Justin Bieber recently made it very clear — some would say justifiably — that his success put a considerable distance between him and those who compare him to Lindsay Lohan. But if you wanted to put a figure on that distance try $150 million, and that’s just for starters.
Despite making shocking if exaggerated headlines over the last few weeks while on the UK leg of his 125-date “Believe” world tour, there’s little danger Bieber won’t continue to be a financial and musical force for many years to come.
The Canadian superstar has built a fortune most people could never make, or perhaps even dream of. Forbes estimates that the 19-year-old’s earnings for the year ending May 2012 came to $55 million. Between May 2010 and May 2011, the pop star earned $53 million totaling a haul of $110 million in two years.
A pretty remarkable achievement considering where this phenomenon began. Back in Statford, Ontario in 2007, his mother Patti Mallette posted her then 12-year-old’s son’s second place talent show win online — mainly for friends and family who had not been able to attend the contest, according to Bieber.
One million plus views and many R&B covers YouTubes later, a bidding war took place between record company heads, and vet artists Usher and Justin Timberlake. Usher won, signing a 360 deal with the, then, 14-year-old Bieber, his manager Scooter Braun under the Raymond Braun Media Group, and Island Records.
From there, the rest is history.
From debut single “One Time,” a cut off Bieber’s first 2009 albums My World and My World 2.0 — which yielded seven hit singles —- through to 2012 third studio album Believe and acoustic album add-ons, the pop star has sold over 15 million albums and counting.
But like most modern artists — Beyonce, Lady GaGa, Jay-Z, and Katy Perry to name a few — singing and album sales may be Bieber’s bread and butter but it’s certainly not his only income source. Between merchandise, sponsorship deals and movies, it’s the kind of diversification that enables big-name artists to make money in the download era.
In addition to album sales of around $48.5 million, he earned around $150 million from concerts, stacking up nearly $100 million from his 2011 concert-biopic Never Say Never which followed the singer during the ten days leading up to his August 2010 sold-out show at Madison Square Garden.
Throw in Bieber’s three fragrances — 2010’s MyWorld Unisex scent, 2011’s Someday which pulled in around $60m and shattered sales records in its first six months on the market, and 2012’s Girlfriend — a $1 million advert for Best buy and a brand deal with ProActiv; and this young entrepreneur is currently straddling a financial empire worth upwards of $150 million.
Fittingly, considering his YouTube beginnings and Twitter dominance, this child of the 1990’s has invested some of his wealth into tech start-ups. Forbes reports Bieber’s venture investments to be around $3 million and lists Spotify, Tinychat, Enflick, Sojo Studios, and Stamped. Most of these either create or host content that appeals to the teen audiences Bieber also connects with.
Paparazzi shots of Bieber and a recent accident involving his chrome hybrid Fisher Karma and rapper Lil Twist, evidence a liking for fast toys. A $20,000 Ducati 848 EVO superbike, two Ferrari’s, and a Cadillac CTS-V modified to look like a Batmobile are just some of the elite transports the star owns.
As for where he calls home, although Bieber has always said he has no plans to adopt US citizenship, he has at least two properties in the States including a $6 million pad in Calabasas, California and a $10.8 million Hollywood Hills base.
But if anyone thinks the young star doesn’t give back, think again.
A declared Christian, Bieber contributes to a number of charities including the It Gets Better Project which aims to prevent suicide among lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender youth. The teen star also supports the Music Makes It Better campaign which was launched by the Children’s National Medical Center in June 2012 and takes celebrities into hospitals to visit sick children.
Bieber also donated a portion of the proceeds from sales of his second album, 2011’s Mistletoe to the Believe Charity Drive. Funds raised were spread among seven charities including The-Make-A-Wish Foundation, Project Medishare for Haiti, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the Grammy Foundation.
Not just a pretty face then.
Are you surprised at how much money Justin Bieber has made in just four years?