Justin Bieber’s upcoming single “Heartbreaker” and new album will address the slew of allegations and mostly negative headlines engulfing the singer, according to his manager Scooter Braun.
The 19-year-old announced “Heartbreaker” last month, immediately setting off anticipation among his sizable fan base even though there is no date for its release yet.
Braun, 32, says the real power of the new material — or as Bieber calls it, his “#music journal,” much of which has been written while on his Believe world tour — will come from a combination of what the music says and how it’s released.
“I’ll just tell you that we’re gonna release [the] music it in a very, very different way with him,” Braun told MTV News.
He continued: “And people and fans should be very excited for the end of this year because he’s just written so many songs on the road.”
“And we decided there needs to be a way to release these songs in a different way than the normal album and be able to allow him to express himself in music while dealing with so many different bulls**t– stories every single day.”
The starting point of those stories is an artificial one, as the push-back to the all pervasiveness of Bieber Fever has been bubbling for a while — the Feb 2, 2011 booing of the then 17-year-old at the New York Knicks-Mavericks game a case in point. But to all intents and purposes, the media’s backlash toward the Canadian began during the London leg of his tour back in March.
A fact noted by Jack Osborne when he commented on a series of justifiably angry tweets Bieber posted over what he perceived as “countless lies” by the UK press. These included claims that he was having a “meltdown” and what the singer called exaggerations about a late London 02 Arena show start, mockery of his run-in with a British paparazzo, and markedly different versions on why he left a London nightclub early on his 19th birthday.
After tweeting that he hoped Bieber wasn’t about to “unravel before our very eyes,” Osbourne added:
PS someone clearly didn’t tell him to not fuck with the British press.
— Jack Osbourne (@MrJackO) March 11, 2013
At the time, Bieber disputed the widely reported “two hour” 02 Arena concert delay and said it was closer to 49 minutes. He also explained his expletive-filled reaction to the paparazzi waiting for him outside his London hotel on March 8, saying it was tough to be sworn at and not respond.
Regarding claims that he had attempted to wangle an underage Jaden Smith into a London nightclub to celebrate said birthday, Bieber said Jaden wasn’t actually at the club and that he himself chose to leave the venue because of the mayhem inside.This was later confirmed by Smith in an interview with British radio host Tim Westwood, even though the club in question claimed otherwise.
Despite these mitigating reasons, the tabloid UK press led by — The Sun, Mail Online, the Daily Star and the Mirror — published excoriating reports and set in motion the “Bieber Diva” meme that persists today.
Since then, international reporting on a string of actual and alleged incidents involving Bieber, his bodyguards, and his personal life, has quantumed into a critical narrative that seems irreversible.
Multiple accusations including battery, assault, theft, three paparazzo-led lawsuits — one of which stems from an alleged incident last May — an ongoing reckless driving investigation, rehab rumors and continuing reports of tensions in his Calabasas, Calif., neighborhood now dominate headlines on the singer.
The Overtly Judgmental, Possibly Racist, Views In This TMZ Video Step Beyond Acceptable Reporting
One example of the media’s reluctance, if not refusal, to relinquish the prism it now chooses to see Bieber through is demonstrated by a recent TMZ story in which the website claimed it obtained a copy of a rider from one of the singer’s photoshoots.
On the purported online document, which contained no identifying details whatsoever, were a list of despotic written demands including instructions that personnel were not to “talk to the talent,” a ban on “cell phones” and a “No Selena [Gomez] music on set” ban.
The rider has since been blasted as completely “fake” by Bieber’s rep, yet far fewer media outlets are reporting the correction compared to the numbers that covered the original — and erroneous — claim.
There are too many Bieber stories to list in the space here. But, one example of what can only be described an astonishing lack of journalistic integrity was published by the gossip website Showbiz Spy on June 20. Titled “Justin Bieber lives in a filthy house,” the story quoted one, unsubstantiated source who claimed the singer’s house was a “pigsty” with “soiled pillows and comforters strewn everywhere” amid “constant mess and garbage.”
No attempt was made in the story to provide any credible basis for this information, but the 17, 387 unique daily visitors that click on that site may have read it. Some may even have believed it.
Before Bieber Was Cleared Of All Wrongdoing In An Alleged Hit And Run Of A Paparazzo Outside The Laugh Factory Comedy Club In West Hollywood, Reporting On The Incident Was Frenzied
This is the landscape Bieber now operates in. Whether none, some, or all, of the allegations and gossip stories written about him have any truth to them remains to be seen. But it is noticeable that most, if not all, the tabloid reporting to date is skewed toward assumptive conclusions of the pop star’s ‘guilt’ and ‘bad character.’
Of this, Braun says: “So we’re hoping the witch hunt [is] gonna end when he really just speaks for himself in the music.”
“And we’re gonna do it in a way that’s very, very unique. So when you see ‘Heartbreaker,’ know it’s coming directly from him and don’t think [of] the normal ‘Oh this is my single and this is going to be on the album.’ Realize there’s gonna be a very unique way of how this music is going to be released unlike we’ve seen before from him,” he added.
In Britain — in response to 2011’s News Corp phone-hacking scandal which revealed widespread use of covert surveillance and compromised conduct in key UK systems, namely some parts of the tabloid press, government and police force — the first part of a two-pronged “Leveson Inquiry” into the culture, practice and ethics of the press opened on November 14, 2011.
A comprehensive report on the first part of the inquiry which can be read here, was nutshelled on November 29, 2012 by Lord Justice Leveson, the Chairman of the Inquiry, who noted:
Part two of the inquiry won’t begin until current police investigations and any subsequent criminal proceedings are completed. Suffice it to say, the celebrities and ordinary people — including Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, Hugh Grant and Sienna Miller — who gave evidence on press intrusion and corruption, said taking on the media was not something they entered into lightly.
Bieber’s new material will be the first new sounds from the pop phenom since 2012’s Believe album and 2013’s Believe Acoustic. While many of the singer’s younger fans may not draw parallels with Michael Jackson’s post-1993 scandal HIStory album released in 1995, this present day embattled star is set to retread that route of having his say — on his own terms — through his music.
The question is: Will he be heard, and will it change the present, devastating narrative?