Date of Birth: March 1, 1994
Justin Bieber began singing in his hometown of Stratford, Ontario at the age of 12. At the time he was living below the poverty line with his single mom, Pattie Mallette. When he entered a local singing competition called Stratford Idol, he came in third, so Pattie posted homemade videos of Justin competing on YouTube for his friends and family to watch. Justin added more videos, of him performing both in public and at home, and he soon racked up over 10,000,000 views purely from word of mouth.
He also began busking in his hometown, where hundreds of thousands of tourists come every summer to see plays at the Stratford Festival. Playing his guitar and singing, Justin made $200 his first day. He decided to keep it up until he had enough to take his mom to Disney World.
Seven months after Justin started posting his videos online, former So So Def marketing executive Scooter Braun clicked on one of Justin's videos and was so impressed that he tracked down the theatre where Justin had performed, then his school, and finally obtained a contact number for Pattie. Scooter flew the then 13-year-old singer to Atlanta, Georgia to meet with colleagues.
Justin returned to Stratford, and Scooter contacted several record labels on his behalf, on the strength of his YouTube videos. He'd already gained a huge fan base from them, and millions of hits. Several months later, Justin, who also plays drums, piano and trumpet and writes songs, performed for Usher and other executives at Def Jam Records. Justin sang for him and his people and they knew they had a potential superstar in the making. They wanted to sign him on the spot, but Scooter had already set up a meeting with Justin Timberlake. After the meeting, Scooter, Justin and his mom decided Usher's deal was the better one.
In April 2008, Justin, who had just turned 14, officially signed to Island Records. However, it took months for him to get paperwork to live and work in the States, and in the meantime, he continued busking in front of the Avon Theatre in Stratford, then entered grade nine at the local high school.
In October 2008, Justin and Pattie moved to Atlanta. His debut album, My World, received positive reviews from critics. It sold 137,000 copies in its first week, which at the time, was the best opening release for a new artist in 2009. It debuted at No. 1 on the Canadian Albums Chart and was certified Platinum in Canada less than a month later. In less than a month after its release, My World was certified Gold in the United States by the RIAA, and less than two months later, the album was certified platinum in the United States, selling over a million copies.
Three singles from the album were released exclusively on iTunes, and Bieber became the first solo artist in Billboard history to have at least four singles enter the Top 40 of the Hot 100 before his debut album was even released.
My World 2.0, the second of his two-part debut album, was released on November 17, 2009 and debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200. When the album sold even more copies in its second week of release, Justin became the first act in music history since The Beatles to debut at number one, and sell more the following week. The lead single "Baby," became Justin's signature song. It debuted at number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and charted in the top ten in seven countries.
In the Fall of 2010, Justin made his acting debut playing a troubled teen on an episode of CSI. His first movie, Never Say Never, will be released in 2011. Justin, who communicates with his fans on a daily basis on Twitter, has a 4.0 grade point average and wants to go to college one day. In his spare time, he enjoys playing hockey and basketball.