What's really going on with Justin Bieber

On July 24, 2017, Justin Bieber announced that he was bailing on his world tour after 18 months, despite only recently having announced opening acts Migos, Vic Mensa, Kehlani, and Martin Garrix. The next leg of the North American stadium jaunt was scheduled to kick off just days after he canceled.

Bieber's rep told People in a statement, "Due to unforeseen circumstances, Justin Bieber will cancel the remainder of the Purpose World Tour concerts. Justin loves his fans and hates to disappoint them. He thanks his fans for the incredible experience of the Purpose World Tour over [the] last 18 months. He is grateful and honored to have shared that experience with his cast and crew for over 150 successful shows across six continents during this run. However, after careful consideration, he has decided he will not be performing any further dates. Tickets will be refunded at point of purchase."

Why did he cancel? And is he okay?

He's worked nearly nonstop for two years

An insider told Hollywood Life that Bieber is simply worn out from spending almost a year on the road, explaining, "He was biting off more than he could chew and was over it and decided to cancel the rest of the tour because he's nearly exhausted."

When TMZ cameras caught up with Bieber and a pal, he explained, "Yeah, everything's fine. I've been on tour for two years. [I'm looking forward to] just resting, getting some relaxation," he said. "We're going to ride some bikes!" He added a message to his fans, telling Beliebers, "I love you guys, I think you guys are awesome. Sorry for anybody who feels disappointed or betrayed, it's not in my heart or anything. Have a blessed day!"

Sources close to Bieber told People the singer is "okay for now" but is "super exhausted… He actually does like being on tour, but he's been touring for 18 months straight and it takes a toll."

His team was worried about him

Bieber's manager, Scooter Braun, wrote a long missive on Instagram about the cancellation.

"An incredible run. Congrats to @justinbieber on an incredible tour and thank you to the entire cast and crew for your unending support… To the fans from all over the world who took part over the last 16 months over 6 continents thank you," he wrote. "To Justin who gave it his all night after night thank you. And to those that won't be able to see it… on behalf of myself, Justin, and the team, we are sorry. That was never our intent. But a man's soul and well being I truly care about came first and We must all respect and honor that. Justin will be back and I know he looks forward to performing for you and with you all again. One chapter ends and another begins."

That wasn't the first time Braun has supported taking Bieber off the road. In December 2015, he told The New York Times that in 2013, when Bieber actually wanted to tour, Braun refused for fear of the singer's safety. "I was not going to let him work," Braun said. "He wanted to tour, and I honestly at that time felt, if he toured, he could die…The outsiders don't really know what was happening. It was far worse than people realize. And when he is ready, he will tell you what he was going through."

He's focusing on his spirituality

Part of why Bieber may have dropped his tour is because he's focused on his spirituality. A source told People, "He's been going to church and has been hanging out with his church crew."

Insiders connected with Bieber's Hillsong Church (His ex, Selena Gomez, is also a member) told TMZ that Bieber quit the Purpose tour because his own life's purpose became service to God. Just weeks before he quit, Bieber was captured on video giving bizarre interviews at a Hillsong conference in Sydney, Australia. In between talking about Hillsong and worship, he avoids other questions by brushing his teeth, discussing his acne, and embracing his interviewer. Awkward.

He's taking a cue from another superstar

"He needs a break and is looking to take the longest break of his career," a source told Hollywood Life. "He might not be friends with Taylor Swift, but he admires how she can just disappear and give herself time and he is looking to doing that by getting out of the limelight and focusing on himself."

He may have been shaken by the Manchester bombing

After Ariana Grande's concert was bombed in Manchester, England in May 2017, a tearful and visibly emotional Bieber supported her (his label mate, friend, and a fellow Braun client) in a benefit show for victims and survivors of the terror attack. Perhaps the incident may have shaken him to the point that he was concerned enough for his own safety to lie low.

He doesn't know the words to 'Despacito'

"Despacito" became the most streamed song ever in July 2017, but Bieber has flubbed the lyrics and openly admitted to not even knowing the words. When fans requested he sing it during a tour stop, it didn't end well. Maybe he's waiting for all the track's hype to die down before he sets foot on a stage again.

He's had a rough year

In May 2016, Bieber announced his refusal to pose for selfies with fans ever again. "If you happen to see me out somewhere, know that I'm not gonna take a picture. I'm done taking pictures," he wrote on Instagram. "It has gotten to the point that people won't even say hi to me or recognize me as a human. I feel like a zoo animal, and I wanna be able to keep my sanity….I don't owe anybody a picture." The same day, Bieber was spotted walking around Boston barefoot.

In June 2016, he got into a fist fight outside his hotel. That August, he quit Instagram briefly after a very public feud with Gomez. In October 2016, a string of shows ended badly when he asked Beliebers to stop shouting and stormed offstage. In November 2016, he got into a hockey fight

His 2017 has been quieter (save for being investigated over an alleged head-butt), but that may be precisely because he stayed out of the limelight that he's now trying to avoid.

