Outlandish tour riders are nothing new when it comes to chart-topping stars. But Justin Bieber’s demands for his first-ever gig in India reached new heights of excess. Featuring everything from yoga caskets to Swedish fish, here’s a look at the list which suggests the teen idol is the biggest diva in pop.
Born in London, Ontario, in March 1994, Bieber grew up in the Canadian city of Stratford. He was largely raised by his mother Pattie, who took several jobs to make ends meet, and his stepfather Bruce. He also has several half-siblings and a stepsister named Allie.
Bieber began playing various instruments including the drums, guitar and piano from a young age. He first caught attention when a video clip of his talent show performance of Ne-Yo’s “So Sick” was uploaded to YouTube by his mother Pattie. The future star then quickly began to develop an online following as his mom continued to post footage of his singing talents.
In 2008 Bieber found himself at the center of a bidding war between Justin Timberlake and Usher. The latter ended up signing the youngster to RBMG, the company he formed with hotshot manager Scooter Braun. Released in 2009, debut EP My World then launched Bieber into a bona fide mainstream pop star, with every single one of its seven tracks hitting the Billboard Hot 100.
A full-length studio effort, 2010’s My World 2.0, cemented Bieber’s status as his generation’s ultimate teen idol. Featuring one of his signature tracks, “Baby,” the record went platinum three times in the United States and topped the charts in numerous countries. The star then ventured on to the big screen with Never Say Never, a blend of concert footage and biopic.
Bieber scored his second U.S. number one album in 2011 with Under the Mistletoe, and then his third a year later with Believe. But it was his fourth consecutive chart-topper, 2015’s Purpose, which helped the star transition from child star to credible adult artist. Three of its tracks also reached pole position on the U.S. chart, “Love Yourself,” “Sorry,” “What Do You Mean?”
The star has also achieved major success as a guest performer. Bieber’s collaborations with DJ Snake on “Let Me Love You,” Major Lazer on “Cold Water,” and DJ Khaled on “I’m the One” all topped the charts across the globe. He also picked up his first Grammy for his contribution to Jack U’s “Where Are U Now.”
By 2018 Bieber’s worldwide sales total stood at an astonishing 140 million. Furthermore, he also boasts more than 100 million Twitter followers and was the first pop star to reach the ten billion views mark on Vevo. And the star has been named as one of Forbes’ ten most powerful celebrities three times.
Bieber has also often made the front pages for his dramatic love life. The chart-topper formed one half of a teen idol power couple when he started dating Wizards of Waverly Place star Selena Gomez in 2010. The pair then spent the next eight years in an on-and-off relationship.
After splitting with the Disney Channel graduate for the final time in March 2018, Bieber reconnected with Hailey Baldwin. The singer had previously dated the model for two months during one of his many breaks with Gomez. Baldwin is, of course, the daughter of Hollywood actor Stephen.
Just a few months after getting back together, Bieber and Baldwin allegedly secured a marriage license. As the rumor mill went into overdrive, the latter tweeted that she hadn’t yet become Mrs. Bieber. But the post was later deleted and in November 2018 the former declared that they had walked down the aisle together.
Bieber then confirmed the news when he captioned an Instagram photo of the pair with, “My wife is awesome.” A few months previously the star had also taken to the same social media platform to describe Baldwin as “the love of my life.” He also said, “So committed to spending my life getting to know every single part of you.”
As a result, Baldwin altered her name on her various social media channels to Hailey Bieber. She also started the process of trademarking her new moniker for commercial pursuits. And before getting married, Baldwin’s husband-to-be had also reportedly applied to become a U.S. citizen.
Bieber has also attracted attention for his religious beliefs. In 2014 his close friend Carl Lentz, a Pentecostal pastor with the Hillsong Church New York, baptized him in a born again ceremony. The singer also welcomed Judah Smith, another pastor friend, up on stage while touring his 2015 album, Purpose.
Several of Bieber’s many tattoos are also relevant to his beliefs. The star has a small cross inked under one eye and a larger cross on his chest, and has a Son of God tattoo across his abdomen along with other religious imagery. Bieber once revealed that he prays to God and explained that “he’s the reason I’m here.”
The megastar has often used his fame for the greater good. Indeed, Bieber serves as both a manager and celebrity spokesperson for Pencils of Promise, a charity founded to help build educational facilities in developing nations. The organization was set up by Bieber manager Scooter Braun’s younger brother Adam.
Bieber has also appeared in campaigns for animal welfare charity PETA and has contributed to the It Gets Better Project, which aims to help suicidal LGBT youths. In 2013 the star visited the Philippines after reportedly helping to raise $3 million for those affected by Typhoon Haiyan. Other charities he supports include the Alzheimer’s Association and Children’s Network Hospitals.
And Bieber has enjoyed several business pursuits throughout his career, too. In 2010 he endorsed skin care range Proactiv and launched a line of nail polish in conjunction with Nicole by OPI. Two years later he joined Venus Williams and Derrick Rose in an Adidas campaign. And in 2015 he was appointed as both the body and face of Calvin Klein.
But Bieber’s biggest business success has been with his line of various fragrances. Indeed, in 2011 his first venture into the market, Someday, raked in over $3 million in less than three weeks. He’s since launched the fragrances Girlfriend, The Key and Justin Bieber’s Collector’s Edition.
Bieber also has several acting credits to his name, too. After voicing Bleep in the grindhouse throwback Machete Kills, the star made a brief cameo as a prisoner in teen sex comedy Behaving Badly. He then played himself in both Zoolander 2 and Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping.
