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Why Do Kids Love Justin Bieber?

Updated on October 17, 2012

The Appeal of Pop Star Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber has taken the pop music world by storm, parlaying a few minor hits into a media presence of which music and singing form only a part. He's been a trending topic on Twitter for months and you can't visit a celebrity gossip site without seeing the words Justin Bieber relating to some tidbit on the front page.

Those of us with certain musical prejudices can't understand the appeal of Justin Bieber. In my easy dismissal of his music as pop for pre-teens, I decided I was being unfair. I'd never actually listened to him, I'd simply seen pictures of his truly deplorable haircut and heard gossip on morning radio.

In the interests of being fair to Justin Bieber and his art, if you can call pop music art and not business, I thought I'd take a deeper look and have a listen. And in the interests of helping people, I decided to share what I found here. Maybe I can help other music snobs understand the teen star's appeal or at least help them (and me) shore up our snooty take on pop music in general.

This photo is from Wikipedia and used under the Creative Commons license outlined there.

Justin Bieber Fan? Get the Christmas Album - The Pop Star's Take on the Holidays

In part, I'm leaving this posted here to point out that the dreadful haircut has finally been conquered. Did you know that Justin Bieber has a forehead? He does!

Under The Mistletoe [CD/DVD Combo] [Deluxe Edition]
Under The Mistletoe [CD/DVD Combo] [Deluxe Edition]

If you're a fan of Justin Bieber's sound (or you have a favorite family member on your gift list this year) you can grab his new holiday record, "Under the Mistletoe". The name plays to the very thing I talk about here: encouraging teens and pre-teens to imagine themselves under the mistletoe with the young man in question. At least he's gotten his hair cut...


Christmas Song Videos - Justin Bieber's Holiday Cheer

justin bieber, vest, purple, music, singing, concert
justin bieber, vest, purple, music, singing, concert

A Short HIstory of Justin Bieber

He's Only Seventeen, How Long Could It Be?

Okay, the bare facts: Justin Bieber was born in Ontario, Canada in 1994. He does actually play piano, guitar, drums, and trumpet, though he's self-taught so you can decide how much weight to give that statistic. So, to be fair, he's a musician and not a manufactured pop star that doesn't know a high hat from a b-flat.

He started his climb to fame when his mother posted his second-place performance in a local singing contest on YouTube. What proud parent wouldn't? (Okay, I wouldn't. But Stranger Danger is a whole different lens.) Soon Justin Bieber videos were multiplying like rabbits as mom posted little Justin covering R&B songs for all the world to see.

And see they did. Like a modern-day fairy tale, YouTube brought millions of hits and an accidental sighting by a record label scout. At the tender age of 13 Justin Bieber was signed and singing with Usher. A quick read of the titles of his hit songs reveals a slew of love songs, which may be a factor in his massive success with 12-year-old girls.

Videos of Justin Bieber's Life - TV Interviews and Some Live Performances

I tried to include videos not only of Justin Bieber singing live but to add him playing an instrument or four. I have to be honest, his lack of formal instruction really shows, in all aspects. He's a cute kid but a talented musician he's not. But if you tell people you taught yourself play piano, trumpet, drums, and guitar you sound pretty impressive. I can't help but think it's all a part of the Justin Bieber PR machine.

justin bieber, hat, purple, music, smiling, walmart, singing
justin bieber, hat, purple, music, smiling, walmart, singing

So What IS Justin Bieber's Appeal?

Why Do Kids Love Justin Bieber So Much?

I have to say it, folks, but kids love Justin Bieber because he's famous. He sings love songs with cheesy lyrics and girls swoon because it's a fantasy, just like it was when the Back Street Boys made it big in the 80s: that super-famous, blandly-attractive boy could be singing to me. And for everyone under the age of about seventeen the dream that one day your chance to make it big could fall in your lap means more than discerning musical taste.

To be fair, as that's the entire point of this article, Justin Bieber isn't a horrible singer. He's not very good and with his voice changing it remains to be seen whether he improves with voice coaching or if he's going to fade into the has-beens bin at Target. He's riding high right now, making television appearances and a movie for MTV, milking his fame for all it's worth. While that may lead to adults being sick to death of him it cements his concert ticket sales and makes him lots of money. That's smart strategy for something that could end in a few months.

