There is no addiction so powerful as self-addiction. – Donald Miller
Justin Bieber’s “Purpose” tour has come to a premature end, a tour representative confirmed Monday. The pop star has been on tour during the past 18 months, having put on more than 150 concerts across six continents.
But “due to unforeseen circumstances,” the remaining 15 shows will be canceled, according to a statement from the rep. “Justin loves his fans and hates to disappoint them,” the statement read. “However, after careful consideration he has decided he will not be performing any further dates.”
The last stretch of his tour included nine shows in North America and six in Asia. Last week, China banned Bieber for his “series of bad behaviors” and “on and offstage antics,” Beijing’s culture bureau announced.
The exact reason as to what prompted Bieber to pull the plug remains murky. TMZ cites a tour source as saying the singer was “just over it,” an account confirmed by Variety. Bieber’s “Purpose,” released in 2015, was his first album in two years.
In the Washington Post’s review of Bieber’s D.C. tour stop in 2016, music critic Chris Richards wrote: “On stage, no contemporary pop superstar appears to hate their own life as much as Bieber, who plunged to new sub-levels of poutiness at Washington’s Verizon Center on Friday, wallowing through his choreography as if he was performing court-ordered community service. Maybe he was. The 22-year-old has run into legal trouble in recent years — trifling sins for which he atoned on his 2015 album “Purpose.”
The “Purpose” tour began in Seattle on March 9, 2016. As of April of this year, the tour had grossed nearly $2oo million.
Although I am not a Justin Beiber fan, I have a certain amount of empathy for the kid and his current frustration with being thrown into the “circus” at such a young age.
The age old question of “Why are young people so obsessed with becoming famous?” is still relevant. Watching the new seasons of the voice and American Idol are reminders of just how many people want to be famous and live the life of a celebrity. These singing competitions are just a couple of the many that people hope will turn them into the next Carrie Underwood or Jennifer Hudson.
But just why is our modern-day culture so obsessed with fame? Certainly wanting to be the next big celebrity isn’t anything new, as each generation had its portion of wannabe rock, movie and TV stars, but since the rise of the Internet, along with its ability to give the average person an immediate audience, the kid who spent hours dreaming of stardom is headed to the nearest computer to show the world what he can do artistically. What’s also different from past generations are the many examples that young people seen on television these days of a person going from an unknown to a global sensation seemingly overnight.
It seems that an extremely large portion of kids would rather be Kim Kardashian or Justin Bieber rather than the lawyers and the accountants that manage their careers and actually make the money.
Orville Gilbert Brim, author of Look at Me! The Fame Motive from Childhood to Death, says that today’s culture is full of people who don’t want to be famous for a particular talent, they just want to be famous so they can feel better accepted.
Brim pointed to several surveys that showed there are at least 4 million people in the United States who make becoming famous their chief goal in life, and these statistics were pulled from findings in 2009. And one would have to assume those numbers have swelled over the last eight years, with even more signing competitions and reality shows being broadcast.
“The ‘fame motive’ has come out of the basic human need for acceptance and approval and when this need is not fulfilled because of rejection by parents, or adolescent peer groups, or others, a basic insecurity develops and emerges as the fame motive.”
Brim also differentiates the various ways people hope to become famous, from wanting to achieve celebrity through a great accomplishment, to wanting to be associated with someone who is already famous, like a prominent family or famous actress.
But what’s most prominent in today’s culture, especially among younger people wanting to be famous, is becoming a celebrity without displaying a talent or putting in any kind of work. Simply put, these folks just want the benefits of being in front of the camera and have no desire of being away from the camera to perfect a craft. “More in the news these days is what I call ‘calls for attention,’” said Brim.
Some might say this is normal and will eventually fade away, but seeing that the age of 16 is only two years from adulthood, and the age one potentially goes to college, there’s a good chance these kids and others like them will bring their fame pursuits into adulthood. What also may sound troubling to some, is the fact that the fame bug is extremely hard to stomp out, and many people will chase unrealistic pursuits their whole lives and most will live in a perpetual state of disappointment, says Brim.
“The fundamental truth about the fame motive is that it’s never satisfied and people have to live with it all their lives. However hard they try to become famous, they’ll fail to get what they’re after,” he says. “This brings many defeats into their lives and later in life, when this final reality sets in, the realization one’s never going to become famous, the person must take steps to protect the self from this feeling of failure.”
“Some interesting psychological processes occur, what I call ‘cognitive strategies,’ such as blaming someone else for one’s failure, finding new people to compare yourself to who are even less successful, or to the devaluation of others who may have become famous,” Brim says. What’s also interesting, says the author, is that the percentage of people wanting to become famous hasn’t really increased that much over the years, and it’s just the fact that there are more avenues today for people to become celebrities, so it just seems like today’s kids want fame more than the kids of past generations.
Brim also points out some interesting figures about the number of people who will be sorely disappointed in their pursuit of fame. “Out of the 4 million fame seekers, if you look at the Halls of Fame and biographies around the world, there are perhaps only 30,00 entries and of those, perhaps 10,000 are dead,” he says. “So this leaves about 20,000 slots for 4 million fame seekers, which is going to leave 3,980,000 people with no opening where they can be famous.” But I doubt these figures will keep people from trying to be the next big thing.”
I started out in this business when I was 16 years of age, I started as a guitar player and later got in the production end and spent the last 40 year as a tour manager. I have worked with a number of well seasoned bands which was always my first preference, but have worked with a few young artists that had sufficient backing to throw them into the spot light, bands like “the Party” developed and funded by Disney.
I also worked with Donny and Marie Osmond who have been famous since the age of five. These young artists were not only were lucky for being discovered, but they had a solid foundation of support from their families and management that kept them grounded.