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Justin Bieber: Just Getting Started (100% Official)

Justin Bieber


  Title Page

















  About the Publisher

  I didn’t grow up with aspirations to become a big pop star. I just wanted to be a regular kid who does all of the normal things other kids do. I started posting videos on YouTube when I was 12 so my family could hear me sing. I never knew it was going to be a big thing. I mean, we were just posting videos, and a month or two later, out of nowhere, tons of viewers were watching. I come from a little town in Canada called Stratford, with a population of 30,000 people, and that made all of this even crazier. I never thought I’d get to do anything other than maybe become a carpenter and maybe one day turn that into a business. The mere thought of becoming a star didn’t even seem possible. It was like going to the moon or winning the lottery. But, a couple of years later, by the time I was 14, I was no longer just singing for my family—the world was hearing me sing too. The rest is history.

  When I first started posting my videos, my mom and I weren’t looking to help me get discovered. I mean, if we were, we probably would have left our small town and headed to LA to do auditions and casting calls. No way. That wasn’t the route we were on, and in the end, that wasn’t the road that led me to where I am today.

  A lot of people think I was an overnight success, but that wouldn’t be exactly true. Sure, it’s only been five years, but it has also been a lot of hard work that took time, sacrifice, and relentless dedication. Plus, five years in the life of a guy who is now 18 years old is a pretty long time. Some people think hard work is—well, too hard. Me? It’s all I know and a big part of the formula for success. I like doing what I do so much that I don’t spend a whole lot of time sleeping. I’d rather be working hard, doing my thing, and striving to become the very best entertainer I can be. I want to be great at what I do—to become the best performer in the world. To do that, I need to keep striving continuously to get better, to be good to people, to treat everyone with respect and work as hard as I can. These are traits I’d hope to develop whether I was famous or not.

  People always ask me how I do it—you know, what’s my secret to success. I tell them not be afraid to do the things in life that scare you or that you think are too hard to handle. Do what I do, and run toward them, embrace those challenges as opportunities and see how fast your life will change too!

  I wouldn’t be anywhere if it weren’t for you—my fans. You are the reason I get to do what I love. Without your love and support I couldn’t keep creating my music and sharing it with everyone all over the world. Everywhere I go, whatever I do, I try to connect with as many of you as possible—and that means everything to me.

  I have always had a real direct relationship with my fans because each of you has played an important part in helping me reach every goal I’ve set for myself along the way. Without a doubt, you have impacted every step that has made up this crazy roller coaster journey. When I am feeling down, you lift me up. It’s just like I sing in my song, “Believe,” where I talk about how my fans have always been there for me—I mean every word. This book is my way to let you know what all of this has been like for me and how you have helped me get through it all.

  Sharing my stories of being on the road is just another step in our journey together—another chapter along the way. My story is something I like to share with others, to show people that with enough belief in yourself and what you can accomplish, anything is possible.

  This book is a look at what life is like for me both on and off the road. I hope you’ll enjoy this behind-the-scenes peek, your personal backstage pass to my world. I am truly one of the luckiest guys on the planet, because I get to wake up every day doing what I love most—touring, playing, and making music, and traveling all over the world. But most of all, I wake up grateful for you, my Beliebers. You were there from the very start, and I will never forget that. Thanks to you, I get to live my dream every day.

  “Thank you” doesn’t begin to cover how appreciative I am—but from the bottom of my heart I want to say thanks for being there and for all of your support. Let’s keep doing what we do, and together we can keep the dream going. Look out world ’cuz I’m Just Getting Started.

  Before I saw my first show at Madison Square Garden I wasn’t totally aware of the significance of playing to a sell-out crowd at the legendary venue, but at the end of the day I understood that it is one of the most famous arenas in the world. Back then it was sometimes hard for me to fully grasp what things like this meant because I was so young and new to the business, but when my manager, Scooter, sat me down and told me this is where the Beatles, Frank Sinatra, and Michael Jackson have all played, the scope of how big this was quickly began to sink in. I guess I understood that for Scooter and the rest of the world, playing MSG is a gigantic achievement for any artist. But for me, it became important because of Taylor Swift.

  Now, you might be wondering why it was Taylor who got my attention over all the other artists who have played there over the years. The answer is pretty simple. The Garden is where I first saw her perform to a sell-out crowd in August 2009. Plus, that was my first time seeing a real arena show with an audience full of fans with their hands in the air connected to the artist. That night I looked at Scooter while we were standing in the pit and said, “This is what I want to do for the rest of my life.” Before he could respond, I added, “And … I want to sell this arena out.”

  Scooter smiled and said, “Look, I’m sure you will sell it out someday, but at the moment you are still at the beginning of your career and it will probably take a couple of years.”

  A couple of years? Was he kidding?

  I wanted to sell it out in the next year. I didn’t care how hard I had to work. That was my goal. And I meant it too.

