Why fans aren't listening to Justin Bieber anymore

Justin Bieber was just 12 years old when Usher plucked him out of YouTube obscurity and set him on a course for worldwide fame. His squeaky-clean image coupled with his bubblegum-sweet romance to Disney Channel star Selena Gomez helped the young musician attract a rabid fan base of "Beliebers." He was a mom-approved, Canadian treasure with enviable side-swept bangs. Unfortunately, like many a person who becomes a millionaire before they can legally drive, Bieber momentarily became sort of a jerk. 

He was such a jerk that more than 100,000 people signed a petition begging to have him deported from the USA. We'll call these the "Sorry" years — and they were kind of hard to watch. Between the constant parties driving his neighbors insane and the fist fights and drag races, Bieber seemed to crack under the pressures of fame. Perhaps that's just what happens when one's puberty is essentially live-streamed through a paparazzo's lens?

Bieber now appears to be slowly crawling his way out of the woods and seeking redemption, but many Beliebers seem conflicted. Here's the real reason some fans aren't listening to Justin Bieber anymore. 

He doesn't exactly have an egg-cellent reputation

Somewhere between Believe and Purpose, Justin Bieber went through what was arguably his most annoying phase. You could call it the rich-kid-living-his-best-life phase, but really, he was more like a menace who drove his neighbors in the posh L.A. suburb of Calabasas absolutely crazy. 

Bieber kicked off 2014 the way most teens would on Mischief Night: He allegedly egged his neighbor's home. Police were called, and the Biebs eventually pleaded no contest to one count of misdemeanor vandalism. According to the New York Daily News, he was placed on two years of probation and ordered to do five days of community service, attend an anger management course, and pay $80,900 in restitution (pennies for a star allegedly worth more than $200 million.) As of July 2018, a civil case involving that incident is still dragging on, and Bieber could have egg on his face again after failing to show up for a deposition (word on the street is that he was too busy making out with Hailey Baldwin in New York.)

Anyway, Bieber's 2014 eggstravaganza kicked off a long year of debauchery (and a declining reputation.) He was also arrested that year for drag racing a Lamborghini (at age 19) while under the influence, and he sparked several noise-related spats after throwing house parties in his mansion. You know, normal teenage stuff. 

He broke Selena Gomez's heart

In 2010, "Jalena" (aka Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez) was a shining beacon of hope for teens desperately wanting to believe that true love exists, but by the time 2014 rolled around, the fairy tale was over. How dare Justin Bieber break the heart of a real-life Disney princess (or wizard, at least) and turn impressionable young fans into grizzled cynics.  

If the tabloids are to be believed, this sizzling romance became a dumpster fire at the Coachella music festival when Gomez allegedly found sexy pictures of Kendall Jenner on Bieber's phone. We later learned that Gomez was also struggling with a chronic illness and undergoing chemotherapy in the midst of the relationship drama. Was Bieber fooling around while his girlfriend was worrying about whether or not she'd need a kidney transplant?

Gomez was honest about her anguish — 2015's Revival is allegedly chock full of Bieber references that don't necessarily paint him in the best light. "Of course I got my heart broken," she told Refinery29. "Of course I was pissed about it ... I was so disappointed, because I never wanted my career to be a tabloid story." Beliebers defected to team Gomez in droves, and for a while, it seemed like all he had left was an ill-advised Selena tattoo.

He teased us with a Jelena sequel

Though Selena Gomez had announced in 2016 that she was "so done" and "so exhausted" by her relationship with Justin Bieber, the former flames gave us the impression they were giving love another shot after spending a Sunday fun day together in 2017. When Gomez split from The Weeknd after ten months of dating, folks were once again asking if Bieber was back, and more than a few fans seemed willing to forgive and forget. 

But let's be clear: there was always something a little off about this reunion narrative. Selena's mother even went on the record to say she was "not happy" about her daughter's rekindled romance. Perhaps the supposed pressure from her family is what prompted Gomez to allegedly dump Bieber once and for all. Though some say the "Fetish" singer "still misses Justin from time to time," others say she "chose happiness" over him. Did fans follow her lead?

Considering Rolling Stone dubbed one of Gomez's tracks the 2018 song of the summer, it looks like Team Selena came out on top again. As for Bieber? Yup, he's still got that tat.

He cancelled a gigantic tour

Justin Bieber's Purpose World Tour was an epic success ... until it wasn't. In a year-and-a-half, he trekked across the globe from Europe and North America to Asia and Australia. According to Billboard, it was the fifth biggest tour of 2016, grossing more than $200 million. He ran through more dates than Beyonce's massive Formation World Tour and Taylor Swift's 1989 world tour. Bieber's show was such a success that even Urban Outfitters started carrying Purpose tour merch, but the whole spectacle came crashing down when Bieber suddenly up and quit.

In a heartfelt 2017 Instagram post, the star opened up about why he cancelled the rest of the dates. "Me taking this time right now is me saying I want to be sustainable," he wrote. "I want my career to be sustainable, but I also want my mind, heart and soul to be sustainable. So that I can be the man I want to be, the husband I eventually want to be and the father I want to be."

You can't help but feel a little bad for Bieber, who appeared to be a victim of his own ambitious schedule, and yet, a whole lot of adoring fans were left high and dry by his decision.

