Justin Bieber’s Believe World Tour didn’t exactly start well.
On opening night in Glendale, Arizona in the US, the teenager vomited on stage midway through a song, later blaming the incident on a milk-drinking overload before the show.
Seven months in, it would seem the rocky start was a sign of things to come. The Bieber pressure cooker, a pot of mounting volatility has bubbled over and over since the tour began on September 29 last year.
The deafening silence from the teenager’s representatives has only served to flag the current “issues” even more.
Battery allegations, drug discoveries, monkey madness, dangerous driving, lashing out at the paps and by far the most revealing quote from veteran music manager Peter Mensch who told the UK press: “His manager Scooter Braun is scared s***less” it seems the blue-eyed boy is headed off the proverbial rails.
But despite it all, it seems his UAE fans are standing strong.
Ahead of his Dubai dates on Saturday and Sunday at The Sevens, Bieliebers say “nothing could change their opinion” of their hero and idol.
Aliza Asghar, 14, a student at Dubai’s Oxford School, said she will always stand by Bieber.
“He has a wonderful voice and personality and dedicates himself to his singing. His voice touches the hearts of millions of his fans.”
Fellow Oxford School pupil Janina Adriano, 15, agreed, saying his latest antics hadn’t changed her opinion of him. “I think it’s all part of growing up. Teenagers like to explore different things, some good and some bad. Justin is no different.”
Ask a Bielieber why they love Justin so and the reasons are countless: His music, looks, talent, hair and ‘because he cares’ were all reasons given by excited Dubai fans.
“I’ve been a belieber for almost four years and Justin never fails to show how much he cares and loves all his beliebers from all over the world. I think it’s really amazing how he makes time for us, his fans, and to visit hospitals and give back to charities during his free time,” added Adriano. “Moreover, the message that his music conveys is fantastic. Not to mention, his voice... it’s just amazing. And let’s not forget the fact that he’s extremely good-looking.”
Asghar said she was blind to his imperfections. “I am a big fan and have a huge crush on him so any bad things about him will not change my view point. The media is trying to create a bad image. This is normal life for a celebrity like him.”
Dubai parents have proved understandably less loyal, especially given the latest scandal when Swedish cops this week reported they “found drugs and a stun-gun” on board Bieber’s tour bus.
Police spokesman Lars Bystrom says officers were suspicious over a “strong smell of marijuana” coming from the vehicle outside the Grand Hotel in Stockholm on Wednesday night.
A mixed bag of comments hit the Gulf News readers desk as the story surfaced.
@singlebutfree9m wrote: “Actually I had to refuse allowing my kids to go when I heard alcohol was being sold at event. So with drugs issue I’m glad I did”.
“I wouldn’t allow them even if they found Tic Tacs,” said @MediyaM10m.
@KickDrake22m took a strong stance saying: “This goes 2 prove that he’s no role model 2 our kids. I will not allow ‘with or without’ the drug issue. He is just a spoilt kid.”
Others parents were less concerned with retailer Splash CEO Raza Beig tweeting in via @razabeigsplash4m: “It’s entertainment... what have my kids got to do with him or members of his crew taking drugs..enjoy seeing him perform..that’s it.”
@Jaizz666 added: “just take the good part from him. kids going to listen to his music not to do what he does.”
tabloid! tracks the once blue-eyed boy’s ups and downs before he hits the Dubai stage this weekend:
September 29, 2012: On the opening night of his Believe world tour in Glendale, Arizona, the singer vomited on stage mid-way through a song. He later said it was due to drinking milk beforehand.
Mid-late October 2012: Ex-Israeli Army soldier Moshe Benabou turned security guard is fired from Bieber’s employment. Benabou later filed a lawsuit against the singer on January 10, 2013, seeking unspecified damages for assault and battery, in addition to $420,000 (Dh1.5 million) in unpaid overtime.
