Music

Justin Bieber’s Manager Says He Thought The Pop Star Might Die

“I was not going to let him die."

In a candid interview with The Guardian, Justin Bieber’s manager Scooter Braun has revealed he feared the pop star might die during a publicly tumultuous period a few years ago.

Valued at an estimated US $23 million ($31,112,800), Braun is one of the music world’s most successful managers: in addition to Bieber, he counts Ariana Grande and Carly Rae Jepsen among his fleet of pop stars. He also has an on-and-off managerial relationship with Kanye West, with Braun telling The Guardian they’re not currently using the “M word”.

All this is to say that Braun knows pop inside and out, so the feature provides remarkable insight into both the industry and specific events, like Grande’s benefit concert at Manchester last June. Most notably, Braun speaks openly about Bieber’s stumbling period in 2013 and 2014, where it seemed the Canadian singer would wind up another off-the-rails child-star.

For two years, Bieber dominated tabloids in a snowball of missteps (visiting a controversial Japanese war memorial, saying Anne Frank “would have been a Belieber”), odd behaviour (peeing in restaurant kitchens, leaving a pet monkey in Germany) and then serious offences (facing a series of charges relating to vandalism, assault and careless driving).

Rumours abounded of substance and alcohol issues — last year, Braun told the Wall Street Journal that many industry heavyweights told him to drop Bieber. Braun continued to keep quiet on specifics, but revealed that the period felt life-and-death.

“I was not going to give up on him, I was not going to let him die,” he said. “I was not going to put him in that position of: ‘Oh, let’s just keep him working.’”

In recent years, Bieber had been back on track. Since 2014, he’s rehabilitated his image, in large thanks to comeback album Purpose (‘Sorry’ is objectively an excellent song). He’s also now a born again Christian, frequently visiting Sydney for conferences at Pentecostal church Hillsong — Braun says, that “the best thing that happened to Justin Bieber is that he found God.”

Oh, and he just got engaged to Hailey Baldwin, which is nice.