Justin Bieber Tweets He’s Officially Retiring, A Look At Why

Justin Bieber’s tweet announcement, “My beloved beliebers I’m officially retiring,” posted Christmas Eve sent seismic ripples across the Internet.

The singer’s first bombshell was encored by two further tweets apparently explaining his decision to walk away from one of the biggest careers in recent pop music history, and offer some solace to his massive fan base.

Many fans couldn’t initially decide whether the 19-year-old was pranking them or really was bowing out from the spotlight.

Bieber’s second tweet to his over 47 million followers read:

“The media talks a lot about me. They make up a lot of lies and want me to fail but I’m never leaving you, being a believer is a lifestyle.”

The departing icon signed off with a seasonal tweet,

“Be kind loving to each other, forgive each other as god forgave us through Christ Merry Christmas” adding, “IM HERE FOREVER.”

Bieber’s announcement, which at this point we’re taking at its word although it could all be a wind-up, comes after the singer’s declaration on Los Angeles radio station Power 106 last Tuesday to host Big Boy [Kurt Alexander]: “After the new album, I’m actually retiring man, I’m retiring.”

Seconds later he stepped back from the comment and said he was “messing around,” later adding in the same interview, “I want to grow as an artist, and I’m taking a step out, I want my music to mature.”

Bieber’s manager Scooter Braun later denied his protégé was retiring, instead telling various outlets that same day he was taking a year off in 2014 while he worked on his next album.

Braun repeated this reframing during a guest spot on Ryan Seacrest’s radio show and the Believe movie premiere on December 18.

The 32-year-old, who discovered Justin in 2006 destroying YouTube views with R&B covers of artists including Justin Timberlake, Chris Brown, Neo, and mentor-to-be Usher, told Access Hollywood last week,

“This is the thing about these Vines [Power 106 posted a video extract of the moment] people post: they’re only a certain amount of time, so they cut off before the rest of the statement when he says ‘just kidding.'”

“I think for his wellbeing at 19, 20 years old [it’s good for him] to take time for himself, to figure out who he wants to be,” Braun added.

At the Believe premiere, further indications of a mulling Bieber could be seen in his overt but wary presence at the event. It was later reported he bailed on all press interviews apart from a few words with event hosts MTV.

Asked by MTV’s Christina Garibaldi to reassure fans he wasn’t retiring, the heartthrob evaded with:

“I don’t know if that’s a joke,” he said. “I don’t know. I don’t know.”

Bieber went on to say he wanted to get to know his family more in 2014 and “figure out myself as a man.”

That Bieber is taking his foot off the pedal of a life lived on blast isn’t surprising.

Over the past two years a tide of incidents, rumors, and allegations of varying credibility have engulfed the singer.

Notables include, Mariah Yeater’s false paternity claim back in 2011, and accusations of assault against Justin made by paparazzo Jose Osmin Hernandez Duran and ex-bodyguard Moshe Benabou. Both claims are due to resolve in 2014.

Fast forward to an inauspicious Believe tour opening night last September during which the singer threw up on stage, split from Selena Gomez two months later, before snaps of him allegedly smoking a joint surfaced in January.

But even those headlines paled against the press acceleration in March during the London leg of the tour.

A PR disaster from start to finish, the star’s first night at London’s 02 Arena was delayed by an hour and a half, which forced furious parents to take their young children or teens home before the concert ended. Bieber fainted backstage at the same venue that same week and was briefly hospitalized.

An expletive-filled spat with a paparazzo was captured on film the next day.

Later lowlights included, footage of Justin urinating in a New York restaurant mop bucket; the seizure of his former pet monkey by Munich airport customs; a pile-up of lawsuits; a vandalism charge from Rio police for graffiti; a farcical exodus from a brothel; and a viral sleeping video filmed by an alleged porn model also in Brazil.

So, too, did stories based on conjecture, or he said/she said. Most of these were firmly denied by the singer’s camp at the time, yet are persistently repeated in the press as if fact.

These included, an accusation that Bieber spat on fans from a Toronto balcony during a July tour stop; followed by a claim from an Ohio-based DJ alleging the singer spat at and threatened him in a nightclub. Nude, shabbily-obtained pictures of the then 18-year-old intended solely to belittle and profit were published by TMZ in August.

Into the mix of these, came a most likely Photoshopped image of the Canadian supposedly smoking a joint sitting next to songstress Ariana Grande in October. Its veracity was denied.

Other dubious stories included a second false paternity claim. It disappeared as quickly as it arrived. In September, The Daily Star ran a story claiming his father’s family considered him a “bad influence” and wanted him to stay away from his step-siblings.

Bieber was spotted carrying his then three-year-old brother Jaxon at the Las Vegas boxing match between pal Floyd Mayweather and Saul Alvarez days after the story. Numerous unsupervised visits between the brothers have occurred before and since.

Another story claiming Bieber called a young Australian girl a “beached whale” is based on conflicting witness accounts and reports of an angry fan fabricating the whole thing.

The claim has been significantly discredited, yet is often reported as fact despite a denial by the singer’s camp and an independent eyewitness.

Notably, in two investigations of the singer by the Los Angeles police authorities — the first, a battery allegation lodged by a neighbor in his Calabasas, Calif., neighborhood in March; the second, a reckless driving allegation after it was claimed Bieber drove at high speeds in the same area over Memorial weekend — in both cases he was eventually cleared.

Before official decisions came through, and since, coverage by multiple tabloid and mainstream outlets either subtly or expressly presumed the singer’s guilt.

A damaging falsehood, reported in multiple outlets, that Bieber’s neighbor in the alleged battery case had saved the singer’s spittle as evidence was denied by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office who said, “No such evidence existed,” as per US Weekly.

If Bieber’s retirement is legit he walks away on a career high, at least musically.

The singer’s 156-date, 15-month Believe tour grossed over $125 million and was capped by a relief effort visit to the Typhoon Haiyan-hit Philippines, amid raising millions through his own charity drive #GiveBackPhilippines.

In addition, the pop prince’s latest album, Journals, soared to No.1 on iTunes around the world following its release on Sunday at midnight, December 23.

In one of his last interviews of this year, Bieber told USA TODAY via email of his future plans for 2014 but mentioned nothing about retirement.

“I’m going to take my time (next year) to really find my sound as an adult. That takes time and patience, and I’m grateful I have the ability to step back and focus on my creativity,” he wrote.

He continued, “The last year has not been the easiest for me. As I think is probably the case for all teenagers. I’m just trying to grow up and figure out who I am, but I have to do it in front of the world.”

“Like anyone in the public eye, the things I do are scrutinized and sensationalized, which makes things more difficult. But it’s a side effect of my career and getting to do what I love every day, so I’m handling it the best that I can. My family, my team and my pastors have really helped me get through things.”

The Believe concert-movie, directed by Jon M. Chu, opens across the US today.

Bieber, on the other hand, for now at any rate, has apparently officially retired from his public career.

In overview: whatever personal reasons lay at the root of the teen’s behavior this year they were clearly outward signs of someone who is/was struggling. That struggle was made demonstrably worse by the lowest common denominators in a largely unregulated media complex.

If it isn’t all a prank, Bieber will likely return to business at some point, perhaps changed after time away. It remains to be seen if the narrative surrounding him will.

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