Don't stop Beliebing

Don't stop Beliebing
PHOTO: Reuters

Call it the comeback of 2015.

With his chequered past behind him, Canadian pop star and reformed bad boy Justin Bieber has been making great progress with long- overdue amends in recent months, culminating in the release of his latest, aptly titled song, Sorry.

And it seems the music world has accepted his apology and is ready to welcome him back with open arms.

He scored his first-ever Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 with his monster hit, What Do You Mean?.

His track with US DJs Skrillex and Diplo, Where Are U Now, was also a US chart-topper.

In the latest green light on his road to redemption, the 21-year-old was the biggest winner at this year's MTV Europe Music Awards (EMAs), which was held in Milan, Italy, yesterday morning (Singapore time).

Bieber swept five awards - Best Male, Best Worldwide Act (North America), Best Look, Best Collaboration and Biggest Fans.

It was a result that even seemed to surprise the pop star himself.

After all, we're talking about the young man who made headlines last year for his shenanigans, like being arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and dangerous driving, being charged for vandalism and making a racist joke in a five-year-old video.

Clad simply in a trucker cap, red T-shirt and matching trousers, Bieber addressed his loyal fans during his Best Male acceptance speech: "It's been a long couple of years. I just feel like this is pretty awesome and really nice for my music. Thank you, I love you all."

The Best Male win was Bieber's sixth award in a row at the EMAs, and he also wowed the audience with a sleek performance of What Do You Mean?.

This, despite reportedly nursing a broken eardrum after a wakeboarding accident.

Thankfully, there were no tears this time round - the same song performance left him weeping at the recent MTV Video Music Awards - or any hint of brattiness that earned him the title of serial troublemaker in the last few years.

The Bieber we see now is strangely calm and collected, and dare we say, mature.

"I don't take anything for granted. That's where I belong, up there on stage," he said after snagging the Best Worldwide Act (North America) trophy.

LOCAL FANS SAY

Would it be presumptuous to declare that Bieber has turned over a new leaf?

Local Beliebers The New Paper spoke to certainly have faith and believe the best is to come from the singer, who made his debut at the age of 16.

Temasek Polytechnic student Damanpreet Kaur, 19, said: "He has always been destined to do great things and I have never stopped supporting him. It comes as no surprise that he won all those awards. I'm a proud fan and I'm excited for him to make even better music."

Miss Nur Hayati Hassan agreed.

The 18-year-old passenger service agent said: "I find it amazing that he can pull himself together after everything that has happened and come back even better and stronger. He is now ready to concentrate on his career and put aside his troubled past."

The EMAs, hosted by English singer Ed Sheeran and Orange Is The New Black star Ruby Rose, also saw top musicians like Taylor Swift, One Direction, Rihanna and Sheeran himself bagging awards.

True to the show's tradition, the two-hour ceremony was not without its hits and misses.

ashikinr@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on October 27, 2015.
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