Justin Bieber Took On Justin Timberlake’s ‘Cry Me A River’ And Sang It Beautifully

Justin Bieber’s now years-old YouTube cover of Justin Timberlake’s 2002 earth-scorcher “Cry Me A River” is thought of as a music moment for the Biebs by his fans. Last night, the pop superstar updated that at his Purpose World Tour in Louisville, Kentucky.

During the acoustic segment of his concert, the Canadian showcased his impressive falsetto and fluid melismas while accompanying himself on guitar on Wednesday night. His surprise take on Timberlake’s solo debut Justified album kiss-off to former girlfriend, Britney Spears, delighted over 17,000 screaming fans at the KFC Yum! Center.

Naturally, Justin Bieber fans who attended the concert and others online subsequently shared a flood of videos on Twitter and elsewhere. Watch most of the performance in the video below.

For closer angles check out the following selection.

Fans gushed over the Biebs’ performance in clip captions.

Those familiar with Bieber’s discography — which includes his acclaimed latest Purpose album — will know the 22-year-old has one of the loveliest voices in pop, and is no lightweight when it comes to R&B and EDM. Comparing the singer’s recent rendition of “Cry Me A River” with his famous 2008 cover shows how far the young music icon has come.

At the start of Bieber’s professional career, Usher and Timberlake both vied to sign the budding superstar. In the end, it was Usher who would come through. Usher remains partnered with the Biebs’ longtime manager Scooter Braun, overseeing the heartthrob’s storied ascent, fall, and comeback.

In 2010, Timberlake sent a short and sweet reply to Bieber’s tweet saying he’d covered Usher and Timberlake at a show.

Fast forward six years later, it will be interesting to see Timberlake’s possible public reaction if he gets a chance to hear the Bieb’s version of “Cry Me A River.”

Back in Louisville last night, there was more fun for fans in between Justin’s performances. At one point, the singer playfully offered his water-bottle to a Belieber standing in the pit area, which led to some hilarious teasing.

Take a look at the moment below.

Based on Twitter user @RachaelYoung14’s exuberant post-concert timeline, her unexpected encounter with the Biebs won’t be forgotten any time soon.

Cancelled meet and greets aside, which Bieber revealed were for mental health reasons, MTV previously noted the singer’s interactions with fans during his Purpose Tour shows is noticeably higher than on his other tours.

Instances include the Biebs getting a fan to tie his hair up onstage, hands-on moments during performances of introspective songs such as “Life Is Worth Living” and “Purpose,” an onstage participatory feature with children at each tour stop, and ad hoc occasions.

At each Purpose concert, four children are aptly invited to dance onstage with Justin during the Skrillex-produced rave-up, “Children.”

For anyone who hasn’t yet gone to see Bieber in concert, just hit replay on his “Cry Me A River” cover. Again and again.

[Images via Scott Utterback / The CJ]