Justin Bieber performs earlier this month in Paraguay. (Reuters )
Parties. Sex. Drugs. Alcohol. It's a never-ending cycle in the music industry. One by one, artists fall victim to the pressures of the industry. The latest victim (if you believe the mounting evidence in the tabloids): none other than former Canadian teen heartthrob turned fake Calabasas bad boy Justin Bieber.
The swaggy bro just keeps outdoing himself. Lately, you cannot go a day without reading about an incident involving his crazy antics. One day, he's spotted at a brothel in Brazil. The next, he's filmed sleeping after a wild night with a model or spotted on Instagram displaying his birdlike chest.
This behavior would seem normal for a rock 'n' roll star like Steven Tyler or a rapper like Lil Wayne (no judgment and no shade—just observation). Sure, many of us threw a major side-eye at the TV in May 2012 as we watched him escort Floyd Mayweather to the boxing ring while carrying his championship belts. But who knew he was on his way to becoming an artificial bad boy? He has done a complete 180 and turned into the blue-eyed pop soul version of Chris Brown.
Both artists started out as teen sensations set to take over the music industry with a legion of die-hard fans. Both have made amazing music, sold out arenas and won numerous awards. Both had very public relationships and messy breakups with famous stars. (Obviously, Brown made a horrible mistake and has been on a steady decline in his personal life ever since.)
Due to bad management and PR, Brown never took a break from the spotlight and sought the help that he needed until very recently. I never thought I would say anyone should follow Chris Brown's lead, but Bieber needs to take a page out of his book and get help before it's too late.
With an artist like Miley Cyrus, it's clear that she acts out as a way to shed her Disney image. She's fully aware that her actions are deplorable and ridiculous. Yet with Justin Bieber, he appears to be truly experiencing a clichéd life in the music industry, and he is on a downward spiral headed to destruction.
Justin Bieber should and could be the next Justin Timberlake. ... OK, that may be a stretch, but you get the point. He's a talented individual, but he's letting his erratic behavior overshadow his talent.
True music fans would just like to hear great music. You can keep the extra nonsense. Before things take a turn for the absolute worst, he needs to relax, relate, release and regroup. The industry has enough troublemakers and bad boys. Someone like Bieber doesn't need to follow the trend.
He instead needs to get on that midnight train to Stratford, Ontario, take a good six months or more to spend time with family and get his life together. Then he can resurface better than ever in 2014 to give us more songs like "All Bad"—because we can never have enough Taylor Swift diss songs.
Lela Olds is a RedEye special contributor.
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