Bieber also played himself on the small screen in a 2009 episode of Nickelodeon sitcom True Jackson, VP. Then a year later he was cast as Jason McCann for a season in the long-running procedural CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. And having previously performed on Saturday Night Live, Bieber was then invited to host the comedy institution in 2013.
But, of course, it’s as a vocalist where Bieber has truly attained superstar status, both in the studio and on the stage. In fact, over 2.8 million people attended his 2016-17 Purpose World Tour, grossing an incredible $257 million in the process. This third global trek also featured Bieber’s first ever show in India.
And it was this Mumbai show where Bieber’s behind-the-scenes antics ended up creating more headlines. Indeed, shortly before the star arrived in the Indian city, music journalist Arjun S. Ravi tweeted what appeared to be an official list of tour demands from the Bieber camp. And as you’d expect, it wasn’t exactly a short one.
The singer’s choice of five-star hotel was asked to redecorate his suite with numerous pieces of antique furniture and Mughal paintings. Bieber’s team also requested the space be filled with purple carnations. In addition, his bed had to be adorned with a specific type of linen. The star also demanded various items which would allow him to indulge in his passion for yoga.
The requests for Bieber’s dressing room were just as specific. A glass-door refrigerator stocking everything from cream soda to almond milk had to be made available. White curtains also had to be draped across the room, while clothing demands included several packs of white socks, tank tops and t-shirts.
And Bieber certainly wasn’t going to go hungry backstage. Haribo gummies, white cheddar popcorn, organic dried fruit, Swedish fish and dark chocolate with almonds and sea salt were just some of the more specific food items listed on his rider. The star also requested potato chips, sliced white bread and cheese and peanut butter sandwiches.
But there are certain things that Bieber wasn’t leaving to chance. Indeed, the star even had several items that he just couldn’t do without flown in. These included a ping pong table, a hoverboard, a Playstation, a massage table and even a washing machine to ensure all those tees, tank tops and socks were pristine.
Bieber also ensured that he would be traveling in style throughout his Indian trip. Indeed, the star chose a Rolls-Royce as his preferred mode of transport. His crew, however, followed him around in two coaches and ten luxury cars. He was also flown in to the concert venue, Mumbai’s DY Patil Stadium, aboard his very own private helicopter.
Although Bieber’s demands may seem excessive to the general public, the man who tweeted them claims they are not unusual. Ravi told CNN, “Weird requests on riders are not new at all. Justin Bieber [has] a megastar-level of celebrity. They usually have these kinds of demands.”
The keyboardist for Delih-based rockers Parikrama, Subir Malik also defended the star. He told the Hindustan Times, “Singers like Justin Bieber are big stars, and for them every little thing matters. They need to be in their comfort zone. And if any small thing goes wrong, his reputation as a live artist will take a hit. That’s why he is so particular about it.”
Overall, organizers spent millions of dollars on what the promoter described as the biggest pop show in India’s history. White Fox India’s Managing Director Arjun Jain told CNN, “We haven’t cut corners on this show. Everything [Beiber] wanted we’ve made available, except for a few things that weren’t available for which we got substitutes.”
Jain also revealed Bieber would be treated to some traditional Indian hospitality, saying, “We want to do certain things for him to make him like India. We’ve arranged sightseeing and a Maharaja sit-down dinner with different flavors of India because he loves Indian food. We wanted to host parties for him at celebrities’ houses and have got offers to host him there.”
Approximately 56,000 fans attended the show at the DY Patil Stadium, resulting in a gross of just over $3.5 million. However, the critical reaction to Bieber’s performance was mixed to say the least. News website First Post praised the star for the way he interacted with his Beliebers. However, were less impressed by his lip-syncing and lack of dance moves.
Two months after his lacklustre Mumbai show, Bieber canceled the remaining 14 dates of his world tour. The star reassured fans that “everything’s fine” via TMZ and that he just needed some rest. He added, “I’m sorry for anyone who feels, like, disappointed or betrayed, it’s not in my heart.”
Shortly after, Bieber teamed up again with producer BloodPop and regular collaborators Justin Tranter and Julian Michaels for the song “Friends.” This time around Bieber did appear in the accompanying promo. However, he later decided against attending the 2018 Grammys after revealing he would only perform at an award ceremony once he’d completed his next album.
Bieber then added to both his discography and videography in 2018 with a guest appearance on DJ Khaled’s “No Brainer.” The star joined Quavo and Chance the Rapper on the track which peaked at No.4 on the US Hot 100. Bieber also collaborated with Poo Bear and Jay Electronica in the same year on the song, “Hard 2 Face Reality.”
Towards the end of 2018 Bieber appeared to hint that his fifth studio album was on the way with a cryptic social media post. The star uploaded a video of a little girl getting increasingly upset about her favourite singer’s absence from the music scene. However, his caption suggested that the youngster would soon be much happier.
Indeed, Bieber responded, “Don’t believe everything you read sweet little girl. You will hear something from me sooner than you think.” This appeared to contradict reports that Bieber would be taking a lengthy break from the music industry following his marriage to Hailey Baldwin.
Scooter Braun also added fuel to the fire with a tweet posted in early 2019. Bieber’s longterm manager took to Twitter to declare “2019 is gonna be a wild one. I just feel it.” He then added in a follow-up tweet which he quickly deleted, “JB5?” followed by various emojis.