Justin Bieber’s ‘What Do You Mean?’ Sets New Spotify Record

Justin Bieber’s immaculate comeback continues apace. Spotify reveals Bieber’s new single “What Do You Mean?” has set a new global record for the most streams in a debut week.

On Thursday, September 3, Spotify said Bieber’s “What Do You Mean?” single racked up over 21 million global streams (nearly 22 million) in its first five days after its Friday release, making it the biggest first week for a track on the streaming platform.

Bieber’s irresistible new hit beats the record set just a few weeks ago by One Direction’s “Drag Me Down” single, which generated 20 million Spotify streams in its first week. The Biebs now holds Spotify’s single-week streaming record in the U.S. (8,331,248) as well as globally.

It’s been a sensationally buoyant few days for the returning Prince of Pop. After “What Do You Mean?” dropped on August 28, the song reportedly rocketed to No. 1 on the U.S. iTunes Singles Sales chart in five minutes, before topping iTunes charts in 90 countries.

Two days later, Bieber performed his Skrillex-and-Diplo-produced slayer “Where Are U Now?” encored by the tropical-house jam “What Do You Mean?” at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards, unexpectedly crying at the end of his imperfect but perfect performance. The music video premiered after the VMAs.

Speaking to host Jimmy Fallon on the Tonight Show on Wednesday night, the Biebs admitted he found the performance and the whole experience “so overwhelming,” due to a mix of disappointment over missed cues, relief that he wasn’t booed as he had been at his last awards show appearance, and — as he put it — “I just wasn’t expecting them [the VMAs audience] to support me in the way they did.”

The singer explained, “I’ve worked so hard at this album, I’ve worked so hard at becoming the man I want to become,” adding that after “stepping into situations [like the VMAs] you can’t help but feel judged.”

On the show, the 21-year-old performed with The Roots and delivered a gorgeous rendition of “What Do You Mean?” with a terrific guest rap from Black Thought. The Canadian also reprised his drums face-off with Questlove, and sang a snippet of “Where Are U Now” in a country style, at Fallon’s request.

In addition to the Biebs’ new streaming record at Spotify, the singer is on track to score his first No. 1 on the U.K.’s official singles chart with “Mean?” and a likely very high debut on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart next week.

Looking at the still-mounting global success story of the superstar’s relaunch and “Mean?” it’s clear that more of the general public — and of course, fans — are loving this more mature, reflective Justin Bieber. But it should not be forgotten that the out-of-control vitriol and media narrative shaping heaped on this young guy for two years, against a backdrop of media and online misgendering, was abusive.

In a funny moment at the end of his chat with Fallon, the superstar needed some help remembering the release date for his highly-anticipated fourth studio album. That record touches down on November 13.

[Images via NBC]