Justin Bieber wants to prove he’s more than just another teen sensation. In a new interview airing on September 13 with Ryan Seacrest for Today, the pop superstar reveals he struggles with his image. “I feel like I just don’t want to be another teen heartthrob, ’cause that’s just… I just think that that just annoys me,” he admits.
While many would say The Biebs is the top dog in the music biz, he says it doesn’t feel like it: “In some ways, I’m – I am the underdog, because it’s like there are people that don’t believe that, you know, I can make the transition from being a teen pop star to an adult.”
But the Biebs is sure trying and calls his latest album Believe, a leap into mature territory. “Hearing older people say, ‘Wow, this new album’s great. Like I didn’t know that was Justin Bieber.’ Or, you know, ‘Wow, like I never used to listen to Justin Bieber’s music, and now I like his music…’ I like those reactions. They’re judging me based on my music and not based on, you know, a flick of my hair. You know?”
Justin may be a big boy now, but like Ryan, he’s still a mama’s boy at heart and even brings mother Pattie Mallette to the interview. The mom and son duo chat about their upcoming memoirs and she dishes about her son’s old antics. “Every year, he got kicked out of class. Including his first day of grade one!” she tells Ryan. Justin chimes in: “It’s in grade one, out of a class. I mean, who kicks a grade-one?” All joking aside, Justin says he is grateful for her sacrifice. “She had to give up her social life as a teenager to raise me,” he says. “How she had to… you know, there were so many struggles that she had to go through to be able to raise me, as an 18-year-old girl. You know, so I couldn’t imagine raising a child now.”
Something else Pattie toiled with, was her son’s name. He was called Jesse throughout her pregnancy, but when he was born she thought: “No, he doesn’t look like a Jesse. Justin.” While Bieber calls the name weird, he says at that moment he didn’t have much choice. “Yeah. I’m not like, ‘Mom, don’t name me Jesse, please.’”
Watch a preview of Justin’s interview below, and check out the full interview on Thursday, September 13 on Today and Rock Center with Brian Williams.