Justin Bieber is no less talented than a lot of singers who have made names for themselves over the years. The music industry knows just how to play young people: love songs and exploding fame feed the sorts of dreams that everyone nurtures at some point in his or her life. There's nothing wrong with that, in general. And consider how much Justin Bieber has lowered the bar for the singers and songwriters out there that have serious talent--these kids will be floored when they hear real music.

In short, Justin Bieber is a safe fantasy for kids, whether it's a first crush or a role model for how to get famous or achieve your goals. He seems approachable and pretty much just a normal kid. Wouldn't it be nice if adult celebrities let us grown-ups dream a little, too? The boy band phenomenon and the Velveeta-like processed pop star have been staples of the music industry for decades. Justin Bieber can have his flash in the pan and there will be people in twenty years who seek him out for the television staple, "Whatever Happened to..."

What Do You Think of Justin Bieber - Love Him, Hate Him, Couldn't Care Less?

And so I'm curious to see who'll read this far into my little exploration. Please vote to share your opinion of Justin Bieber. If you have more to say, I welcome comments in the guestbook at the bottom of the page as well.

Do you love Justin Bieber, or not?

See results

Justin Bieber's More-Professional Music Videos - Official Videos for Justin Bieber Hits

Here's a look at Justin Bieber after he's spent months in the studio re-recording and fine-tuning his vocals. He performs with a lot of very famous people, like Usher and Ludacris, as well. Compare these processed and prettified songs to the rough live takes above. Is it any wonder people believe that he has a strong voice? There were plenty more "stare at the CD cover and listen to the song" takes but no other official studio release videos to include here, at least that I could find.

I've included Baby, Justin Bieber's biggest hit, Never Say Never, which was recorded with Jaden Smith for the new Karate Kid movie, and Somebody to Love, Never Let You Go, and One Time as well as a few others.

Trash or Defend Justin Bieber - Have Your Say on the Teen Pop Star

Okay, people, it's time to cut loose. Share what you think about Justin Bieber, whether you love him or hate him. Keep it civil, though. Profanity and personal attacks will be deleted. Also, HTML has been disabled so don't bother dropping links here. I just want to hear what people have to say about this latest teen pop music craze.

Is Justin Bieber a Teen Pop Powerhouse or Just a Record Label Schill?

Justin Bieber is talented and a good person.

Justin Bieber is talented and a good person.

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    • anonymous 4 years ago

      I love him, i love his music and looks. He may be arrogant at some time but PLEASE people he's only human, he get tired and he like other people would want some privacy. I love him â¥

    • keenauk 5 years ago

      Look at my page search free Paypal cash

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      He is Talented,Faithful and he never gives up..GOD BLESS U!

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      Justin Bieber,,is so Awesome..i like him very very much..i wish i could see him.

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      he's majical . Teen pop Powerhouse .

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      teen pop powerhouse

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      I have to add something I'd really like fans of his to think about, especially the older ones (parents). If you are wondering if his fame will last and if his "clean" image will last, let me tell you - just look to his older counterparts. He could end up like the first male Lindsay Lohan, or he could end up like Justin Timberlake.. either way you can be sure his marketers and the people he basically works for will tell him to play up his "sex appeal". Right now he's cute for all the 12 year olds, but when he's 18 they're gonna make sure he comes off sexy for all the 18 year olds, he'll be put into steamy music videos surrounded by scantilly clad, gyrating women and he'll be singing far more promiscuous, innuendo-filled, and/or downright raunchy lyrics. Either that or he'll go the way of Aaron Carter and disappear, or worse he'll become a drug junkie. Deep down, anyone know's this is true because it's in history and history repeats its self. C'mon, any good business person knows that in marketing - sex is the easiest way to get to the money. This is just what a pop "role model" is - you too can grow up to be a product of fame and fortune!

