Canadian pop gremlin Justin Bieber turned 18 today, much to the delight of thousands of creepy older women who made jokes about having sex with him on Twitter. Now is a good time to take a definitive look back at the 18 years that made Justin Bieber a star.
Twitter followers: 0
Justin Bieber is born on March 1, 1994, to Patricia Mallette—who was 18 years old when she became pregnant—and Jeremy Bieber of Stratford, Ontario. They divorce soon after Justin is born. Did a brilliant star hover over the horizon that night? Did he twirl out of the womb and begin serenading a nurse? We will never know, as YouTube did not exist at the time.
Twitter followers: 0
Justin Bieber says he had a "regular kid life—pretty normal." He wasn't rich, but he wasn't poor; his mom made him go to church every Sunday. Videos of young Justin seem to bear this out, although it's hard not to believe he was actually in a special Canadian pop star-training incubator in Alberta, subsisting on Tang and Poutine and studying Michael Jackson music videos on a constant loop.
Twitter Followers: 0
In 2007, Justin enters the Stratford Star talent competition and finishes second to some 19-year-old girl named Kristen Hawley. Justin's mom uploads a video from the Stratford Star competition to YouTube, which will eventually catch the eye of Scooter Braun, the man who will become Justin's manager. Not sure what Kristen Hawley is up to these days. She's probably selling insurance, and endlessly replaying the videotape of the time she beat Justin Bieber in a singing contest while softly weeping and stroking her many cats.
Twitter Followers: 0
2008 is the year Justin is discovered by Atlanta party promoter and Hip Hop exec Scooter Braun, who becomes his manager. At the time, Justin's mom told the New York Times Times, "I prayed, ‘God, you don't want this Jewish kid to be Justin's man, do you?'" God apparently did. God also wanted Justin to sign with Usher, who becomes his mentor, and to move to Atlanta.
Justin also begins dating this year, according to his Unauthorized Biography. These will be the last girls to ever date Justin Bieber without having to hire retired Secret Service agents to fend off jealous, murderous fans.
Twitter Followers: A few thousand
Justin Bieber joins Twitter in May of 2009 to promote his first single. His fans quickly form into the internet's most powerful Twitter-based hive mind, able to be summoned in a squealing flash mob whenever and wherever their boy king commands.
Twitter Followers: 1 Million
Here begin Justin's "rebellious" years. In November of 2009, the same month his debut album, My World, goes platinum, Justin causes his first riot in a Long Island mall, which ends with Scooter Braun being arrested for not tweeting a cancellation fast enough. Still, Justin's voice is still as pure and crystalline as a silver bell hit with a cherry lollipop.
Twitter Followers: 10 Million
Justin Bieber hits puberty. He admits his voice is cracking, which is probably why he begins to make the jump to rap. His fans, sensing Justin's burgeoning sexuality like it was pollen in the air, become insanely protective: They issue death threats to Kim Kardshian when Justin makes a joke that she's his girlfriend. Their worse nightmare is realized when it's revealed that Justin is dating fellow teen pop star Selena Gomez. The Biebersphere is ripped apart, forming pro-Selena and anti-Selena camps which still do battle to this day.
Twitter Followers: 15 million
This is a big year for Justin: "Vocally, his balls have dropped," Scooter Braun told Billboard. He single-handedly destroys the nerd subculture of steampunk by featuring it in a music video for a Christmas song, and he becomes an investor in a shady anti-texting tech company. His journey to manhood is prematurely complete when he is hit with the first of what is surely to be many bogus paternity suits. Beliebers continue to gain in force; by the end of 2011 they have become as powerful as Portugal's entire armed forces.
Twitter Followers: ~18 million
Today, on his 18th birthday, Justin Bieber tweets:
Clearly, the best is yet to come.