November 14, 2012: The singer was pulled over while driving his white Ferrari at around 6.30pm in the 600 block Hayward Avenue, West Hollywood. He made an unsafe left turn and had an expired registration.
January 2013: The year started with a tragic accident after a member of the paparazzi was killed while chasing his famous car. Justin was not in the white Ferrari at the time, a friend was driving. Justin called for a change in law to protect celebrities and photographers. The same month, completely unaware he was being snapped on a mobile phone, Justin was caught smoking a suspicious looking roll-up cigarette. US reports claim Justin was smoking marijuana. The singer was also accused of groping a girl’s breast when he met fans in Miami and the moment is caught on camera. The girl herself denied that was what actually happened.
February 2013: Having been pulled over by the US police several times, he told chat show host Jimmy Fallon about his constant run ins with the law saying “You know what, the police really like to pull me over. I don’t do anything, I promise.”. Then, a bitchy rant against Patrick Carney of indie band Black Keys had Justin saying the guy should be “slapped around” for dissing him. The following days were shamed by rumours he had cheated on long-term girlfriend Selena Gomez after their relationship appeared to be over for good. He was even rumoured to have had a fling with Rihanna (yes!) as well as numerous Victoria Secret models.
March 1, 2013: His 19th birthday brought yet more drama with swanky London club Cirque du Soir refusing his mates Jaden Smith (Will Smith’s son) and his latest chick Ella-Paige Roberts Clark for being underage. JB dubbed the night his ‘worst birthday’.
March 4, 2013: Fans booed after he turned up nearly two hours late on stage in London — on a school night. Young Bieber fans were forced to leave at 10pm as the show was due to start at 8.30pm. At 10.20pm Bieber still wasn’t on stage and furious parents said many children were left disappointed.
March 5, 2013: The Canadian pop star was branded an “arrogant git” after he made young girls wait three hours in the cold for a meet and greet — but then barely acknowledging them when he finally arrived.
March 6, 2013: More signs of a meltdown as Justin takes to Twitter to rant about the past few days of scandal and drama saying: “Rumors rumors and more rumors. nothing more nothing less. might talk about them 1 day. [Right] now I’m just gonna be positive. cant bring me down. I’m focused on the good things in life. I’m blessed and not forgetting it. I’m giving back every day for it. cant phase me.” (sic)
March 7, 2013: Things got even weirder as the singer went out to dinner wearing a gas mask. The Biebs donned the rubber mask as he headed to Mr Chow in London for a spot of posh nosh.
March 8, 2013: Justin was rushed to hospital after suffering breathing difficulties on stage at London’s O2 Arena. The singer was initially treated by doctors backstage before returning to finish the show. After the gig he ended up in hospital and wrote to his 35 million followers on Twitter that he was “getting better” along with a topless photo.
March 12, 2013: The singer cancels the second of two scheduled shows in Lisbon, Portugal at the Pavilhao Atlantico due to “unforeseen circumstances.”
March 14, 2013: Bieber posts a lengthy update on Instagram complaining about being compared to actress Lindsay Lohan and says he doesn’t deserve the negative press he’s getting.
March 25, 2013: Bieber is spotted shirtless in public at an airport in Lodz, Poland, as he left the country following a concert. Temperatures were reported as -10 degrees Celsius that day.
March 26, 2013: Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies arrive at the singer’s home in California after a battery complaint is filed by Bieber’s neighbour Jeff Schwartz who claims the singer spat at and threatened to kill him after he confronted the star about racing his Ferrari around the area. No arrests are made.
March 28, 2013: The singer flies into Munich’s Franz Josef Strauss airport with his new birthday present, a capuchin monkey called Mally. After failing to provide a health certificate, officials quarantine the monkey at Bieber’s expence. He is now facing a fine of $15,000 and possible prosecution.
March 31, 2013: Bieber was banned from an Austrian nightclub after claims his security team smashed the cameras of fans at the club and even reportedly groped some of the girls, according to Austrian Times.
By Kelly Crane, Senior Reporter