Justin Bieber details the dark side of child stardom in 'Lonely' video starring Jacob Tremblay
Becoming an overnight pop sensation wasn't so easy for Justin Bieber.
The 26-year-old singer, whose debut EP "My World" thrust him into fame, released a music video on Friday for his song, "Lonely," which gives fans insight into the unseen loneliness he faced despite being in the public eye.
At the start of the 2-and-a-half-minute music video, Jacob Tremblay plays a young Justin Bieber, shown in the singer's signature purple hoodie and side-swept bowl cut hairstyle, sitting alone in his dressing room. Tremblay's Bieber dejectedly prepares for his performance all by himself, as Bieber sings about struggling to balance his success and accompanying feelings of isolation.
"Maybe when I'm older it'll all calm down, but it's killing me now/ What if you had it all but nobody to call, maybe then you'd know me/ Cause I've had everything, but no one's listening, that's just (expletive) lonely," Bieber sings. "Everybody knows my past now, like my house was always made of glass/ Maybe that's the price you pay for the money and fame at an early age."
The video ends with Tremblay on stage mouthing the words "I'm so lonely" as he looks out to an almost empty audience. The only person sitting to watch this performance is Bieber himself, who stoically observes his younger self as an outsider.
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Bieber took to Instagram on Friday to explain the significance of the pensive track to his fans.
The "Holy" singer says that when "Lonely" collaborator Benny Blanco and producer Finneas "showed me this song to be honest it was hard to listen to considering how tough it was to get through some of these chapters," Bieber wrote. "I went into the studio and sang through it which wasn’t easy but started to really see the importance of telling this story! It made me realize we all feel lonely at times! Being someone in my position I believe it is powerful to express vulnerability and that’s why I believe this song is so powerful!"
He thanked Tremblay, whom he described as "so talented."
"It was emotional to see him play me from the outside looking in."
Fans took to Twitter to praise Bieber's song, acknowledging the unnecessary hate he got throughout his career.
"You all owe Justin Bieber an apology for booing him on stage," user bay wrote, adding a video clip of the then 19-year-old getting booed after accepting the Billboard Music Award Milestone Award in 2013.
Another user praised Bieber for his resilience despite having "been humiliated, scrutinized, and crucified by the media since he started his career."
Others applauded Bieber for opening up to his fans and being vulnerable, with user Gabe Erwin calling the song "so beautiful and raw."
"You have lived a life none of us could ever imagine and for you to be so strong through it all says a lot about your character. Thanks for sharing your journey."
His mother, Pattie Mallette, thanked her son for "sharing your beautiful vulnerable heart with us."
"You are so loved and lovable! I'm sorry you have ever been sad or hurt for one second EVER," she wrote. "I'm so proud of my son. Keep going! I love you so much."