By learning more about Justin's early years, we can see into this unique world that helped to create one of the world's biggest stars within just a matter of a few years of hitting stardom. Keeping this in mind, remember, the sheer willpower Justin has displayed time and time again has helped to build up who he is today. There is much to be said not just about his upbringing but also about how his personality has contributed to his success.
Justin Bieber was born on March 1, 1994. At the time, his parents lived in London, Ontario. He would later move to Stratford, Ontario, where he would spend most of his young life. While we do not have his exact address (the teens out there would love to stop over to visit after all) we do know that Justin's family still lives in Stratford.
Stratford is a small city. It has just 30,500 people calling it home. An interesting fact about the city is that it was named after Stratford Upon Avon, a city in England. That city is the location that William Shakespeare was born. That fact is what put the city on the map. Each year, there is a Shakespeare festival that occurs in Stratford, where more than a million people from around the world come to visit. It is the largest festival in North America to honor the great poet and author.
Justin Bieber's Parents
When Patricia Lynn Mallette, often called just Pattie, was 18 years old, she became pregnant with Justin. Though finances were often limited, Justin did have a positive upbringing. His mother worked various low paying office jobs, doing whatever she had to in order to take care of her young son. She continued to take care of Justin throughout his young life, and the two often lived in low income housing.
Justin's father is a man named Jeremy Jack Bieber. Justin does have a relationship with his father. However, his father married another woman when Justin was younger and had two children.
Justin's parents broke up when he was just ten months old. His father, while still very close in his life, often took construction jobs out of town. His mother worked hard, often long hours, to keep a roof over their head. He says of this in his book, "I admire my mom so much for how she stepped up to meet all the challenges in her life."
Many ask about Justin's heritage. Justin's great grandfather on his father's side was a German immigrant who traveled to Canada to establish a new life many years prior to Justin's birth. His mother's ancestry is French Canadian.
In his book, Justin says, "I am a proud Canadian and I hope that comes through in everything I do. I love hockey, maple syrup and Caramilk bars. Canada is an awesome country in general, and Stratford is an excellent place to call home."
While Justin's parents worked, Justin spent most of his time with his grandparents. He was also in a daycare facility, but most of the time his mother was working he was spending time with his grandparents. He is proud of this fact since it allowed him to develop a very strong relationship with both of his grandparents. Interestingly, his mother's parents were often with him for concerts and other appearances. They are his rock, alongside his mother.
Although his early years may not have been the most luxurious, Justin points out that he never felt as if he was poor. Rather, he felt loved and felt as though he had plenty of opportunities throughout his life. He is quoted as saying, "We lived in public housing, and there were no luxuries at our little apartment, but it never occurred to me that we were poor. We had each other, which was everything we needed." That is an impressive statement from a young man who could have complained about the fact that he did not have the luxury upbringing that so many other kids did have.
Justin Bieber's Extended Family
In Justin's book, he discusses a great deal about his family and how "extended" they really are. He states that his mother's father is not her biological father. Her biological father passed away when his mother was an infant. His grandmother married his grandfather when his mother was just two years old. His grandfather, though they may not be biologically related, is truly close and there is virtually no difference. Since Justin's grandfather had a family previous to marrying his grandmother, Justin has a great number of extended family members. Though these family members are in fact "step" family, they are still close and most of them still come to his grandparent's home each year for Christmas. Justin fondly remembers these special family get-togethers.
Fishing with Grandparents
Justin spent a lot of time with family growing up and, like many other families; there were traditions and activities that all members of the family would do together. One of the things his grandparents did each summer was to go fishing at Star Lake. It was a family reunion of sorts as his grandmother's brothers and sisters would also come. His grandmother's father, Justin and his grandfather would all go fishing together each year. The interesting bit of this story is that his great grandfather did not speak English but instead spoke French Canadian (this is a strong part of his heritage, too.) Justin's grandfather could not speak French. The two, who often fished together, were unable to communicate well, but managed to do well. Justin, though, learned to speak both French and English and was able to work as a translator for the two.
Within Justin's book, he states just how valuable this no-talking type of relationship can be. He says, "I mean, think how nice it is when you can hang out with someone and not have to fill up the air with small talk. I hate being on a date where both people are working too hard to come up with stuff to say. You know it’s working when you can just chill - listen to music, watch a movie or whatever - without feeling like you have to force the conversation. It should just be natural."
