As a young woman in her early twenties, I have to say I am a little perplexed at this whole Justin Bieber phenomenon. He has 5,251,323 followers on Twitter; 11,439,590 friends on Facebook; and his Vevo video Somebody to Love Remix featuring Usher has 63,278,400 views.
In fact, before most people had even heard the name “Justin Bieber”, Justin Timberlake lost out in a bidding war to Usher for the young musical artist’s contractual rights when he was the tender age of 13.
Wait…what?! When I was 13 years old, the biggest decision I had to make was should I get black or white volleyball kneepads? Black stays cleaner longer, but the white goes with the uniforms better. Oh, the dilemma.
Most young, unsigned musical artists struggle to produce and distribute music. Between studio time and recording materials, making music can be costly with little reward. So how the heck did Justin Bieber become one of the most talked about and successful celebrities right behind Lady Gaga and Ashton Kutcher?
It was only 2009 when Bieber dropped his first CD titled, My World. His second CD, cleverly titled, My World 2.0, was released a short time after that. So within two years this 16 year-old boy has become one of the biggest superstars we have seen since Britney Spears was still saving herself for marriage.
The reason Justin Bieber is so popular is not because Usher and Justin Timberlake fought over him like Helen of Troy and it’s not because he is a young, entertaining singer/dancer who has never heard the world “German” before. If you don’t believe me, check this video.
The reason Justin Bieber is so popular is because he used the social media outlet, YouTube, to reach out to his idols. Justin Timberlake and Usher. Check out these videos of a young Justin Bieber singing his heart out…don’t forget to look at the total views on each page. It’s unbelievable.
Singing Alicia Keys’ “Falling”
Singing JT’s “Cry Me a River”
Singing to Usher “You Got it Bad”
Now I’m not saying the kid isn’t talented, because he most certainly is. He can sing, dance, rap, smile, walk and chew gum at the same time. Usher has found himself a cash cow and it was all made possible with YouTube.
Vehicles like YouTube are exactly why that term “overnight sensation” can literally be true. I wonder: if Justin Bieber didn’t upload his videos onto YouTube, would he be in the rich and famous position he finds himself in today?
Maybe. But there’s no doubt YouTube helped Justin Bieber connect with millions of people who just happen to think he is the one-man version of the boy band N’SYNC.
It wasn’t until last week that I finally succumbed to listening to an entire song by Justin Bieber. I am proud to have lasted that long in such a media saturated world, especially since I did my best to avoid it. I don’t hate Justin Bieber, nor do I like him- but he is entertaining. I could watch this kid accidentally run into a revolving door any day of the week. Thanks YouTube.
Justin Bieber running into revolving door-
By Nora Hoeflich