Maybe it’s just a coincidence, and Justin Bieber had been watching MTV Hits in his hotel room when Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River” came on and he said to his long-haired guitarist in the next room “You know, good song, we should cover that sometime.” After all, it is one of the pop classics of the ’00s, and Timberlake does share a first name (and a whole lot of other characteristics of note) with The Bieb. If Justin had played the song at a live date two weeks ago, we probably would have thought nothing of it—and in fact, he’d already covered it once before a couple years back.
But we here at Popdust don’t believe in coincidences, so we have to assume that the reason Bieber broke the song out at the Boston date of his Believe tour over the weekend was to send a message to a certain someone. The cover came not 24 hours after news broke that Justin had split with his girlfriend of two years, Selena Gomez, and students of pop history will of course note that “River” was originally written in response to a high-profile breakup the other Justin went through, with fellow pop star Britney Spears. It’s hard not to connect the two occurrences and conclude that Bieber was giving a little public kiss-off to baby girl.
Of course, if that’s true, it begs the obvious question—did the two split because of Selena’s infidelity, as it was rumored Britney and JT did back in the day? And if so, who’s the Wade Robson of this situation? Cody Simpson? Jake T. Austin? …Scooter Braun? Stay tuned for further developments.
thank u Boston. focused on the positive. #30MillionBeliebers with me. Im never leaving u because u r always there 4 me. love u. Night.
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) November 11, 2012