Justin's Bieber's Siblings
Some do not realize that Justin does have a brother and a sister. Though they are younger than him, he is very proud of these two people in his life. He has a baby brother named Jaxon and a sister named Jazmyn. Both of the children share his father. The two are younger than Justin and thus he likes to play with them and be a big brother to them. However, with Justin being on the road so much, it is hard for him to be there for his two younger siblings.
Justin Bieber and God
It may seem strange to some that such a young artist would be so passionate about his religion, but he is. Justin has a strong faith, which he often says is what gets him through tough situations and what has blessed him with the many benefits he has had throughout his life. Just states the following in his book. "She [Justin's mother] let me be myself, but she kept an eagle eye on me, stayed strong about discipline, and impressed on me the importance of doing the right thing and keeping God in my life. I admire her so much for how she learned from her mistakes, got her life together and made a life for me."
A Young Star's Interests
As a young boy, Justin was a typical child. He participated in various sports and loved to play hockey, soccer and chess. Although he did enjoy music even as a younger child, he kept these aspirations to himself for the most part.
At his grandparent's home, Justin had his own bedroom. His grandparents knew of his love of hockey and therefore painted the room blue and white. This is a clear representation of the Maple Leafs, one of the largest hockey teams in the country, and certainly Justin's favorite. He says, "There was never any question about it: I was into hockey from day one, and the Maple Leafs were my favorite team."
One of the biggest questions that people want to know is where Justin learned to do so much at such a young age. After all, the young star is able to play the guitar, the piano, percussion instruments and the trumpet. His parents did not have the financial ability to educate him in these areas professionally, and as he was often hiding his love of music as a young boy, this was not something likely to have happened even if he could afford it.
Rather, Justin taught himself to play the piano and later the drums, trumpet and the guitar. This is interesting. Imagine being a young boy, playing sports and working hard at school. On top of accomplishing that, he was able to teach himself to play a variety of instruments, not just one! More so, he did not receive professional training and yet his skills in playing these instruments are top notch. This shows just how powerful of a young man Justin was even at a very young age. Music, it seemed, was in his blood!
Justin often talks about his passion for music and what it means to him. One of the most important elements to a young musician, he says, is the beat. He states that even being just two years old, he had to find a beat in the music he listened to, and there was constant music around him. He credits his love of music to his mother, who loved pop music throughout her life. When Justin and his mother were in a car, for example, she would turn the radio up loud to various popular songs at the time. Justin's mother loved listening to Boyz II Men and Michael Jackson, both artists that would later influence Justin's own music.
Justin's life was all about music even from this young age. He used every type of material he could to create the sound he wanted to hear. It might have been banging on pots and pans at home or the tables and chairs. He used spoons, phones or even his fist to create music on any surface he could. One of Justin's most precious first gifts as a young child was a toy drum set. He played it all the time and people, even at this very young age, noticed that Justin was able to keep a beat using that toy drum.
In his book, Justin describes the influence music had in his life. He says, "There were always a lot of interesting, artsy people hanging around our place. I think artsy people who can't afford to go anywhere tend to hang out in the living room of the coolest person, playing guitars and talking about philosophy or whatever, and that's the living room I grew up in."
This was not the only influence he had in music, though. In fact, Justin's musical experience comes from his religious upbringing, too. The church he went to with his mother had a lot of music during its worship service and there was a contemporary praise band there. Since his mother was friends with many of the people in the church, and the band, he often was able to participate. In some cases, the percussionists would allow Justin to play for a bit, sitting on the knee of the professional, hammering out a tune on the drums. Justin says, "By the time I was four or five, I could climb up on the stool and play the [drum] kit all by myself, and, about the same time, I discovered I could get up on the piano bench and pound on that, too."
Sooner rather than later, Justin's music became much more than just noise. Rather, it started to sound more and more like music. He could not read the music yet, but he could create his own sounds and tunes. He is very proud of this.
Justin Bieber's First Drums
Justin's first drum set is something that Justin is very proud of. His parents did not have the funds to buy a five year old a new drum set, but because Justin's talent was so evident, and because his mother's friends wanted to encourage it, they helped out. When he was about five years old, his mother and one of her musician friends, a man named Nathan McKay, got together to host a special event. Nathan McKay and his friends came together to play at a local bar, where they collected donations to help fund the purchase of Justin's first drum set. It worked. His first real trap set had a kick drum, floor toms, snare, hi-hat and boom cymbal.
