Taking sides: Will puberty destroy Justin Bieber?
There comes a time in every chart-topping kiddie-pop superstar's life when his voice begins to change. Based on a recent performance on "The View," that time is now for Justin Bieber.
Sure, things couldn't be better for the 16-year-old singer -- his debut full-length "My World 2.0" premiered at the top of the charts yesterday and his omnipresence on Twitter seems indefatigable. But how will fans cope when their cherub-faced young idol turns into a man?
In our weekly Taking sides column, Click Track's contributors tackle the question: Will Justin Bieber's career survive puberty? Cast your vote below and read our thoughts after the jump!
Sarah Godfrey: Bieber definitely risks losing this group of fans as he transitions from a boy to a man. He could turn out to be the next Justin Timberlake, forcing me to eat my words, but my gut tells me that he's a blip and that his success is inversely proportional to the amount of facial hair he sprouts. Could he pull a Bobby Brown and manage to stay relevant into his 20s? Maybe, but he'd need a serious overhaul to make it work. The idea of a 25-year-old Bieber singing "Favorite Girl" in husky tones kind of creeps me out.
Allison Stewart: I don't know if he's necessarily a career artist -- I don't know if those even exist anymore -- but I think his best shot at surviving puberty with his career intact is to: A) Remain adorable as he ages. No one wants another Danny Bonaduce situation. Or B) Morph into some kind of actor-singer hyphenate. He's already at a distinct disadvantage compared to, say, Miley Cyrus, who has clothing lines and acting roles to fall back on. The more Bieber can adapt, the likelier he is to survive.
David Malitz: It's not even a matter of puberty. It's a matter of his 30 month window of fame. Bieber is not Timberlake. He probably isn't even Nick Jonas. Hanson is the comparison we should be looking at for teen phenoms like Bieber. And in today's accelerated culture he might not even have that much time. There are fans who have become so obsessed over these past few months that they won't care if he's pitchier than Carlos Zambrano with Dusty Baker as his manager, they will still love him. Extended superstardom? Just don't see it.
Chris Richards: Alone I stand on this Thursday afternoon, anticipating another full decade of Biebermania. After interviewing Bieber in December --- and spending time with the Bieb's now-embattled manager Scooter Braun -- it became abundantly clear that this kid's career has been hyper-plotted. They want to make him the next link in the Jackson-Timberlake chain: An adorable boy genius that defies the odds to morph into an adult superstar. But unlike his disposable kid-pop contemporaries, I think Bieber actually has an ear for what great pop music sounds like. He'll figure out how to use his man-voice accordingly.
April 1, 2010; 1:00 PM ET
Categories: Taking sides | Tags: Justin Bieber
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