  So, as far as everyone else was concerned, playing the Garden was a historic and monumental thing—proof that we had made it. But for me it was a goal—an “impossible” goal that everyone thought a kid made famous from his own channel on YouTube, who didn’t come from a TV talent show or sitcom and didn’t have a significant enough “platform,” could never pull off.

  Back on stage in New York City two years later. It’s amazing how much has changed since then.

  Oh yeah. I smelled a challenge, and I was up to meeting it no matter how hard I had to work to get there.

  In my mind, it was all of us against the world, and I knew that if I could sell out the Garden, we would prove that I could stand with anybody. So yeah, even though I knew it was lofty, our goal was to pull that off.

  To all of our surprise, it was exactly one year later that Scooter came to me with the news that we had sold out our first U.S. tour in two days and Madison Square Garden in 22 minutes.

  My first reaction was, “What?”

  Even though I had worked so hard for this, I still couldn’t really comprehend what he was telling me. So I asked Scooter, “Is that good?”

  “Yeah, kid, that’s good—really good. Only the greats can sell out an entire tour in two days and only the best of the best can sell out MSG that quickly. I’m proud of you.”

  Even though we had achieved our goal to sell o
ut the Garden, we never really celebrated our success because selling out the tour—especially the Garden—was only phase one. Now we had the pressure to go on and create a great show that was worthwhile and would give many of my fans great memories of their first live show. This was my first headlining tour and we needed to prove to everyone that I had what it takes to carry my own show so they would want to come back for the next tour, and the next tour, and the next one after that. This tour was just as much for the fans as it was for any of us.

  We kicked off the U.S. tour on June 23, 2010, at the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut, and did 38 shows before hitting Madison Square Garden on August 31. If you saw the movie Never Say Never you pretty much got an inside look at the days leading up to this. And if you haven’t seen it, check it out! It’s a really good peek at what goes into touring—the fun we have on the road putting the show together and meeting the fans, but also how tough the pressure can be.

  With such a heavy touring schedule, my voice had become strained and was getting worse leading up to the New York concert. About a week before that show, my doctors ordered me to rest my voice in between concerts or risk doing it permanent damage. Even though I couldn’t talk, I could text, so I was still able to communicate with my fans through Twitter and my team, who were doing the talking for me.

  I rarely get scared, but I was a little worried that I wouldn’t be at the top of my game on the big night. I want all of my shows to be perfect, but I especially wanted our night at MSG to be special for everyone. There was a lot riding on that show, even if I was the only one who knew the real reason why.

  Although I wasn’t one hundred percent healthy, my doctors gave me permission to go on anyway. So the night of August 31, 2010, I stood on one of the most iconic stages in the world and said, “What’s up, New York City? Welcome to my world. We are gonna have a lot of fun tonight. I got a lot of surprises in store for you guys!” I was really excited to play the Garden and to see so many of my fans who were there to support and embrace this career milestone. I wanted to give them a night they’d never forget, so I definitely had a few surprises planned that I hoped would blow them away.

  Some of the biggest stars in the world joined me on stage that night, including Usher, Boyz II Men, Ludacris, Sean Kingston, Jaden Smith, and Miley Cyrus. The Garden show was great and the audience in New York City was amazing. Like Frank Sinatra sings, “If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.” I was so proud that our show was talked about in the New York press and blogs for the next week as one of the most special nights in Garden history. People were blown away. I even had some of my first comparisons in the press to my hero, Michael Jackson. I was pretty much dreaming at this point!

  Throughout the tour, I always introduced my song “Never Say Never” by sharing the motto I live by with the audience. “There’s gonna be times in your life when people tell you that you can’t do something. This is what I tell them: Never Say Never.” Those words never meant more to me than they did that night. Madison Square Garden—a landmark moment in my career I will never forget.

  The first time I was asked to sing for President Obama and his family was during a Christmas concert at the White House on December 23, 2009. I sang the great Stevie Wonder song, “Someday at Christmas.” It was an incredible honor and one of the only times I can recall being really nervous. If you’ve ever seen the video, you can tell by my hands, because I didn’t know what to do with them. I was like Will Ferrell in Talladega Nights! I was also a little worried about my performance because my voice was strained from touring and I didn’t know if I would be able to sing. I was literally on vocal rest until the moment I hit the stage.

  Now, everyone knows I am pretty spiritual, so I kind of knew in my heart that no matter what, God would be there with me—and He was. Just before I got on stage, my nerves suddenly melted away. I knew in that moment that God heard my prayers and would be with me as I performed. So that night it didn’t feel like the President was the only powerful guy listening to me—it felt as if I was singing to God too. Talk about a power crowd! Naw, there wasn’t any pressure!

  The weirdest thing happened, though. The second I started singing, my voice felt really good. I had sung “Someday at Christmas” for charity before, so I knew the song cold. At the end, even though my voice had been in pretty bad shape, something just told me I needed to go for this big high note—so I did. I went for it and hit it—the Big Man was with me!