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      This article cooled my anger and whole negative outlook on humanity that I was having as a result of "Beiber Fever". You got everything right, brovo on putting aside your bias and looking at things from a balanced perspective. Yeah, basically Beiber is just more "pop", once you understand what pop is it just makes sense. Not everyone is an intelecual who craves rawness and realism from their music, most people just want to have fun and not think about things. For a person who's constantly thinking, analysing, and reflecting on themselves and the world, pop is just dull and pointless. Pop also proves that girls and women can be just as "shallow" and focused on visual appeal as guys have always been said to be. This stuff goes back all the way to Elvis and even before that, it's just that now pop is far more manufactured and less original than in those golden days. If only today's "love balads" were made with as much raw feeling, raw emotion, and originality, then maybe no one would blame anyone for falling in love with these singers. Why is it that Elvis and The Beatles weren't met with such scorn from those beyond their fans (except maybe from strict parents who didn't want to get with the times)? It's not the voice, it's how you use it and what you use it for. Fame and good looks alone aren't enough to become a legend. I think Madonna and MJ were the last of the lot that were worth something, everyone today is just their diehard fans trying to become even half of what they were.

      Bieber can sing, but he's no artist, he's just an entertainer and performer and that's where his talent is. If he'll ever aspire to more than that remains to be seen. But like most, I think he'll just stick to the fame and fortune and be satisfied with it (or with the persuit of it).

      If anyone is to be hated on it's the people who picked him up to use him to make a new manufactured MTV whirlwind. When they first saw him in those youtube videos what did they see? His talent? His singing? His visual appeal? His humanity? No, all they saw were dollar signs. That's how Britney Spears started off too.. and with a start like that it's no wonder she had that huge breakdown a few years ago.

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      justin was cute since he was born,justin sings like an ya JUSTIN,i love you 100%

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      i luv jb mwah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Cath1125 6 years ago

      Well on behalf of my daughter Lauren, she really likes him along with his good looks and she likes his songs, she doesn't think he has the strongest voice. But when I asked her "Do you Love Him", she said to me "No, I don't know him and love is a very strong word", so I know this time next year her crush will probably be on somebody else.

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      they jus bieng haterzz fuk u haterz his the most talented kid i hve ever seen in the world so u jus jelous cuz he soo damm sexii and he get all the girls and u guys get nothing cuz they all busy staring at tht angel and sexii as helll body of his love u justin good bless u

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      Justin Bieber is awesome! I love him! I was a fan of his from his first video and I will be a fan till he posts his last video! I will soon be the next Mrs. Bieber!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-)

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      HE IS THE BEsT!!!

    • anonymous 6 years ago jb...

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      i love justin because his to handsome,cute,and talented i love jb 100% 4ever

    • lemonsqueezy lm 6 years ago

      He's great. My preteen loves him. he is clean-cut... or his image in anyways. He's a Christian. His music is clean. His music is catchy. I like him.

    • GrowWear 6 years ago

      He sounds good from here. :)

    Justin Bieber couldn't sing his way out of a paper bag.

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      • anonymous 4 years ago

        Look at the comments on the left!!! What the hell! Kids, if you`re going to defend this woman, then you should at least put rational statements and facts! All you are saying is OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HE IS SOOOOOOOOO HAWT! Those aren`t even words! I`m surprised you all passed the fourth grade.

      • anonymous 4 years ago

        I fear for the English language.

      • anonymous 4 years ago

        I don`t particularly hate him THAT much.... but I don`t really think that he deserves all this fame. I would place him around....98887th. I hate him mostly because of his retarded fans. Really, didn`t those teens ever take fourth grade english?

      • anonymous 4 years ago

        He's a marketing gimmick. A cash cow. A lip singing pretty boy. Nuff said. If he had any talent it's been wasted pandering to 12 year old girls. Flub him and the horse usher gave him to ride in on.

      • anonymous 5 years ago

        I'm honestly just tired of hearing about him. I could care less about what he does but since he's managed to hypnotize my little brother and cousins I hear about him constantly. Luckily I have my mp3 player filled with Dragonforce and other lovely Metal bands. <3

      • anonymous 5 years ago

        Ha ha, how are people supposed to hate without profanity? Oh well, I'll give it a shot.

