Justin Bieber: The Social Media Pop Star

by Russ Hill on March 29, 2010

Open up iTunes.

Check out who has the #1 selling album in the US right now.

It’s Justin Bieber.

Those of you lovers of current music know who he is, but I’m guessing most people reading this post have no idea.

Justin is today’s 16-year-old pop music superstar.  His single “One Time” owned the pop markets in ten countries last summer.  His album, “My World,” went platinum.  Now, he’s back on top of the music charts with “My World 2.0.”

So, you’re asking, what’s the big deal?  There have been plenty of teenage pop sensations.  Yes, but Justin Bieber is the first music superstar born on YouTube.

Here’s the quick story.  Justin was raised by a single mom who encouraged him to pursue his musical talents.  At the age of 12 while most kids were playing Xbox and texting all their friends, he spent all his free time teaching himself how to play the piano, guitar, and trumpet.

In the fall of 2007, he and his mom came up with an idea: let’s post some videos on YouTube.  So, Justin would do his own unique versions of the latest hit from Usher, Justin Timberlake, Chris Brown, and others and then he’d post the video to the web.

Well, as Gary Vaynerchuk says in Crush It, it doesn’t necessarily matter how many people you have reading or watching your stuff online.  It matters who is doing it.  Well, it just so happened that Usher’s agent became aware of Justin Bieber’s material.  So, he contacted Justin and arranged for him to meet Usher.

The rest is history.  Usher took Justin under his wing and made sure he was involved in the rise of the next pop music superstar.

Now, less than two years (think about that: TWO YEARS) after he posted those first YouTube videos in his mom’s home he now has a platinum record and is currently the artist selling the most albums on iTunes.

This is a classic story of someone being PASSIONATE about something, pursuing his goals, and using FREE Internet tools to build his awareness.

I love these stories.  It reminds us to make sure we’re doing what we’re passionate about and to use social media and the Internet to let the world know about it.  Who knows what will happen next…

Oh, and by the way, since hitting it big, Justin hasn’t abandoned his social media upbringing.  You’ll find Bieber video diaries posted on YouTubes all the time.

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