Justin Bieber
Photo: Getty
There was a time, not too long ago, when Justin Bieber was just a regular boy. His name wasn't yet synonymous with huge crowds and swooning teenyboppers. Then, four years ago, everything changed.

Born in a small town in Ontario, Canada, Justin lived in public housing with his single mom, Pattie. At only 2 years old, Justin started playing the drums. Later he picked up the piano, guitar and trumpet. When he was 12, Justin entered a local singing contest. He took second place, but the real victory came after his mother posted videos of him singing on YouTube. Millions around the world took notice, including music superstars Usher and Justin Timberlake, who fought over who would sign the rising star. Usher won that battle and introduced Justin to legendary music producer Antonio "L.A." Reid, who signed him on the spot.

In the past year, Justin's career has skyrocketed. At just 16-years-old, he's been on Saturday Night Live, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and atop the record charts with his latest album, My World 2.0.
Justin Bieber
Justin says he's slowly adjusting to his new lifestyle. "It's been pretty crazy coming from a little town in Canada and now being able to travel the world and do what I love," he says. "I was just posting videos online just for fun. I never really thought this was possible, so I never really dreamed of it."

Once the videos were online, Justin says the interest started pouring in. "We were getting calls from a bunch of different management. My mom didn't really know what was going on," he says. "She didn't know if it was real."

Pattie says she finally signed Justin with a manager, and things took off from there. "He's got such a great team of people around him," she says. "[They] protect his character and treat him like a kid and make sure that he stays grounded and has fun. I think I would worry more if he was in high school where I wouldn't know what he was doing, whereas now I know who he's with and where he is all the time."

Now that he's reached superstar status, Justin says he's careful about who he and his mom let into their team. "We've grown to be kind of like a family," he says.
Justin Bieber and Oprah
At 16, Justin's working more than many adults, but he tries to hold on to his youth while he can. "We try to take off at least one day a week for me to be a regular kid, go play basketball, hang out with my friends and, you know, just do what I like to do," he says. "Sometimes for that day I just sleep all day because the six days before I'm exhausted."

With all the world travel, sold-out concerts and magazine sales, what's the most excited thing Justin says has happened to him? "I got to perform for President Obama!"

As for the screaming fans, Justin says he's still getting used to them. "It's pretty hard to comprehend. Like everything's just kind of surreal," he says. 

So why does he think teen girls are screaming and crying when they see him? "I have no clue!"
Justin Bieber and his mom, Pattie
If there's anyone who treats Justin like a regular kid, it's his mom. Just last week Justin was grounded, he says. "My mom takes things that I really like, like my computer, my phone," he says. "She takes my phone away for a couple of days and I'm like, 'Oh, I need that!'"

"You can't say, 'Mom, I can't get grounded—I'm Justin Bieber'?" Oprah asks.

"She'll slap me in the face!"

Justin Bieber with the Simon girls
When word got out that Justin would be appearing on The Oprah Show, 9-year-old Micaiah wrote in to say she was heartbroken because her dad had promised her and her two little sisters that he would take them to a Justin Bieber concert. But before their father could fulfill his promise, he was deployed to Iraq, where he's a critical care nurse. So a few days ago, Oprah Show producers got together with the girls' father, Capt. Simon, to surprise Micaiah, Amari and Eniya with front-row seats to see Justin on The Oprah Show.

After arriving in Chicago, the girls were greeted by a very special visitor—Justin!

The girls had a great day with the teen heartthrob, but Micaiah says the best part of the experience was just sitting in the limo with Justin. "That's where we did most of our talking, and he also sang to us a little bit, and that was awesome."

Oprah has one more surprise in store for the Simon girls. Their father is Skyping in from Iraq to say hello. "Oprah, you just made me father of the year for the next decade."

To top off the day, Justin has a little gift for Capt. Simon. "When you get back, we're going to have five tickets waiting for you and your family to come to my concert on my tour," he says.

Take a look back at the year that catapulted Justin to fame! 

Watch Justin desribe his perfect girl 

Usher describes the day he met Justin


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