Posted byon 08/27/2012 at 1:17 PM
#1 Justin Bieber
2011 Ranking: 2
Eighteen and already Canada’s most prized possession, Justin Bieber initially rose to stardom through a series of homemade R&B covers before he hit puberty. His grassroots approach to music, and continued success, has made him the best example of the 21st century’s widening web-based talent pool. What once was a cute boy with floppy hair is now a powerful force to be reckoned with, creating new trends and mentoring up-and-comers with the wisdom of an artist twice his age.
In the year since he landed at No. 2 on our inaugural Popdust 40, Bieber has seen his influence within the industry skyrocket, proving himself to be undeserving of anything less than the top spot. Not only did June’s Believe deliver more mature sounds and styles, thanks to work from top-notch producers and Bieber’s own rap persona, Shawty Mane, but he’s inspired a new crop of Internet hopefuls who are forcing record executives to view YouTube as a legitimate stage, and “viral videos” significant forms of entertainment. From Austin Mahone to Madison Beer, Bieber and his meteoric rise have given aspiring performers everywhere a new game plan; his unflappable belief in “believing” furthers the hope that one day they too will be able to replicate his success. As the year’s biggest release to date, Believe exists as proof that Bieber’s tween appeal has and will not disappear with age. Instead, he continues to capture the imagination of a variety of fans. He’s been declared hot, ready and legal, but let’s look more closely at how he got there …
Realizing there was demand for Bieber cheer year-round, our star went all in on the holiday album game. Under the Mistletoe boasted collaborations with Usher, Mariah Carey, Busta Rhymes, the Band Perry and Boyz II Men, helping us find ways to make every family gathering “superfestive!” and bringing the birth of Jesus into the social media sphere.
Date nights for the happy couple also include corralling their friends together to film a goofy version of Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe,” which helped propel the song to the top of the charts and permanently lodge it to our memory bank. These two never stop working.
With so many opportunities to shower Selena with lavish outings and intimate date nights, the Bieb’s relationship has given him all the tools necessary to make his album’s first single an alluring description of what he’d do if he were dating you.
With “Boyfriend” spawning all sorts of covers, Bieber began traveling the world to promote his latest release, Believe, nearly driving the entire country of Norway to collapse and (figuratively) blowing the roof off the famous Apollo Theater in New York.
All the success has made him an even more attractive target for opportunistic schemers and ruthless members of the paparazzi, who interrupt trips to the movies with their intrusive long lenses.
After the being chased by multiple photographers while driving his Chrome Fisker Karma in July, the California legal system responded by prosecuting the photographers under their new Anti-Paparazzi Law.
On an album that shows significant vocal development and savvy production choices, Bieber flaunts the maturity 18 years on the planet have given him, most recently by recruiting Tarantino veterans to co-star in his short films.
Anything to better prepare him for his eventual Oscar campaign. But first: A massive world tour in support of his new album, which should ignite global chaos as Beliebers from every continent compete to see who truly loves their man the most. And, then, of course, there’s the ongoing mentoring of new acts Carly Rae Jepsen and the Wanted—plus a few aspiring stars we haven’t met yet. Technology might not allow us to clone this one-of-a-kind celebrity (yet), but we’ll take as many new stars as he can mold. Belieb it!
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