        Let's start with him being smug and arrogant, a teen boy who looks at everyone like they owe him something. His movie is misplaced and a load of crap. You can obviously see he didn't work hard at all as far as his fame goes. He was always in the spotlight since he was a kid. There's plenty of kids, much more talented then this one and they never get recognized . Don't stop believing... what a terribly misinformed view on his life. He was born with a freaking silver spoon in his mouth. This pretty boy shouldn't at all be famous. He might be able to sing(Hardly) but he can't write music worth a damn. As far as anyone who likes his music can be won over simply by singing the word "Baby" repeatedly. The future generation of music is left with this? Maybe losing faith in humanity is an exaggeration but all hope for this generation is utterly dead. His fans are all shallow, ignorant, and not too bright. To think these fans can actually stomach the noise can only mean they're dumb and shallow enough to only be smitten by his looks. His rise to stardom is resented by real musical artists who had to work for their glory.

      • anonymous 5 years ago


      • anonymous 6 years ago

        Here today...gone tomorrow. Just wish "tomorrow" would get here soon.

      • anonymous 6 years ago

        justing bieber doesnt have skill in his music. he has people writing it for hiim and he sings em. his rise to fame was not well deserved. and he gets girls carving "i <3 J.B" onto their arms and most of his fans are kinda stupid. but overall, hes alrite as a person but not that good as a musician.

      • Not-Pop 6 years ago

        I'd say that my favorite thing about the reactions I get on this page is that most of the negative responses are reasonable, polite, and clear. The raves are often hysterical and furious and, honestly, poorly spelled and grammatical train wrecks. I'm not blaming Justin Bieber for that, per se...

      Sample and Buy Justin Bieber Songs - Justin Bieber mp3s for All!

      If you've been swayed to the Justin Bieber fan side of this argument or if you're still deciding, you can sample tracks from both of his albums below. I've included songs from the soundtrack to his upcoming film, Never Say Never, and fifteen of his older songs (plus a couple of acoustic songs as bonus material) but you can click through and listen to every last one of them if you like.

      If you've got a story to tell or just a comment to make about this page or about Justin Bieber in general, I'd love for you to share it here. Do you think his personality has changed in the last two years? Did you babysit him when he was seven? Share the juicy or snarky details! (Once again, no link dropping will work as the HTML has been turned off below. This is not a spam collection box, folks.)

      Antyhing Else to Say about Justin Bieber - Have you seen him in concert or do you live next door?

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          slappywalker 5 years ago

          I enjoyed reading this one. I'm by no means a Bieber fan, but I don't hate the man either. I actually have a 4 year old daughter that is starting to get Bieber fever so I am learning to tolerate his music.

          The way I see it, I can't be mad at him for pursuing his dream. It's too late to say that he is just chasing his 15 minutes of fame because those 15 minutes were up a long time ago. I might not be in line to buy any of his music or see him in concert, but I hope that he continues his success without any of the drama that older musicians tend to fall into.

        • ryurek lm profile image

          ryurek lm 6 years ago

          I think some "flash in the pan" types actually do go on to be remembered and clammored for even without much talen. The music industry is more hype and dressing than used car sales. Has been for over 60 years (Sorry, no idea what it was like pre-1950s...maybe always?).

          That said, great lens. As a 40 year old guy I shamefully admit I actually liked a few of his songs I came across. What's behind the facade doesn't really matter to me. I'm not a music student so I really don't know much about it, other than what I like.

        • Cath1125 profile image

          Cath1125 6 years ago

          So far he is clean cut and encouraging kids to follow their dream. Long may it last.

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          anonymous 6 years ago

          I think Justin is a remarkably good artist and that it probably a good reason, girls going gaga over him.

        • TopMovieSoundtr profile image

          TopMovieSoundtr 6 years ago

          My husband wants to know what's the appeal. So this will give him the explanation for those of us over 40.

        • Not-Pop profile image

          Not-Pop 6 years ago

          @GrowWear: And, to keep being fair, David Cassidy had awful hair, too. :D

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          GrowWear 6 years ago

          Well, folks my age will remember going crazy over David Cassidy. Surely our parents didn't understand that either. :) ...I like Justin Bieber, but not in a giggly girl kinda way. :)