said hippieish Florida native Good.
While making his own first album, a teenaged Usher was famously tutored in the ways of the world by an über-cool black guy: decade-older rap impresario Diddy, with whom he was housed in New York. Bieber’s relationship with the Atlanta-based Usher seems tame by comparison. "He’s like a big brother to me," said Bieber. "We just hang out and don’t really talk about music a lot. We go go-karting and to arcades and movies."
If Bieber really wanted to chill with a cool white boy, he could have done worse than A-lister Justin Timberlake, who lost the bidding war for him to Usher.
"It wasn’t really a personality thing because they were both great people, and they were both nice and very kind," said Bieber of that tough choice. The performer, who also plays drums, guitar, piano and trumpet, came to the attention of industry vet Scooter Braun after posting his renditions of Usher, Ne-Yo and Stevie Wonder songs on YouTube. On the eve of his album release, Bieber’s racked up more than 100 million YouTube views and has four tunes – "One Time," "Favourite Girl," "Love Me" and "One Less Lonely Girl" – on Billboard’s decisive singles chart.
Bieber Fever was in full effect when the tween throb breezed through the GTA recently, chatting it up at local radio stations, doing interviews, signing autographs and performing a sold-out show.
Hundreds of girls between 6 and 16 gathered from the wee hours outside both Vaughan Mills mall and the Kool Haus in the hopes of getting close to their idol du jour.
"My heart belongs to Justin," gushed Pickering’s Alyssa Stockla, 13, whose parents let her skip school to line up ahead of the Friday night concert.
Her pal Yasmin Rowchan, 14, itemized the entertainer’s attributes: "He’s multi-talented, his voice, his beauty, his hotness, his everything."
It’s not just a Canadian thing: more than 2,000 people reportedly turned out for Bieber’s The Today Show performance at New York’s Rockefeller Plaza last month.