Justin Bieber’s bleached blonde makeover took just about everyone by surprise last week. Some love it, others loathe it. Some think the tone works, others don’t.
For the singer’s part, during a recent interview at West Coast Customs’ relocation launch, the 20-year-old said he would be back stronger in 2015, promising, “It’s going to be a great next chapter for me.”
Perhaps the Biebs’ new hair, and whatever a platinum/golden hue represents to him, is a foretaste of the new era to come?
And while 62 percent of whoever votes on JustJared (just one of many polls) aren’t feeling the Canadian’s radical new look, a guaranteed 100 percent still recorded their opinion.
After all, it’s Justin Bieber.
The heartthrob remains a pop culture lightning rod. Despite being disliked and ridiculed by many, he is loved by his fans, and likely viewed sympathetically by those who can see the ongoing, negative Bieber-media narrative for the (mostly) click bait content it is.
Bieber hasn’t committed any new infractions for months — unless you count a briefly, and badly performed, skateboarding trick on an empty street. He has reportedly stopped using marijuana, and has been receiving intensive counseling from longtime friends — Hillsong NYC’s pastor Carl Lentz and The City Church’s Judas Smith — since late October.
But the tabloid hits just keep coming.
In a recent interview with the Daily Mail, which reportedly went to the German wildlife park where Bieber’s customs-confiscated, former pet monkey “Mally” was eventually rehoused, a zookeeper suggested the then 19-year-old mistreated the capuchin and may even have bought it illegally.
The article conveniently failed to mention the previously reported and verified fact that the singer didn’t buy the monkey. Bieber was reportedly given “Mally” as a birthday present by Las Vegas producer Jamal “Mally Mall” Rashid, hence the capuchin’s name.
As reported by BuzzFeed, “Mally” is the younger brother of Rashid’s own monkey “Bubbz.” The producer is a longtime, exotic animal owner, and it’s very possible he acquired some of those animals illegally. Rashid looked after “Mally” until Bieber collected him on March 27, 2013, in Los Angeles.
“Mally” was seized by Munich customs officials on March 28, because Bieber didn’t have the necessary papers to bring a live animal into the country. This means the singer was in possession of the monkey for just one day. While “Mally” was certainly abandoned by the star and has since ended up in a better home, a “mistreating” claim is clearly ante-raising given the brevity of Bieber’s contact with the monkey.
Of the recent puppy “abandonment” claim? While the then pup was reportedly bought by Justin and his father, Jeremy, it seems the dog was never intended to live with the singer and never has. His father reportedly assumed full responsibility and care until he allegedly abandoned it.
Moving on. E! News’ recent confirmation with Hailey Baldwin that she is not dating Bieber (contradicting gossip site claims), highlights the oft-fictional reporting the singer receives.
On Bieber’s plans for 2015, when Hustle TV asked the singer why he took a music break in 2014, the hitmaker’s reply didn’t mention his exhaustive 15-month Believe world tour or legal woes.
“You know what it is,” the often-shirtless one said, “is that people who just oversaturate the music industry and keep putting out singles and… dropping music, it just makes yourself less important when you drop music.”
Bieber went on, “When you drop music, you wanna have an actual break. I wanted to have a moment where people didn’t see me for a while, and then I can come back stronger.”
“You know, I’m also growing up,” the singer finished. “There’s a lot of things that I’m going through and finding myself as a man. So, it’s going to be a great, next chapter for me.”
(Video: “All That Matters” was the second cut from Bieber’s 2013 Journals album, which recently made Vibe magazine’s best albums of 2014 list.)
It remains to be seen whether a tabloid press that undeniably looks for ways to misreport, exaggerate, misconstrue, invent, or simply snark about Bieber, will allow him to move past his teen missteps as he seems to be doing.
As to two of the things that Bieber can control — creating music and staying healthy — in addition to his solo album which is supposedly in-progress, Cody Simpson recently shed light on their duets album, which was meant to drop in November.
Speaking to Idolator, Cody (who can be heard on the duo’s first single “Home To Mama”), said of the delay, “We promised fans an album in November, but there’s so much going on that we have to push it to next year.”
The 17-year-old idol added, “But they will be hearing more, that’s a guarantee. And it won’t take too long.”
In closing, while the Biebs’ bleach blonde hair has divided many, the sports-enthusiast has never looked healthier than in the past six months.
Living happy and healthy
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) December 9, 2014
And even though he was on a break during 2014, Billboard reports the singer placed #9 on their end of year Top Male artists list, and #1 on the Social 50 chart for the second year in a row, clocking up over 100 weeks atop the chart.
The weekly chart ranks the most popular artists on social media platforms including, Vevo, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, Wikipedia, Myspace and Instagram, as well as followers, artist page views, song plays and feedback as measured by the music analytics company Next Big Sound.
If given a fair shake by the narrative, Justin Bieber, version 2015, should be worth waiting for.
[Images via WENN/Instagram.]