Justin Bieber: Snapshot

Justin Bieber
Date of Birth
March 01, 1994
Birth Place
Stratford, Ontario
Tween dream Justin Bieber has proved he's a pretty sweet package. By only 16, the Canadian crooner had released two platinum albums, amassed more than 5 million online followers and attracted a fierce fan base willing to do anything – even send death threats – to keep him single.

For that, the Stratford, Ontario, native has one special woman to thank: his mom, Pattie. She uploaded footage of her son covering hits from Chris Brown and Usher to YouTube. When Bieber Fever went viral, Usher and Justin Timberlake took notice and began a bidding war over the young YouTube sensation.

Under Usher's guidance, the teen signed on to Island Def Jam records and released his debut album, My World, in 2009. Since then, Bieber has gone on to perform at the White House, released his own 3D movie Never Say Never, and gave the fever to superstars like Katy Perry and on-and-off girlfriend Selena Gomez. In 2014, following a year of scrapes with the law, Bieber's troubles caught up to him when he was arrested for DUI.

Justin Bieber:From the PEOPLE TV Archive

Justin Bieber: Five Fun Facts

  1. "The mothers are the worst," Justin Bieber's mom, Pattie Mallette, told the New York Times of frantic fans.
  2. When it comes to creating his signature do, Justin Bieber said, "After I have a shower, I blow-dry my hair and just shake it and it goes like that."
  3. Before he became famous, Justin Bieber busked in front of a theater in his hometown for a summer, and earned $3,000 – enough money to take his mom on their very first vacation to Disneyland.
  4. Justin Bieber first met mentor Usher in an Atlanta parking lot, where he offered to sing for his idol. But Usher passed on the impromptu serenade.
  5. For his 16th birthday, Justin Bieber revealed that Diddy would give him some pricey wheels. "He said when I turn 16 he was going to give me his Lamborghini," he said. "But we all know Diddy's not gonna give me his Lamborghini. He's all talk."

Justin Bieber: Biography


Justin Bieber

Bieber Beginnings

At 12, Bieber – who teaches himself to play piano, trumpet and guitar in his native Stratford, Ontario – places second in a local talent competition. His single mom Patricia Mallette uploads the footage of his performance on YouTube for family and friends to watch, but the video attracts strangers as well.


Ruling the 'Tube

Soon after, YouTubers request Bieber to sing songs, and his covers of Usher, Justin Timberlake and Chris Brown attract an online following. "People always say, 'Did you try to get famous off YouTube?' I'm like, 'Not at all,'" Bieber tells PEOPLE. "I was just doing it for fun." Meanwhile, Atlanta-based music exec Scooter Braun discovers Bieber's YouTube channel. "My gut was going crazy," Braun recalls. "So I tracked him down."

Justin Bieber

Ushered Through

Now Bieber's manager, Braun flies the young singer and his mom to Atlanta, where he records demos and more YouTube videos, grabbing the attention of both Usher and Timberlake who are interested in signing Bieber. Eventually, Usher prevails, signing Bieber to Island Def Jam records. "His voice was magical and his personality was so keen," says Usher, adding, "Sometimes he's like a little brother or a son to me."

Read More on Justin Bieber's Life

Photo Credits

Top Left: Ari Perilstein/Getty

BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): Charley Gallay/WireImage

Edited by Julia Wang

Justin Bieber

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