Justin Bieber’s journey through fame has been anything by quiet. Through the years, we’ve watched his career catapult into overnight success at the age of 15. Now, at 23 years old, the star has worked relentlessly to stay connected with his fans over the last eight years, spending 6 of the last 8 years on tour and consistently generating chart-topping hits with no hint of slowing down.
It should come as no surprise, therefore, that after being on tour for six of the last eight years, he needs a break. Abruptly canceling in the remainder of his Purpose World Tour, Bieber is facing public scrutiny and it’s not really fair. The singer kicked off his tour back in March of 2016 and had already performed 150 shows across 6 continents before deciding to cancel his last leg of the tour, generating $200 million in sales. There were 14 shows left spread out over three months.
While there has been backlash, some might find the decision to be mature, as Bieber has respectfully offered to refund the remaining ticket purchases rather than perform a lackluster or labored show for excited fans expecting to get the full experience.
The cancellation announcement comes just a couple days after Bieber was banned from performing in China – a decision that Chinese officials say was decided due to Justin’s previous “bad behavior.” While it’s natural to wonder about the full reasoning behind Bieber’s decision, it is unreasonable to expect the kid to continue performing without a break.
It’s true – Justin’s experience in the limelight has been a winding road. His level of stardom at such a young age is one that isn’t often paralleled, though when it does, it almost always lends itself to a rocky adjustment in the spotlight. While achieving fierce success in his career, Justin’s personal life has seen its struggles.
In 2013, alone Justin was involved in a reckless driving investigation, was accused of assaulting a paparazzo, had his pet monkey confiscated in Germany, was involved in an altercation with a limo driver in Toronto and had a warrant out for his arrest for allegedly ordering his crew to assault a photographer in Argentina. That year, the singer also collapsed on stage during a concert in London.
In 2014, he was arrested for DUI and admitted to drinking, smoking marijuana and taking prescription medication. That year, he also egged his neighbor’s Calabasas home and was involved in another reckless driving incident in which he ran his ATV into a minivan and had an altercation with its driver.
All the while, he’s faced several PR blunders including stating that he hoped Anne Frank would be a Belieber during a visit to the Anne Frank House, posting a photo of Toyko’s Yasukuni Shrine on Instagram and most recently, being videotaped sleeping by a girl in Brazil, and being photographed naked by paparazzi.
Furthermore his love life has been one of heavy public scrutiny. His tumultuous on-and-off relationship with starlet Selena Gomez was one that made headlines for years until their final breakup in 2015.
As a way of extending an olive branch to the public, Justin offered himself up as bait for The Comedy Central Roast of Justin Bieber in which the jokes were anything but merciful. He took the roasting with humility and acknowledged his need to reclaim a sense of normalcy. With many of his legal issues behind him, it appears as though Justin is doing best to move forward and set a new path for himself.
Bieber has come a long from his original releases like “Baby” and “One Time”, with most recently notable hits like “Sorry” and “What Do You Mean?” in 2015, the latter of which he broke down in tears after performing at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards. At the 2016 Grammy Awards, he won his first Grammy, awarded to him for Best Dance Recording for “Where Are Ü Now.”
Justin has been open about his struggles with fame in the past, and announced in May of 2016 that he would no longer be posing for pictures. The experience is one that’s become dehumanizing, and according to the singer, “It has gotten to the point that people won’t even say hi to me or recognize me as a human. I feel like a zoo animal, and I wanna be able to to keep my sanity.”
When asked about the cancellation, Bieber told a reporter: “”I’ve been on tour for two years.” He added that he was looking forward to “resting, getting some relaxation. We’re gonna ride some bikes.”
With so many artists and celebrities suffering from depression and mental health issues, Justin’s decision to step down from the remaining dates in his world tour is one that appears both responsible and crucial. We can only hope that Justin takes this opportunity to rest up and take advantage of this well-earned time off.