Justin Bieber launched the European leg of his “Believe” tour on Feb. 19 in Manchester, England. It hasn’t been a smooth ride for the Canadian pop star thus far.
He’s taken a beating on social media and in the notoriously tough British press for some bizarre fashion choices, diva-like behaviour, and a cancelled concert linked to poor ticket demand.
A look back at the two weeks Bieber would probably rather forget as he soldiers on with a worldwide tour that has him booked with shows through August:
Feb. 25: Bieber spotted shopping in London wearing a gas mask. Two days later, another sartorial choice by the singer — a yellow baseball hat covered in spikes with purple leopard-print pants — captures the attention of “Lost” co-creator Damon Lindelof, who spends the evening obsessively tweeting jokes about the outfit. The next day, Bieber is photographed wandering London’s streets shirtless, prompting a Twitter rebuke from actress Olivia Wilde.
March 1: Bieber turns 19 in what he declares via Twitter to be his “worst birthday.” The reason? Bieber and his entourage are reportedly ejected from a London club because some members of his crew are underage — specifically, 14-year-old Jaden Smith, son of actor Will.
March 4: A London crowd at O2 Arena turns against the singer when he takes the stage up to two hours late, according to some reports. While Bieber later claims he was only 40 minutes late, he still apologizes on social media. Kind of. “There is no excuse for that and I apologize for anyone we upset. However it was great show and I’m proud of that.”
March 6: A frustrated Bieber takes to Twitter to confront his critics in the form of an extended rant. He blasts media for printing “fake stories to sell papers” and urges fans to judge him on only his music. He adds: “im only judged by one power, and i serve him.”
March 7: The Stratford, Ont., native leaves the stage suddenly with only four songs left in his set. A spokeswoman for the artist says he’s given oxygen and a 20-minute break after fainting backstage. He later tweets a shirtless picture of himself from a London hospital bed.
March 8: Apparently recovered, a feisty Bieber exchanges F-bombs with a British photographer who claims the diminutive pop star “assaulted” him en route to a vehicle waiting outside his hotel. The situation escalates until Bieber has to be restrained by his security staff. The entire incident is captured in a widely circulated video. Bieber later tweets that he’s “not gonna let them get the best of me again,” and adds: “Rough week.”
March 11: Bieber announces cancellation of the second of two scheduled shows in Portugal due to “unforeseen circumstances.” Reportedly, the gig is scrapped due to low ticket sales.