This morning Justin Bieber was present in two of Twitter's top ten global trending topics, a feat usually reserved for big events like award shows and major sports outings. Seeing as this is just any old Tuesday in February, what gives?
We asked our Facebook friends about the teen pop phenomenon this morning and the resounding answer was, "WHO?" Still, like him or not, Bieber is a true Internet star, who was plucked from in front of his webcam in Canada and thrown into the real music world, working with heavyweights like Usher and releasing his debut album on Island Def Jam Records. Now he is even taking over Lionel Richie's singing duties in the 'We Are The World' remake. But what makes this 15-year-old stand out from the rest of the aspiring singers out there? Perhaps it's his legion of die-hard young fans.
Bieber's fame is not just buzz, either. Last November, Bieber's debut album 'My World' debuted at #6 on the U.S. Billboard 200 selling 137,000 copies in its first week. At the time, the album was the strongest debut from a new artist before Susan Boyle pounced on the scene and subsequently decimated all competition the following month. Even more impressive, Bieber became the first solo artist in Billboard's history to have at least 4 singles enter the Top 40-- before the album even dropped.
These days you can regularly find Bieber presenting at the Grammy Awards or hobnobbing with superstars like Rihanna and Beyonce (both of whom he's expressed having crushes on), but the true key to his success is never forgetting about the fans that thrust him into the spotlight in the first place (as evidenced by the riots he caused at a local mall last fall).
On Bieber's original stomping grounds, the pop star is certainly a force to be reckoned with. His YouTube page has 136 million video views and nearly half a million active subscribers. If he sings it, they will watch and listen.
Facebook and MySpace
Currently, Bieber has 1,743,255 fans on Facebook and 484,193 friends over at MySpace (at time of publishing.) The latter is maybe not all that impressive in a relative sense (by comparison, larger artist Beyonce has 1,611,244), but as newer social networking sites continue to grow where MySpace once dominated that's not too shabby at all. Here it is quality over quantity.
And as for Facebook? A simple post by Bieber with just a link to his YouTube channel and a sweet Valentines Day message received over 15,000 likes and 4,500 comments. He's definitely a social media juggernaut.
Over 1.1 million strong, Twitter is by far Bieber's greatest asset. As previously mentioned, this fervent network has the ability to start a riot, literally. Last fall, crowd control got out of hand at a mall in Long Island, NY and resulted in five people hospitalized with minor injuries and police arresting a vice president from Bieber's record label. The police's major grievance? Justin's failure to tweet his fans to cooperate with authorities in their attempts at dispersing the crowd. That's pretty major in our books.
Obviously Bieber owes a lot to the fact that the majority of his fans are young (and excitable) enough to devote unlimited amounts of time following his every tweet and musical note. The more we see Bieber around, the more we know he's definitely the one to watch.