Justin Bieber’s manager was so concerned about his protégé’s mental state at the height of a turbulent few years he feared a comeback tour could have killed him.
Bieber began courting controversy in 2012 with late performances and headline inducing incidents such as adopting a monkey he was then forced to give up, presenting a self-described “arrogant and conceited attitude”, allegations of drug use and frequenting strip clubs. His spiral out of control culminated with being arrested and charged with egg-throwing and drag racing through Miami.
The 21-year-old eventually repented with a roasting on Comedy Central, taking a barrage of harsh jokes at his own expense. He later returned with a string of hit singles and his number one album, Purpose – although he continues to throw the odd tantrum along the way.
But while the transition from unruly teenager to purposeful superstar may have seemed relatively painless, his manager Scooter Braun claims Bieber’s comeback was the final product of over a year’s careful planning that began in 2013.
Braun told The New York Times: “As I started to see it going in the wrong direction, I started to prepare. I put deals in place where he was protected for the long run. And I started to prepare my company to scale, because I was not going to let him work. [After “Journals,” Mr. Bieber’s 2013 digital compilation,] 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 realise and when he is ready, he will tell what he was going through.
“But it's a hard thing to watch someone you care and genuinely love go through that. I'm really, really happy that's over.”
Braun also manages Ariana Grande and oversaw her apology after the infamous doughnut-licking incident investigated by police.
“I also think — not about her, but just in general — we’re getting a little ridiculous when it comes to doughnuts and eggs," he said.
"The rock stars of ’70s were really [expletive]. Let’s talk about some real stuff. Why are we discussing that when we have real significant issues in the world?"
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