Justin Bieber grows up, gets even on 'Believe'
By Piya Sinha-Roy, Reuters
June 20, 2012, 12:27 am TWN
LOS ANGELES -- Canadian pop star Justin Bieber makes his highly anticipated return with new album "Believe," revealing an edgier, grown-up side to the young star who has gained a worldwide fan base with innocent love songs and baby-faced charms.
"Believe," out on Tuesday, serves as Bieber's highly anticipated sequel to his debut album "My World 2.0," and has had critics buzzing on whether the teen who first found fame on YouTube is a short-lived phenomenon or a long-term staple in the music industry.
Bieber, 18, has become one of the world's biggest stars, with more than 23 million followers on Twitter and 44 million fans on Facebook, after being discovered at the age of 13.
The singer has grown up in the public eye in the last two years, dating 19-year-old Disney Channel star Selena Gomez, who is referenced in the album's electro-dance track "Beauty and the Beat."
But fame has also brought its downside and the track "Maria" addresses Bieber's most adult scandal to date. Last November, Bieber was hit with allegations from 20-year-old Mariah Yeater who claimed that the singer had fathered a child with her after a brief alleged encounter backstage.
Bieber, who vehemently denied the claims and watched Yeater's lawsuit fall apart, sings "She was schemin' ... she was draggin' my name through the dirt," before hitting the chorus with "That ain't my baby, that ain't my girl."
The album's producer Mike Posner, who has his own solo career with hits such as "Please Don't Go," worked with Bieber on the debut single, "Boyfriend."
The result is a slow tempo beat with Bieber softly rapping "If I was your boyfriend, I'd never let you go, I can take you places you ain't never been before." The song, released in March, peaked on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 singles chart at No. 2.