Oh, Biebs, not again!
Justin Bieber has always made headlines, but lately, the the 19-year-old superstar is making news that doesn’t cast him in the most positive light. The latest report: Swedish police discovered a small amount of drugs (reportedly marijuana) and a stun gun on one of Bieber’s tour buses. It’s the latest in a series of incidents that have plagued the singer throughout the European leg of his Believe Tour. From orphaned monkeys and on-stage spewage, to late-starting concerts and ill-thought-out messages left at solemn historical sites, Bieber isn’t doing much to dispel claims he’s shaping up to be pop-music’s foremost enfant terrible. Indeed, Bieber’s 2013 has thus far been marked by one unfortunate escapade after another.
We’ve rounded up some of Bieber’s bigger missteps over the last few months to put this latest incident in perspective. Check out our timeline of Bieber’s decidedly un-swaggy 2013 below.
The year began on a high note, so to speak.
On Jan. 4, TMZ published a series of pictures of Bieber smoking what appeared to be marijuana. Just a few hours after the pics went live, Bieber took to his Twitter to say, “Everyday growing and learning. trying to be better. u get knocked down, u get up.”
So, you know, he seemed to have learned some life lessons from the incident, at least?
In December 2012, when the nominations for the 2013 Grammys were announced, Bieber and his manager, Scooter Braun, did not hold back their feelings about the singer’s lack of nominations. They were mad as hell, and they weren’t going to take it anymore. Or something.
But things started to get really interesting as the Feb. 10 ceremony drew near. Bieber decided not to attend, understandably, but went further, attempting to siphon viewers from the show by promising a Ustream for fans that same night. It was a failed stunt, marred by technical difficulties and plenty of pouting. This year’s Grammy Awards went on to draw their second-largest audience in 20 years.
After the ceremony, Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney was asked whether he thought Bieber should have been nominated and replied, “I mean … I don’t know. Grammys are for music, not for money … and I don’t know. He’s making a lot of money. He should be happy, I guess.” The comment infuriated the singer, who tweeted to his then-34 million followers, “the black keys drummer should be slapped around haha.”
Well, slap they did… or at least they tried to. Bieber’s dedicated fans pelted the drummer with comments via Twitter, but rather than back down, Carney trolled Bieber’s fans, responding sarcastically to the insults and briefly changing his name to “Justin Bieber.” In the end, most stories celebrated Carney’s humor while calling Bieber a brat for starting the Twitter feud in the first place.
Both on the road and at home in California, March may have been Bieber’s roughest month yet.
The trouble started in London, where Bieber was set to play four sold-out shows at the city’s O2 Arena. Looking to celebrate his birthday in the British capital on March 1, Bieber hit the town with an entourage of friends. However, a confrontation at a club led to the group’s ejection, prompting the star to tweet his frustrations. “Worst birthday,” he wrote. If only the bumps stopped with a bummer b-day.
On March 5, Bieber outraged fans after arriving on stage nearly two hours late for a concert at the O2. Just two nights later, he fainted during a show, leading to a brief hospitalization, where posted to Instagram yet another in a seemingly endless string of shirtless pictures, a proclivity that also has been widely mocked. Shortly after that, the popster cancelled two shows in Lisbon, Portugal due to “unforeseen circumstances.”
Bieber returned to his California home on March 26 after a concert in Poland and found himself immediately in trouble with police, following an altercation with a neighbor who claimed that he had been threatened and struck by Bieber.
Two days later, Beiber flew to Munich, Germany to resume his tour, this time bringing along his capuchin monkey, Mally. But when the singer was unable to provide the necessary safety documents for the exotic pet to customs, officials quarantined the monkey, and it remains in Munich — where Bieber apparently intends to leave it.
Sprinkled through practically all of the above incidents were assorted confrontations with paparazzi. So, a very bad month all around.
Things had calmed down a bit, until Bieber visited the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. In the historical site’s guest book, Bieber wrote, “Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber.”
The comment set off a firestorm of commentary online, with many claiming Bieber had been disrespectful and insensitive to Frank’s memory.
(For it’s part, the Anne Frank House defended the star on its Facebook page, saying, “The Anne Frank House was pleased to welcome Justin Bieber to the Anne Frank House last Friday. We think it is very positive that he took the time and effort to visit our museum. He was very interested in the story of Anne Frank and stayed for over an hour. We hope that his visit will inspire his fans to learn more about her life and hopefully read the diary.”)
Which brings us to today’s incident in Stockholm…
Bieber had already left Sweden for Helsinki, Finland, where he has a concert tomorrow, before the items were found.
It’s hard not to have some sympathy for the guy — at age 19, he’s one of the most relentlessly pursued stars on the planet, carrying the weight of a massive tour, while the world watches and throws stones at his every wrong move. And this is a long list of incidents for anyone to experience in such a short amount of time, regardless of who they are or how many assistants they can hire to mitigate the damage.
But we’ve also seen the “I make mistakes … That’s part of growing up” card thrown down again and again by celebrities as an excuse. When the next words out of that same person’s mouth are “I want to be a good role model, but some people want me to fail” it starts to wear especially thin. To us, that sounds like someone trying to pass the buck on their own bratty misbehavior.
Bieber has a tight itinerary of concerts scheduled all the way through August 10. At this point, the best thing he could do for himself and his fans is keep his head low and do what he does best — perform.
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