I was young once and there were singers I truly admired. But let me tell you, Justin Bieber is no Michael Jackson, nor will he ever be.
That being said, “Bieber fever” is about to go into pandemic mode. The tween king’s latest album, “Believe,” took over the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Hot 200 this week.
I study these charts, and the Bieber phenomenon isn’t as great as the media portrays it. He can move albums — no one’s questioning that. As far as having hit singles, not so much.
Bieber has scored on the Hot 100 eight times, but only two singles have cracked the top 10. “Baby” hit No. 5 in 2010, and most recently “Boyfriend” peaked at No. 2.
Compared to past teen idols like Britney Spears, ‘N Sync, NKOTB, Debbie Gibson, Backstreet Boys, Christina Aguilera, Tiffany and countless others, Bieber is under par. At least those artists had a track record of hit singles to go with best-selling albums.
Bieber happens to have three songs on Billboard’s Hot 100 this week. But before your temperature rises, let’s see where they are. “Boyfriend” is down to No. 9 after 12 weeks on the chart. Three months sounds like a long time, but Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep” was on it for almost a year.
His other two singles both hold special distinctions this week. “As Long As You Love Me” featuring Big Sean takes the week’s biggest jump, while “All Around The World” featuring Ludacris takes the week’s biggest fall.
“As Long As you Love Me” debuts at No. 21 in its first week, whereas “All Around The World” dropped from No. 22 to No. 90 in just its second week on the chart.
No singer would be proud of dropping 68 spots after just two weeks, especially during the week of the album’s release.
Last week, NBC devoted two nights to Bieber (Thank God for TV on DVD — I caught up on “Mike & Molly”). I’m sure it was done to help boost album sales. Industry executives predicted “Believe” would sell in excess of 500,000 units its first week, but that fell short. Tallies show it may have sold just over 400,000 copies. That’s still good, but nowhere near what it should have, concerning all the hype this kid gets.
I don’t want to take anything away from the fans, but for me, it’s going to take more than an album titled “Believe” to make me believe.
David T. Farr is a Sturgis (Mich.) Journal correspondent. Email him at email@example.com. You can also find The Farr Side on Facebook.
bieber, justin, media, release, sales, single