For Bieber, life as a 19-year-old superstar has been one scandal after another— from throwing up onstage to spritzing Bill Clinton’s photo with bleach and peeing in a mop bucket on YouTube.
But while his image has taken a beating, the Bieber road show just keeps rolling along, and it doesn’t look like the former child busker from Stratford, Ont., will need to pass the hat anytime soon. Bieber’s annual haul, calculated by Forbes from concert tours, record royalties and endorsements, puts him at $55 million — just behind American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift. To compare this to other Canadian pop stars, Michael Bublé is worth $37 million, while Carly Rae Jepsen takes home $2 million.
The Biebs may play the rebel without a cause on the road, but under the management of Schoolboy Records mogul Scooter Braun, Bieber Inc. is maturing into a multi-platform industry, complete with a line of branded Bieber Girlfriend, Someday and Key.
And the Bieb’s inflationary ego is more than keeping pace with his income. That sweet Canadian kid, now suddenly a spoiled brat, cried sour grapes when he was shut out of the Grammys. And when his behavioural implosion was compared to that of an infamously damaged young actress, he lashed out with an especially mean-spirited display of schadenfreude (look it up, Justin)—“to those comparing me to Lindsay Lohan, look at her 2012 tax statements.” Modesty, it seems, is one asset that no amount of rock-star success can buy.