Justin Bieber granted his 200th wish for the Make-A-Wish Foundation this weekend and broke a record to become the first recording artist to grant the most wishes in the organization’s 33-year history.
The teen singer achieved the milestone before his last North American Believe tour show in Atlanta, Georgia on Saturday, August 10, when he met eight-year-old Annalysha Brown-Rafanan.
Annalysha suffers from a life threatening liver condition and she and her family were told by Make-A-Wish last Christmas that they would be traveling to Atlanta to meet her idol.
“Justin Bieber makes her happy,” said mom, Contrina Brown, echoing observations by other parents on the positive effects of a wish experience. “And through all her illness and poking and all that, it just takes away from ‘I’m sick.’”
During the meet, Annalyshsa probed the teen star on his favorite song (“You Smile,” “That Should Be Me,” “Catching Feeling”), favorite destination (“Japan”), and best video game, (“NBA2K”).
Funny moments came when Bieber said he found having make-up put on him “emasculating,” and admitted his mom’s cooking is “getting better now but [she] used to be terrible.”
Saving the best for last, Annalysha then asked the heartthrob to marry her. To which, the “Baby” singer promptly said he should do the asking and got down on one knee before the delighted little girl.
Bieber has worked with the Foundation since 2009 and the 199 other wishes he has granted took place before concerts. As well as meeting and interacting with the children his team also purchase upgraded tickets for the families who accompany them.
Back in April, the singer’s manager Scooter Braun first announced Justin was on track to become the biggest musician wish granter. However, the biggest contribution by any individual belongs to World Wrestling Entertainment wrestler superstar John Cena, whose wish count is said to exceed 400.
For some, Bieber’s climactic wrap to his North American tour dates and Make-A-Wish record will sit contrarily alongside the negative press he has generated or attracted over the past five months.
Previous incidents have included an unfortunate encounter with a janitorial mop bucket, accusations galore, various gaffes both on and off tour, paparazzo run-ins, single digit late shows, and yesterday’s exploitative publication of leaked nude photos of the singer.
But to Make-A-Wish, Annalysha, and the other children Bieber has met over the past four years, the effort and time he gives to them is also worth noting — and appreciating.
Make-A-Wish America president and CEO David Williams said of Bieber’s work with them: “Despite his relentless schedule, Justin has been genuinely committed to granting wishes since the very beginning and a strong supporter of Make-A-Wish.”
He added: “Justin understands the impact on a child of a wish-come-true and how it can create positive changes in their outlook, help them feel better, and even influence their health.”
Joining Bieber’s fans, the foundation sent congratulatory tweets to the 2013 Teen Choice winner, one of which thanked him for granting “so many amazing wishes.”
— Make-A-Wish America (@MakeAWish) August 12, 2013
Bieber is currently on a break from his tour until it resumes in Asia in September. It remains to be seen whether Make-A-Wish’s biggest recording artist contributor, who also supports several other outreach efforts and charities, will be allowed some respite from the endless criticism he receives.
One day after breaking the record, the 19-year-old posted a message to Make-A-Wish.
@MakeAWish honored yesterday. one of the best moments ive ever had. thank u. looking forward to doing more together. thanks
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) August 11, 2013