He's 'the Tom Cruise' of Hillsong

TMZ reported that multiple sources claim Bieber's decision to bail on his Beliebers was because of his influence from Hillsong founder Carl Lentz, noting that Lentz has an "intense" relationship with the performer. One insider said, "The church didn't tell Justin to cancel the tour. He made his decision based on spiritual soul-searching and his own view of the path in life he should be taking."

Another source griped, "He's becoming the Tom Cruise of that church."

Still, some insiders say the church is therapeutic for Bieber, with sources telling TMZ that the singer greatly appreciates their no-camera policy and the fact that he's treated like a normal young adult instead of as a celebrity.

For his part, Bieber denied that religion had any say in his decision to cancel.

His ticket sales were lackluster

Billboard reported that while the earlier legs of Bieber's Purpose World Tour sold out, the final dates didn't fill the seats. Only one of the 14 remaining dates was a sold-out show, with the rest of the dates having 5,000 to 12,000 tickets left for sale. Company sources for AEG Presents told Billboard that the singer "may have been pushing his luck" by booking stadium shows without a new album to promote.

"If the sales were better, we might have pushed a little harder to try and convince him to finish the tour," an insider said, noting that the tour as a whole was hugely successful: "This tour made so much money."

Other stars support the move

Musician John Mayer came out in support of Bieber's decision to cancel the tour. "When someone pulls remaining dates of a tour, it means they would have done real damage to themselves if they kept going," the "Still Feel Like Your Man" singer tweeted. "We've lost so many great artists lately. I give Justin [two thumbs up] for realizing it was time to call it. You should too." 

Mayer was likely referencing the recent suicides of singers Chris Cornell of Audioslave and Soundgarden and Chester Bennington of Linkin Park—Cornell ended his life during a tour in May, while Bennington hanged himself a week before one of his tour was scheduled to start.

Passion Pit frontman Michael Angelakos, who has struggled with bipolar disorder, also spoke out about the mental health struggles musicians can face in the business. He tweeted  (via Billboard), "Until it is safer and healthier for us to be advocates, to be a writers, producers, and performers, I simply cannot continue making music. I love Passion Pit and I love music even more. When something would be wrong, I'd try to ignore it. Then I'd almost die. Really." He continued, "History loves to repeat itself and it's because of systems and their flaws…how many more episodes of behind the music do we need? how many more artists need to die?" 

His crew may be furious

Sources told TMZ that the crew for Bieber's canceled tour dates is livid about losing work. Crew members were reportedly "blindsided" by his decision and found out about the cancellation when the news broke to the rest of the world. Approximately 200 people are out of work because of Bieber bailing, and the workers reportedly are particularly furious because Bieber just had a month off, leaving them feeling "betrayed," reported TMZ.

Perhaps playing a bit of semantics, Bieber denied that any of the people out of work are actually his staff.

He's still being hounded by paparazzi—and it's getting to him

On July 26, 2017, Bieber accidentally hit a paparazzo with his pickup truck when he was leaving a City Church service at the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills, Calif. A police spokesman told People the pap was taken to a nearby hospital to treat non-life-threatening injuries to his legs. A source said Bieber was swarmed by photographers at the end of the church's driveway when he was trying to leave the premises, adding, "He tried to scare away the paparazzi but as he neared the group, he accidentally hit one of the photographers who was in his path."

Bieber got out of his vehicle to see if the stricken paparazzo was okay, laid his hands on him in prayer, and stayed with the man until help arrived approximately 10 minutes later, TMZ reported. Bieber spoke with police and wasn't cited. He reportedly left the scene in a friend's car, while another pal drove Bieber's truck home.

His live performances have been lackluster lately

Bieber has been criticized a lot in 2017 for lip-syncing live and generally just seeming checked out during his live performances. Sources close to him agreed that his heart just wasn't in touring anymore.

"He didn't feel like he could give the rest of the tour as much energy as his fans deserve," a friend of the singer told People. "He is a perfectionist and didn't want to disappoint fans with some half-a** performance. He thinks his fans deserve and should expect the same performance at the end of the tour as in the beginning. He just didn't have that passion right now. He is truly exhausted."

His pal added, "It's a mental exhaustion that very few people understand. It seems very fair, although understandably disappointing to his fans, that he canceled the rest of the tour. It's a mature way of saying, 'Sorry, I need to focus on my own health for a bit.' It wasn't an easy decision for him." The insider added, "It doesn't mean he will never tour again—of course he will. He loves touring. Let the guy rest, and he will come back even better."

