Justin Bieber is trying to put his bad years behind him. First stop, church. In a new profile by Billboard, starting with a religious ceremony at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, the 21-year-old “Sorry” singer discusses his efforts to repent for a torrid past as a teenage star.
“Enough with the Justin Bieber Show. I want to veer away from the self-centered attitude,” he said. “I’m just focused on the people who have been there since the start, on people who are taking the journey now. I want them to feel like we’re doing this together.”
With our radios already streaming chart-topping singles off of Bieber’s upcoming fourth album, it would appear the singer has made a full comeback after years littered with personal strife, such as a DUI arrest, charges of vandalism, and a public petition begging to deport him back to Canada.
However, while the Grammy nominee seems to be slowly stitching his life’s path back together, he asserts it was dangerously close to turmoil.
“It might seem awesome from the outside, but I’m struggling,” he told Billboard. “Certain things broke my trust with people….I felt like people were judging me all the time. I came out alive. I came out swinging. But, I was close to letting [fame] completely destroy me.”
While there are many differences between him and reality star Kylie Jenner, he offers some insight into her behavior because he, too, grew up in front of the cameras.
“Look at her world. She has been living on TV since she was a kid. Every time she’s looking around she sees a camera, and that’s affecting how she’s thinking and how she’s perceiving people and why she has to do certain things,” he said of the 18-year-old. “Situations that happen taint your mind, especially in this industry. Especially for girls.”
After more than five years in the spotlight, even Bieber accidentally finds himself in private moments that are played out for the world. Most recently, he was photographed by paparazzi while naked during a vacation in Bora Bora. After the photos went viral, the scandalous moment garnered even more attention when Bieber’s father asked “What do you feed that thing?” on Twitter.
“I do feel the photo was an invasion of my privacy. I felt super violated. My dad made light of it, but I don’t think that’s sick and twisted. It was funny,” he admitted. “Dads are going to be dads.”
As for another tumultuous element of his past—his former relationship with “Good For You” singer Selena Gomez—he speaks of her only with kindness.
“I’m proud of the woman she is today,” he declared. “When you love someone that much, even if something comes between you, it’s a love that never really dies.”