Justin Bieber has spoken out about the pressures facing child stars, saying achieving fame before adulthood is “the toughest thing in the world”.
In an interview with Billboard, the 21-year-old singer – whose reinvention as a serious artist continues with a new album to be released on Def Jam next week – said: “Look at the statistics on how many child stars have crumbled and turned out to be wack jobs … It’s fucked, bro, this lifestyle.”
Bieber called for child celebrities to be be treated more kindly. “Like Kylie [Jenner]. Look at her world: she has been living on TV since she was a kid. Every time she’s looking around she sees a camera, and that’s affecting how she’s thinking and how she’s perceiving people and why she has to do certain things … Situations that happen taint your mind, especially in this industry. Especially for girls.”
Bieber – who had a string of well-publicised incidents of bad behaviour – said he was close to letting fame “completely destroy me” two years ago. He said he felt lost, and would tell himself: “You’re not good enough. People hate you.”
It was two years ago that Bieber announced his retirement, though that proved to be short-lived. His remarks to Billboard suggest, however, that his intention might have been genuine.
Recent events suggest Bieber hasn’t been able to completely shake off the pressure he feels. Last week he cut short a show in Norway after just one song. “I’m done. I’m not doing the show,” he told the crowd, complaining that the front rows would not listen to him. “I don’t always handle things the right way, but I’m human and I’m working on getting better at responding, not reacting,” he said afterwards.
This article was written by Guardian music, for theguardian.com on Friday 6th November 2015 07.57 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010