He forgot the lyrics to his No. 1 song

There's no way you escaped 2017 without hearing "Despacito," and part of the reason the Spanish-language song became a mainstream music sensation is because Justin Bieber lended his vocal chops to the track, along with Puerto Rican singer Luis Fonsi and rapper Daddy Yankee. Unfortunately, Bieber no hablo espanol, and things got a little racially insensitive during an impromptu karaoke session at NYC's 10AK.

In video footage obtained by TMZ, Bieber struggles to remember the Spanish lyrics to his No. 1 single. Instead, he chants "blah, blah, blah" and even replaces some of the words with "burrito" and "Dorito." The backlash was swift. Some felt disrespected by Bieber swapping vaguely Hispanic food items for Spanish lyrics. Others felt like his behavior was a slap-in-the-face to fans because he obviously couldn't be bothered to remember the words to one of his most popular songs. Oh, and Biebs was also supposedly pelted by water bottles for refusing to sing the tune in the first place. (Now we know why.)

Fans can't trust him

We know that celebrities don't owe us the instant gratification of following their every move on Instagram, but that doesn't mean we won't get a little bit upset when our favorite stan cuts us off cold turkey. Bieber undermined his own base when he deleted his Instagram account and pulled the rug out from under his then-77 million followers. To make matters worse: the decision was made in retaliation against his fans. Let's review:

Remember when we said that a lot of Beliebers took Selena Gomez's side in their messy breakup? Well, those folks didn't take too kindly to Bieber's subsequent lady friend, model Sofia Richie. When Bieber's followers started trolling Richie, he threatened to pull the plug on his own online presence. That's when Gomez herself chimed in: "If you can't handle the hate then stop posting pictures of your girlfriend lol — it should be special between you two only. Don't be mad at your fans. They love you. They were there for you before anyone." Bieber then deleted his account. 

Though he later reactivated his social media, Bieber's cyber protest further alienated his fans — the same fans he'd previously stopped taking photos with in public. Oof.

Racial slurs are never a good look

It seems like the "Sorry" singer is always saying sorry for racially insensitive comments. In 2014, TMZ obtained video of a 14-year-old Biebs singing the "n-word" and joking about joining the Klu Klux Klan in a parody of his own song. He apologized. A year later, Biebs made another racist joke backstage at a promotional event. He apologized. 

Who else deserves an apology from Bieber? How about all the folks he allegedly mooned at a Mexican archaeological site, or the entire nation of China, which straight-up banned him from the country for unbecoming behavior? Then there was the time he signed the guest book at the Anne Frank House honoring Holocaust victims by saying he hoped Anne Frank would have been a Belieber. Yep, true story.

Bieber came under fire yet again in 2018, after allegedly making racist comments during a Cleveland street fight that occurred while he was in town for the 2016 NBA finals. In a video obtained by TMZ, Bieber appears to be trading punches with a guy named Rodney Cannon who claimed Bieber hurled "threatening communications" and "racial epithets" his way. 

That brings us to our next topic: Bieber and brawls.

Did he pick a fight with Orlando Bloom?

Bieber, Bieber, Bieber. One simply does not fight Legolas — have you seen that guy use a bow and arrow? In what appears to be a continuous quest to paint himself as the villain in Selena Gomez's fairy tale, Bieber supposedly went head-to-head with Orlando Bloom, the Lord of the Rings hero. According to TMZ, this dramatic Bloom-Bieber moment was a long time coming:

In 2012, Bieber was spotted partying with Bloom's then-wife, Victoria Secret model Miranda Kerr. This spawned a number of hookup rumors, which Kerr denied. Years later, a freshly-separated Bloom supposedly started hanging out with Selena Gomez following her breakup with Bieber. When Bieber and Bloom came face to face in a restaurant in Ibiza in 2014, Biebs may or may not have made a comment about Kerr. Bloom allegedly took the bait and threw a punch. They were both escorted out as folks applauded. At least, that's how the gossip goes.

Clearly, this is not a cool look for either man, but at least Bloom has played the hero in some awesome pirate films, so we're going to argue that Bieber's reputation bore the brunt of the blame yet again.

Making us Beliebers again

Is it too late for Justin Bieber to say sorry to his fans? After a tumultuous chapter in his personal and professional life, it seems like the singer is really gunning for redemption. 

It's clear the star has been working on himself since cancelling the rest of his world tour in 2017. In fact, he was a shining ray of sunlight at Coachella in 2018, making headlines for dancing like no one's watching, taking selfies with the "Yodeling Kid," and stepping up to become some sort of rogue hero. That's right, according to TMZ, Bieber saw a man grab a woman by the throat at the festival and stepped in to save her. Bieber and a friend reportedly told the attacker to release the lady, and when the man refused, Bieber supposedly punched him and threw him up against a wall as the woman escaped. The man was reportedly arrested following the incident.

It seems the Bieber of 2018 is also the kind of guy who directs traffic when his car breaks down and shaves his mustache because his lady love can't stand it. He's committed to his church, and at the time of this writing, he's engaged to fellow Hillsong congregant and model Hailey Baldwin. There you have it, folks. Never say never, because Justin seems poised to make you a Belieber again.