For millions of Beliebers — Justin Bieber’s devoted fans — Christmas was tainted by the shocking news of his “retirement”.
The pop star had announced his intentions to leave the industry on Twitter.
Reactions to the news were varied: “It’s impossible to enjoy Christmas now. The day is ruined. Cancel Christmas,” an overdramatic and distraught fan tweeted.
On the other hand, long-time Bieber-haters declared the holiday “the best Christmas ever”.
Fans that The New Paper spoke to kept their cool and were convinced Bieber was merely “joking”.
According to student Ayu Katrina Mohd Hatta, 16, the cheeky teen idol tweeted “lol” (online slang for laughing out loud) after he told his “beloved beliebers” that he was “officially retiring”.
He deleted the tweet soon after.
Bieber himself seemed contradictory, reassuring fans that he’s “here forever” and that he’s “never leaving” his army of adoring fans.
She guessed: “He’s not retiring from music but merely taking a break. He has had a rough year and wants to steer clear of the media attention.”
To say that the singer has had a turbulent year would be an understatement.
The 19-year-old bad boy had made headlines during his latest Believe world tour for visiting a brothel in Rio de Janeiro, getting into a scuffle with a British paparazzo and for that scandalous video of him sleeping, captured by Brazilian model and bodybuilder Tati Neves.
It seemed like Bieber was breaking under intense media scrutiny at the peak of his career.
Ayu reckoned that Bieber’s career will take a backseat as he chooses to focus on spending time with his family.
Another fan, student Nur Hayati Hassan, 16, said she would not be surprised if he uses the break to rekindle his romance with ex-girlfriend and US pop singer Selena Gomez.
She said: “It seemed like things got worse for him after he broke up with her. Ninety per cent of his songs from his latest CD Journals were about her.”
Gomez, 21, who was in a two-year on-again-off-again relationship with Bieber, recently axed concert dates in Asia and Australia next year, citing the need to focus on herself.
Sheer coincidence, hmm?
If Bieber’s so-called retirement is a publicity stunt to promote his newly-released documentary Justin Bieber’s Believe, it worked like magic.
His post was re-tweeted nearly 300,000 times and generated hype for the new movie, released on Christmas Day.
The movie is said to be an honest, heartfelt portrayal of the pop icon’s life as he transitions into adulthood while juggling a successful career.
Addressing his previous controversies, it also touches on themes like love and heartbreak — no prizes for guessing who Bieber must have been referring to.
“I think we present a situation to people, and show that he’s a kid who’s figuring it all out, and that’s okay. I love Justin, he’s a really good kid,” the movie’s director Jon Chu told The Hollywood Reporter.
“So when I see him struggle, it hurts me, too, and I just wanted to share that experience of our relationship with the audience.”
Chu also directed Bieber’s first documentary Justin Bieber: Never Say Never in 2011.
It has been an unfortunate year for Bieber but to prematurely end his career would probably be a tragic and silly move, say fans.
Even if he is toying with the idea, his manager, Scooter Braun, told British television network ITN at the premier of Believe that he has no plans for Bieber to quit the industry. He said Bieber is just “(taking) some time for himself for the first time since he was 12”.