On Music: Twitter helps teen idol Justin Bieber sweep American Music Awards

By Jim Hagerty
Staff Writer

Pop star Justin Bieber took home four awards last Sunday, Nov. 21, including Artist of the Year, sweeping the American Music Awards (AMA).

Bieber, 16, moved past a host of frontrunners such as Eminem for Artists of the Year, also grabbed trophies for Favorite Pop Album, Breakthrough Artist and Favorite Male Pop Artist.

It’s no secret that fan input has had tremendous influence in every award category in recent shows. This year, millions of young, female Bieber followers used Twitter to make the former YouTube star the one to beat in 2010.

The entire show seemed to be about the teen star, with country act Lady Antebellum and Eminem the only other acts to really create a signifcant buzz.

Performances by Usher, who helped discover Bieber, and Christina Aguilera were memorable, yet busy and all about the stage show.

It was still Bieber who beat them all. Eminem, who was not at the event, lost to Bieber in three categories. Lady Antebellum was named Best Country Group, while Usher grabbed two prizes.

Bieber hails from Stratford, Ontario, Canada, known more for its hockey players than pop singers. However, since My World 2.0 has sold about 2 million copies in less than a year, Bieber is now Canada’s favorite son. Bieber keeps fans abreast of his whereabouts on Twitter and Facebook, resulting in massive turnouts for shows and public appearances. Yes, but is this kid from Canada any good?

While Bieber is largely a commodity, possessing the possibility of being tossed aside during the wrenches of puberty, his voice is strong, he’s a good-looking kid and demands respect for his dance moves alone. Make no bones, however, that although lyrics like “…baby, baby, baby, oooh” won’t make the Songwriting Hall of Fame, they will have parents of 10- to 13-year-old girls shelling out millions for concert tickets, CDs and anything bearing Bieber’s image.

From the Nov. 24-30, 2010 issue

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