  Singing for the President was special, but even better was getting to meet him later that night. While everyone was shaking his hand and being all formal, I said, “What up man?” and dapped him up. Thankfully, he thought it was funny!

  I guess the First Family enjoyed my performance because they invited me back to the White House for their annual Easter egg hunt in April 2010. I went with Scooter, my mom, and Kenny Hamilton (my tour manager and former bodyguard). When the Easter egg hunt was done, we were asked if we’d like to hang out at the Oval Office and talk some March Madness with the President. OK, you’ve got to admit, that’s pretty cool! While we were in the Oval Office, Kenny told the President that he had been in the Navy and asked if he could get his own photo with him. As they took a picture together, the President thanked Kenny for his service to the country. Kenny actually cried as he walked out of the office that day—tears filled with pride and appreciation for the President’s gratitude.

  President Obama is a really nice guy, and after that exchange, I could see why he is so special to so many people.

  I’m living proof that dreams do come true. Work hard. Pray. Believe.

  Scooter believed in me from the start. Whenever I started feeling doubt or uncertainty about whether we were going to make things happen, he’d assure me we would. He’d say,

  “The only thing that can stop you is you. People who fail in this business, the really talented people, it’s never because of their music—it’s about their personal lives. Stay focused and never mind any of the crap anyone else says. That’s not you—that’s them. That’s the negative place they want to live in. You choose to live in a positive place. Nothing great ever comes easy.”

  Scooter has taught me a lot over the years. His advice has helped keep my aim focused and my drive to succeed clear. He’s smart and experienced in ways I was too young to understand. Sometimes he’s on me so much it can be really annoying; however, I know he only wants the best for me. As I’ve gotten older, I realize his wisdom has made a definite impact. I’ve also been lucky that the people who are around me every day are super level-headed and don’t just “Yes” me to death. I would hate that because I want the benefit of learning from everyone else’s mistakes. Besides, I have the best team in the world, and that didn’t happen by accident.

  My relationship with Usher is like I’m his little brother. When we are in the studio together and Usher goes into the booth, I pretty much go into awe mode. Usher and I cut a duet together for Under the Mistletoe called “The Christmas Song,” and, being the competitive guy I am, I want to hit the big runs like he does. It’s the first time we’ve recorded a song together since my voice changed, but even though he is one of my musical heroes, I had no intention of letting him show me up, so I pushed myself hard to hit those big runs and light it up with lots of falsetto. When I hear him sing and see what he can do, though, it’s always a reminder of why I look up to Usher as my mentor and why I will always be an Usher fan to my core. But I’m lucky to say that he’s an even better friend to me than he is a mentor. He is truly the real deal.

  In a way, it feels like I have a lot of older brothers and sisters who are all there to body check me when I start skating outside the lines. Scooter, Usher, Kenny, Fredo, Allison, Ryan, Matrix, Scrappy, Moshe (my bodyguard), Mike, and Dan have all been there, done that—which makes it impossible for me to screw up too badly. We sometimes argue, but at the end of the day, I know each and every one of those dudes has my back and I’ve got theirs.

  We are a family built on loy
alty and trust—a true band of brothers.

  I’d been on the road for the first leg of the North American My World tour for a little over a month when my friends Ryan and Chaz came to visit from Stratford. Scooter stopped by my hotel room and caught me looking out the window down below to the parking lot.

  “What’s up with you? You look like the saddest guy in the world!”

  “Ryan and Chaz are out there skateboarding,” I said, and then turned back around to look out the window at them as they casually enjoyed their boards with thousands of my fans sitting outside the hotel, oblivious to them. You see, my buddies had a freedom I no longer had. All I wanted was to do something normal and skateboard with the guys, but I knew that if I went downstairs to join them it would create total chaos.

  “Do you want to go skateboard?” Scooter asked.

  “Yeah. But I understand.” I knew Scooter could tell I was bummed but I got it—sort of. Being a normal kid wasn’t really in the cards for me anymore. I was trying to show the maturity to know better and that I’d come to terms with it. Still, it sucked feeling like I was in a goldfish bowl while my friends were down there.

  Scooter didn’t like seeing me like this. “C’mon. Grab your skateboard. You are going skateboarding!”

  “What?” I thought he was half joking. There was no way I could go downstairs without complete pandemonium. But Scooter insisted. “You are going skateboarding. Trust me,” he said.

  Scooter seemed to have a plan so I was with it. I grabbed my skateboard, with the biggest grin across my face as we made our way downstairs.

  “Wait here.” Scooter held his hand up for me to stay back and chill while he went out to talk to the crowd. Just catching a glimpse of Scooter was enough to get them a little excited. Almost everyone around me has become sort of famous, so when fans see my buddy Alfredo (aka Fredo), my musical director Dan, Kenny, Scooter, Allison, or anyone else from my team, they go nuts. It’s kind of crazy, but in a way it’s good because it takes a little of the pressure off of me.