Justin Bieber may be taking a time out after being booed at the recent Billboard Music Awards, but he isn’t doing it alone. The singer posted a picture of himself and Chris Brown to his Instagram account on Tuesday.
The brief caption read: “CB what’s up.”
Just two days before, after Bieber was booed (and cheered) as he accepted the first Chevrolet Milestone award at Billboard’s Las Vegas event, Brown sent the 19-year-old a short but strongly worded tweet, which has since been deleted.
It read: “Congrats @justinbieber. Focus and f**k the bull***t! Love ya boy!”
The Canadian appears to have taken some of that advice to heart.
Brown and Bieber collaborated on the R&B song “Next To You” in 2011, which appeared on Brown’s F.A.M.E album. It debuted at number 10 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart and peaked at number 14 on the UK’s singles chart.
One of the earliest YouTube’s Bieber recorded before he was later signed to The Island Def Jam Music Group under a sub-deal with manager Scooter Braun and Usher, was Brown’s “With You” track.
As well as giving the teen star support after his shocking Billboard experience, Brown previously commented on Bieber’s searing press headlines.
Speaking to Power 105.1’s Breakfast Club in April, the “Fine China” singer said:
“I pray for him, I pray for myself. I think we both go through it because we’re great artists. He’s a big artist to his fans and everybody, you know? He’s like Baby Elvis out here.”
While Bieber’s ongoing public battering appears to have drawn sympathy from Brown, another music industry figure has a very different view.
Veteran rocker, Jon Bon Jovi, had unforgiving words for the “Boyfriend” singer.
Voicing his opinion on Bieber’s reportedly two hours late arrival on stage at his first London 02 Arena concert in March, which resulted in fury from parents of the young fans who attended, the 51-year-old told the UK’s Evening Standard:
“Every generation has guys that do that, none of that is new.”
“They run the risk of disrespecting their audience members who have worked to pay for their ticket, to give you permission to take two or three hours of their lives — or in that’s kid’s case, 80 minutes of their lives.”
“Do it once, you can be forgiven. Do it enough times and shame on you. They won’t have you back. Then it just becomes a cliche. It’s not really cool – you’re an a**hole. Go to f***in’ work!”
Back in March, Bieber cited “technical issues” as the reason he was late on stage as well as posting apologies on Twitter. But he also disputed the two hour delay and said it was around 49 minutes.
Fitting somewhere in the middle of the Brown and Jovi spectrum, Judd Apatow recently shared his opinion on Bieber to Buzz Feed, during a New York stop to accept a Peabody Award for his work on HBO’s Girls.
“I feel bad for him. We’ve seen that before and you want to give him a hug and tell him to calm down. But hopefully he’ll just pull out of it and it’ll be alright. It must be a very strange position to find yourself in as a young person.”
Referring implicitly to the Billboard debacle, the Bridesmaids producer noted:
“I think there is a natural way the world reminds you when you’re getting out of hand and it’s not the worst thing in the world for him to read things and realize that he can handle himself better.” He added: “But if you saw what I did at that age, it would be way worse. I was much worse than him.”
The 45-year-old offered this advice to the teen singer: “Lead with your heart, that’s always a good piece of advice.”
The Bieber debate is likely to rumble on for some time yet.
In one corner, are those who say the singer ‘had it coming’ and cite instances of his immature behavior. In the other, are those who empathize with a teenager in the public spotlight with seemingly no dark room to make mistakes in.
It’s worth noting that Apatow talks of being “much worse” than Bieber when he was 19. Evidently, the award winning director, producer, and screenwriter was able to go on to create a successful career and personal life without needing an arena full of boos to set him straight.