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Justin Bieber: A cautionary tale

TORONTO (NEWS1130) – He is an idol to kids the world over and he’s leaving a trail of trouble wherever he goes; Justin Bieber’s latest antics are in Toronto, where he turned himself in last night to face an assault charge involving a limo driver.

Bieber is just one of many pop stars who have been in headlines for the wrong reasons over the last year or so, culminating in an arrest last week for DUI and drag racing in Miami and now these legal problems Toronto.

(Try Googling “Bieber’s hits” — you don’t get songs, you get videos of Justin throwing punches or driving into photographers.)

Music BC executive director Bob D’Eith says a combination of typical teen issues and mountains of money and fame can be a rough combination for a young star and, like many young people, Bieber needs someone to provide structure and discipline.

“If you tell a teenager, as a client, what they don’t want hear, they usually fire you. That’s the problem… a lot of these younger artists tend to surround themselves with people who will listen to what they say without question.”

D’Eith says the music industry can be unforgiving for young stars and says parents of children who have real breakthrough potential might actually want to hold them back a bit.

“Why do you need to be an international superstar at 15 or 16? It just ruins a lot of kids’ lives. If you are going to make a career out of music, you really should play the ‘long game’. If you’re going to have a long career you can’t just think about the next 15 minutes, you have to think about how to sustain a whole career. That takes a lot of work,” he tells News1130.

D’Eith also points a finger at excessive media coverage.

“Why is it that throwing eggs at your neighbour’s house is international news? We have to look beyond just the teenager to the media and wonder why we’ll break through a senator’s dialogue on national television for a Justin Bieber story. It doesn’t make any sense.”

Bieber was escorted by several police officers and a bodyguard through a crush of journalists and screaming fans when he arrived at a downtown Toronto police station last night.

The 19-year-old was charged with one count of assault, accused of hitting a limo driver in the back of the head on December 30th, and spent about two hours in the station before slipping out a back exit.