He apologized to his fans

On Aug. 2, 2017, Justin Bieber issued an admittedly "grammatically incorrect" (but adorable) apology on Instagram. We've cleaned that part up a bit below:

"Learning and growing hasn't always been easy, but knowing I'm not alone has kept me going. I have let my insecurities get the best of me at times, I let my broken relationships dictate the way I acted toward people… I let bitterness, jealousy, and fear run my life!… I am extremely blessed to have people in the past few years help me build my character back up reminding me of who I am and who I want to be! Reminding me my past decisions and past relationships don't dictate my future decisions and my future relationships! I'm very aware I'm never gonna be perfect… I want you all to know this tour has been unbelievable and has taught me so much about myself… I've learned the more you appreciate your calling, the more you want to protect your calling. Me taking this time right now is me saying I want to be sustainable. 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… I'm not expecting anyone to understand, but I do want people to have an opportunity to know where I'm coming from!"

He reconnected with his shady dad

TMZ reported that since bailing on his Purpose Tour, Bieber has reconnected with his father, Jeremy. Jeremy is said to have flown out to Los Angeles from his native Canada to be with Bieber after the tour cancellation. 

Insiders told the site that Bieber barely saw his father all year up to this point, most recently hanging out near the holidays in December 2016. Considering Jeremy is a bit shady himself, this may or may not end well for Bieber.

He won't be charged for striking a paparazzo

Police won't pursue criminal charges against Justin Bieber after his July 26, 2017 incident in which he accidentally hit a photographer with his truck while driving away from a Beverly Hills church service. Law enforcement sources told TMZ the photographer, Maurice Lamont, was at fault for standing in the street. Sources speculated that Lamont would file a civil case against Bieber, but that the singer may actually win out because he had the right of way, was blinded by camera flashes (including Lamont's own), and Lamont was allegedly standing somewhere Bieber wouldn't have been able to see him.

Lamont was feeling well enough after the incident to release an Instagram video from the hospital the night of the incident. He told his followers (via Entertainment Weekly), "I think the truck was a little bit too big for him, though, because there's no way he could see over the front. He got out, he was compassionate—he's a good kid. Accidents happen."

He's looking for love on Instagram

Perhaps exhausting his usual recyclable options such as Hailey Baldwin and Sofia Richie (and because Selena Gomez seems to be happily tight with boyfriend The Weeknd), Bieber seems to be looking for love elsewhere…like Instagram.

Unfortunately for the singer, his search appears to be coming up dry. Bieber reportedly reached out to a Georgia gym to inquire about one of its employees, a pretty blonde named Jessica Gober, who tweeted about the incident: "Did this actually just happen… lmao Justin Bieber just messaged the gym that I work at and asked who I was hahahaha WTF."

Gober told Buzzfeed, "We got a notification that said Justin Bieber sent you a message and after opening the message we realized it was really him. We were like, how in the world did he see this random post? We only had 70 followers and had posted five times previous to this."

Gober has a boyfriend, so the "Boyfriend" singer may want to take his search elsewhere. (Snapchat, perhaps?)

He's working on new music

Bieber has been hard at work in the studio, and the result is a pretty nice consolation prize for the tour cancellation. On Aug. 17, 2017, the crooner dropped a collaboration called "Friends" with producers Bloodpop, with whom he worked on "Sorry," "Mark My Words," "I'll Show You," and "Children." 

The Biebs was enthusiastic about the song, which describes wanting to stay close to an ex, and plastered his Instagram with promotional images for the track. It seems even when Bieber is technically taking a break, he's still working. No wonder the guy needed a mini vacation!

He's feuding with Floyd Mayweather

On Aug. 15, 2017, Justin Bieber told TMZ that he didn't think boxer Floyd Mayweather would knock out opponent Conor McGregor, but added, "I think it'll be a good fight." He also made it clear he was rooting for Mayweather, with whom he's been friends for years as a member of the boxer's "Money Team."

Sources told TMZ that the singer has been distancing himself from Mayweather, allegedly because of the influence of Bieber's Hillsong Church. He reportedly unfollowed the champ on Instagram, which reportedly sent Mayweather into a screaming rage, with sources claiming he "went insane, nuclear" and thinks Biebs is a "traitor."

Insiders told the tab that Hillsong didn't specifically order Bieber to drop Mayweather, and that Bieber didn't want "to make a clean break" from him, either, but simply wanted to "reset boundaries" and not be as involved in Mayweather's alleged bad habits, which include frequent trips to strip clubs.

Regardless, Mayweather's dad slammed Bieber, telling TMZ, "Justin Bieber…he don't even know boxing. He knows Floyd, but he doesn't know Floyd like I know him."

For what it's worth, McGregor agreed with Bieber's assessment, telling late night host Conan O'Brien, "All you gotta do is look at the statistics, Floyd hasn't knocked anyone out in like 20-plus years. So, there you go. Justin's on the ball with that one."