You Are Viewing
Artist Profile: Justin Bieber
Justin Drew Bieber was born on March 1, 1994, in London, Ontario, at St Joseph’s Hospital, and was raised in Stratford, Ontario. He is the son of Jeremy Jack Bieber and Patricia “Pattie” Mallette. Bieber’s mother was 17 years old when she became pregnant. His parents were never married, but maintain a close friendship and common goals regarding their son’s personal and professional life. Mallette raised her son with the help of her mother, Diane, and stepfather, Bruce. In September 2012, Mallette’s memoirs, titled Nowhere but Up, were published. The book tells of her early life and her work with her son to pursue a career in the music industry. In her book, as well as in an interview with the Today show, Mallette talked about how everyone around her tried to push her toward abortion, and how she refused to abort her baby. Mallette worked a series of low-paying office jobs, raising Bieber as a single mother in low-income housing. Bieber has maintained contact with his father, who married another woman and had two children.
Bieber’s paternal great-grandfather was German, and his father’s other ancestry is English and Irish. Bieber’s mother is French Canadian. He has stated that he believes that he has some undetermined Aboriginal Canadian ancestry. He attended a French-language immersion elementary school in Stratford, the Jeanne Sauvé Catholic School.
Interested in hockey, soccer, and chess, he kept his musical aspirations to himself. As he grew up, Bieber taught himself to play the piano, drums, guitar, and trumpet. In early 2007, aged 12, Bieber sang Ne-Yo’s “So Sick” for a local singing competition in Stratford and was placed second. Mallette posted a video of the performance on YouTube for their family and friends to see. She continued to upload videos of Bieber singing covers of various R&B songs, and Bieber’s popularity on the site grew.
Bieber supports Pencils of Promise, a charity founded by Adam Braun, the younger brother of Bieber’s manager. The organization builds schools in developing countries, and Bieber became manager for the organization’s campaign in Guatemala. He has served as a celebrity spokesman for the organization by running ads for the charity and its campaign “Schools4All”, and promising to visit schools that donate the most funds to the organization. He takes part in the charity’s fund-raising galas and donates parts of proceeds of his concerts and line of fragrances “Someday” and various merchandising to the charity.
Bieber appeared in an animal welfare PSA for PETA encouraging people to volunteer at and adopt from animal shelters instead of buying pets from breeders or pet stores. Bieber had adopted a papillon named Sam from a shelter.