The Real Meaning Behind Justin Bieber's Ghost

Fans of Justin Bieber will be well aware of the fact that on March 19, 2021, he released his sixth album, "Justice." Featuring 17 new tunes for eager listeners to devour, each song — including future hits like "Unstable" and "Die for You" — gives us another glimpse into the star's world and experiences as well as his heart and mind. That's why so many people are surely intrigued by "Ghost," which seems to tell us a lot about the singer's take on a certain sad situation.

"Youngblood thinks there's always tomorrow / I miss your touch some nights when I'm hollow / I know you cross the bridge that I can't follow," Bieber sings in the first verse, per Genius, setting the song off with a heart-wrenching tone. He then continues by saying that "since the love that you left is all that I get," he wants the person that he's addressing "to know that / If I can't be close to you / I'll settle for the ghost of you / I miss you more than life / And if you can't be next to me / Your memory is ecstasy."

Are you crying yet? At least sniffling? And you're probably wondering what (and who) Bieber is actually singing about. Well, it turns out that he took the time to explain the meaning behind the song himself.

Is Justin Bieber still missing his famous ex?

When you listen to Justin Bieber's "Ghost," it becomes pretty clear that he's talking about losing someone in his life. But is he referring to a specific person? Some people are apparently under the impression that he's still dealing with his split from Selena Gomez, while others aren't into that idea at all.

So, what does the star himself have to say about the meaning behind "Ghost"? Well, he told Vogue that the song is (unsurprisingly, considering the lyrics) about "losing somebody you love." He added, "I know a lot of people have; I know this has been a really challenging year where we've lost loved ones and relationships too." The singer then broke down what the song offers to his fans during these trying times. "The hook is saying, 'If I can't get close to you, I'll settle for the ghost of you.' That works for this quarantine situation," he tells listeners. "We're not relating and connecting in the same way. It has allowed us to only really have these memories." He also noted that he "hope[s] this resonates and ... fills your heart up with joy or comfort in some sort of way."

Whoever Bieber might be singing about, there's no denying the fact that his lyrics delve into being haunted by the loss of someone and yet (at least) comforted by their memory.

Justin Bieber lost a family member the day he announced Justice

"I need more time, but time can't be borrowed / I'd leave it all behind if I could follow / Since the love that you left is all that I get, I want you to know / That if I can't be close to you, I'll settle for the ghost of you," Justin Bieber sings as he continues into the second verse and back to the chorus of "Ghost," per Genius. While listeners can speculate about who exactly the singer might be referring to, the fact is that two people who were behind the song lost family members before it was released.

"Wrote this one about my grandmother. Really cool to feel her every time I turn the radio on in the car. Miss you Gma," Jon Bellion, one of the writers and producers of "Ghost," shared on Twitter on February 20, 2022.

That tweet came almost a year after Bieber's grandfather, George, died on February 26, 2021. In a sad coincidence, that was the day the singer announced his new album. In fact, the video for "Ghost" is thought to be about his relationship with his grandparents, per HITC, which makes everything about the song even more touching. It certainly seems like this star knows what it's like to lose someone you care about. He also likely knows what it's like to be scared that you might lose the one you love after something happened to his wife.

Hailey Bieber's hospitalization could bring new meaning to Ghost

Have you seen how Hailey Bieber gushes over Justin Bieber? There's no doubt that she adores her husband and the feeling seems to be mutual. That's why he was likely so worried when Hailey was hospitalized in March 2022. The model herself explained what happened while posting to her Instagram Stories (via People), saying, "I was sitting at breakfast with my husband when I started having stroke-like symptoms and was taken to the hospital."

Going on to explain that she "had suffered a very small blood clot to [her] brain," Hailey noted that she "recovered completely within a few hours." Along with acknowledging "all the amazing doctors and nurses who took care of" her, she admitted that "this was definitely one of the scariest moments [she's] ever been through." Following the experience, a source told People that "Hailey doesn't want anyone to worry about her, but it was a terrifying situation for both of them." So much so that Justin could "barely sleep. He stays up watching her while she rests."

Another source told Entertainment Tonight, "Hailey is [Justin's] world and he could never imagine life without her," which means this experience could bring a whole new level of significance to "Ghost," a song about losing someone special. Indeed, when he sings it on tour, it may have a whole new meaning to him. It certainly seems to have a lot of meaning to others who hear it.

Fans love Justin Bieber's Ghost and what it means to listeners

Justin Bieber's "Ghost" could have various levels of meaning for the star himself, while at the same time being a special song to his fans. That's likely why it had topped Billboard's Pop Airplay chart by February 21, almost a year after the singer released his "Justice" album. Beyond that, on March 21, "Ghost" reached Hot 100's #6 spot, Pop Crave noted on Twitter, and it had apparently been streamed 400 million times on Spotify by March 23.

"Best solo song of the year by the prince of pop Justin Bieber," one person tweeted back in response to the Hot 100 achievement, giving high praise to both the song and the star. Others on Twitter seemed to agree, with one person calling "Ghost" a "Beautiful song" while another even went so far as to claim that it's the "Best song on 'Justice,'" which definitely says a lot.

Granted, on top of listeners obviously being a fan of the tune itself, at least one person on Twitter — who also called it a "wonderful song" — added a little more about why they were so moved by how and why the song had touched others, noting that it was "comfort[ing] many people who are having a hard time" during the COVID-19 pandemic. If Bieber heard that, it likely would mean just as much to him as this song seems to mean to those who hear it.