Justin Bieber has just embarked on a huge, global, stadium tour. It was brought to my attention whilst at a concert in Stockholm a fan threw a shoe at Bieber after he told the crowd he wouldn’t be singing his new tune ‘Despacito’, as he couldn’t sing the Spanish lyrics live as he simply didn’t know them. Luckily, Biebs smoothly slipped the flying object and was unharmed.
In a testament to Bieber’s growth as a man and his constant growth in maturity he stayed on stage and continued performing. The less mature Bieber would have thrown his toys out the pram and stormed off stage, like he has done on previous occasions. And if you saw his performance at One Love Manchester you’d have a certain admiration for the man he has become or is trying to be.
It still begs the question as to why Bieber jumped on to a remix of a Latino track he couldn’t be bothered to learn the lyrics to. Is he exploiting the latino music community being the culture vulture he is sometimes accused of or did he not expect the song to take off as much as it has and had no desire to learn it, only to read the lyrics in the recording studio. It has turned out to be one of the hottest songs this summer and naturally Justin’s fans want him to perform it.
When Bieber was performing the song live in a club, he replaced the words with “Dorito” and “I just want a burrito”, in what might offensive and slightly racist to some and funny to others. But it definitely isn’t as satisfying as the performance the song deserves.
Bieber is naturally talented, this can be seen by his videos when he was just a young prepubescent boy, singing Chris Brown songs in his living room. The problem with natural talent is that it can make you lazy. You don’t have to work as hard and most of the time naturally talented people know that. When I saw him live back in November, it was clear he wasn’t as interested compared to shows in his younger years, he was often lip-syncing at times, lethargic at others and he turned up late. Even if the show was entertaining and pleasing on both the eyes and ears.
For what it’s worth, singer Luis Fonsi, who offers the main vocals for the track said “I don’t blame him not knowing, and I think we have to give him a little bit of a pass because that’s not his main language.” He added: “We can’t expect the guy to just out of the blue get it perfectly. I mean, it’s obvious when he was recording the song he had the lyrics in front of him.” But he did go on to add “I mean, obviously I would love for him to learn it”. A fair defence of the main who has brought this song to the mainstream, making it a worldwide number 1.
The fact is Bieber is rich, that’s no secret, so he has all the resources in the world to properly learn a few lines of Spanish. There are few excuses for the Canadian. Bieber has a loyal fan base (even if they do throw shoes at him). And I doubt his refusal to sing ‘Despacito’ live will deter them. But it shouldn’t be hard for Bieber to learn a few simple lines of Spanish. It’s not a stretch to expect Bieber to perform his own songs. It’s just another sign of laziness from Biebs. It’s his job to remember his lyrics, he might want to think about learning them before he gets more heat.