Justin's love of music was a prominent element in his life. In the summer after receiving his first drum set, Justin was invited to play at a fair with a church band. He was invited to play the drums during the contest event. Although the emcee of the event could not even see him sitting behind the drums, Justin was there and he was magical.
Over the next few years, Justin continued to perform at these local events. He continued to play and practice and he listened to the latest music releases with intense interest.
Justin Bieber Age Six and On
Justin's life continued to progress and when he was six years old, his mother enrolled him in Jeanne Sauvé Catholic School in Stratford. Although he was the typical kid in many ways at school, after school, he was much different. Remember, he did not have the ability to benefit from professional music training, so he taught himself. He would come home from school and get his "music education" from the radio. He focused heavily on the drums, but he also worked on the piano as well. He could not read music yet (he was just learning to read books, after all.) However, Justin's focus was on the way he wanted music to sound.
He describes it like this in his book, "I could feel it when the chords and melody didn't fit together, the same way you can feel it when your shoes are on the wrong feet. I just kept poking and experiencing until it fit the way I wanted it to."
Later, he would learn to play the guitar, as soon as he was big enough to get his arms around it. He would use it to build up strength until his fingertips hurt from playing so much. By the time Justin was eight or nine years old, he was good at the guitar as well.
At this age, his father played a role in his music, too. His father did not like pop music, but instead preferred classic rock and heavy metal. These two types of music also influenced Justin's life at this young age. Artists such as Aerosmith, Guns N' Roses, and Metallica would play a role in his life at this point, as his father and his father's friends would teach him. He learned power chords so that he could play this type of music from his father. He learned a few tricks from his father to perform well in this area.
At school, Justin was just an average, hockey loving kid. He states in his book that no one at school knew about his passion about music or that he was able to strum out the chords to Metallica and Matchbox 20 in his room each night. School was tough enough. The school was a French immersion school, which means the students there did not speak English at school, but rather French. He also had numerous friends through a house league hockey team he was on. He did not want people to think that he was a music geek, since he already was a French geek, he says.
Justin's closest friends when he was younger were hockey friends. He would spend time with them when he was at his grandparent's home. Justin was by no means a bad kid. He did not do drugs or get into a lot of trouble. However, he did spend time being grounded. However, whenever he was grounded (like the time he snuck out of the house at two in the morning to go bike riding with friends) he used the time to learn new chords and new music. It was time well invested in his future.
Justin Bieber, Girls and School
He left the French immersion school at the age of 12 and enrolled in a public middle school in the same city. The school, called Northwestern, was a typical public school. He also moved up from the house hockey league with his friends to the travel league. He and his grandfather used to travel to games together, on the team bus.
Boys often treat women, and see women, as they do their mother. In other words, because Justin was raised by his mother, and had a fairly open relationship with her, he was better prepared to take on the world of girls than some other boys were. He was not afraid to talk to girls like some of his friends were. He was willing to hang out with them and he even flirted with them.
In a quote from his book, Justin describes his ability to interact with girls like this. "Some guys ended up hurting a girl's feelings or making her mad, because they were working too hard to look cool. Not me. My mom had drummed into my head the difference between confident and cocky." He did not want to be labeled a jerk with girls and, although he was confident, he tried his best not to be the cocky jerk too many of his friends had been with girls. He says that you do not have to work hard at pretending to care about a girl's feelings, something that every guy has to do, if you really do care about her feelings.
In middle school, he was interested in girls, but was held back somewhat because he was shorter than many of them. Because of this, he decided to focus on just being a nice guy. He also kept his music to himself during his middle school years, fearing that this would be something that girls would not be impressed with. He, instead, focused on playing sports; something he knew would impress girls time and time again.
Guys in middle school do fight and Justin got into a few scuffles in his time at school, too. However, Justin had the leg up on many of these young boys because his father was a professional fighter. Because of this, his father had taken Justin to the guy and taught him how to take care of himself. He was not bullied because people knew this. This is a lesson he would carry for years to come. He says, "I think I learned from an early age that although I was smaller, I shouldn't pay attention to my size or let it stop me from going for something I knew I could achieve. I had nothing to prove to those guys, just as I have nothing to prove to the haters who try to tear me down now. I'm not a fighter by nature, but, if I believe in something, I stand up for it."
In school, Justin was the class clown. He got in trouble for it from time to time, but he did not do anything that was too serious. He tried to stay away from anything he thought was "uncool" so as to keep his focus. He had a lot of energy in school and it was hard to turn it off for class. The only times he did get in trouble was for being himself, such as dancing in the hallways or drumming on his desk.